Some of you may know me and some of you may not. It's okay if you don't. However, keep reading if you're thinking about senior thesis, interested in finding a job right after graduation, or just want to know what I'm up to. I'm part of the awesome cohort that graduated last spring, but I was one of those few that had no idea what I was going to do after graduation. I was always on the pre-med track, so it weighed heavily on my mind until I decided in June-July to rescind what offers I had. I won't go into detail about that.
So I started the job search very late, but even then, I had offers left and right. I graduated with a double degree in Chemistry and IBH with a high distinction on my senior thesis, so there were a lot of positions I qualified to apply for. From microbiologists to scientist I's, you name it. If you want a job right out of college, or thinking about testing the industry before getting your phd, it's definitely possible. Although I don't recommend the career center for resume building, I do recommend UIUC's simplicity I-link website for job openings (not much variety) and internships. However, I found it most useful to google a list of companies in the field you're interested in, and visiting their career section of the website. Sometimes, it doesn't hurt to send an inquiry or apply for a position even if you don't meet their degree requirements. Experience is what counts. If you want more details on this, message me privately.
So you're probably thinking what I got out of applying so late in the job search without a phd or masters. Within ~3 weeks, I had multiple interviews, and 2 solid offers that had annual bonuses (so salary and not hourly). One was a Chemist position, and the other was a Genomic Analyst position. I don't know if I got lucky, but my double degree helped A LOT. With the jobs that I applied for, I was tested on simple lab skills, such as pipetting and knowledge about certain concepts. They will test on accuracy of the skills. Since my senior thesis was in genetics, I qualified for the Genomic Analyst position even though they preferred someone with a master's degree. So if you're ever wondering whether to go for that time consuming, tiring, and terribly hard project in your final year, I'd say go for it. Just having it on your resume makes a big impact.
If you're job searching, it doesn't hurt to ask the company to give you more time to decide because if they really want you, they will negotiate (even salary). So in the end, I'm out here in Baltimore, working for a great company as a cancer genomic analyst in the ever-growing personalized medicine field. Yep... I didn't even know there was such a thing. The company has tuition reimbursements for going back to school, and since it's founded by JHU oncologists, going back to medicine is also an option. Anything is possible! Going into industry can be daunting, but if you look around, there will be a company that meets your needs.
IBH students travel the world, publish research papers, and do all sorts of amazing things