PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP

PROMISE Spring Opening Dinner Meeting: “Getting to Level 10” — Friday, 2/18/11

In PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP on February 17, 2011 at 2:28 PM

PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP is dedicated to increasing the numbers and diversity of Ph.D.s in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields. PROMISE also provides a strong support system for underrepresented students of all fields, and for all graduate students.

This UMBC Spring Opening Meeting will be combined with the meeting for the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program and will provide candid information and discussion for underrepresented minority students (particularly from Hispanic, African-American, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Pacific Islander backgrounds) about preparations for postdoctoral and professional opportunities that have to begin as a graduate student, overcoming stereotyped challenges, and mentoring.

Come out on Friday, February 18, 2011, at 4:30 PM (Location: Public Policy Building, Room 206, UMBC Campus) for dinner, connections, and community. Learn survival tips and receive an introduction to the concept of “Getting to Level 10.”

This opening meeting will be co-sponsored by the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program.

Our speakers will be UMBC graduates (alumni of the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program) who are now postdoctoral fellows.

* Dr. Carlise Bethel, Johns Hopkins, Department of Pathology

* Dr. Marquis Walker, Johns Hopkins

* Dr. Sampson Kyere, University of Maryland Medical Center


  1. Getting to Level 10

    This seminar was about what it takes to be successful after graduate school, especially with respect to the academic track. Many graduate students are not always fully prepared for the rigors and expectations of a post-doc or a faculty position and find themselves not performing to the level expected of them. In the end, some may find themselves not renewed for the post-doc or not given tenure all because they were not constantly working at Level 10.

    The three panelists, all in various stages of their post-graduate careers, gave us interesting perspectives on what working at Level 10 entails. A lot of their advice had to do with having good time management skills, being current in your research field, being consistent, being valuable or better yet invaluable to your lab or department. They stressed being prepared and always looking towards that next step or that next goal. All three of the panelists are highly industrious and respected individuals in their field and it was a pleasure hearing their insight.

    Natasha Wilson 2/28/2011 8:54am

  2. I appreciated this seminar, just because the panelists were graduate students who look like me and were in my very same place at one point. They were extremely positive about their transitions to the next level, whether it was a post-doc position or a residency. The panelists also expressed that it takes hard work to make the transition, and you should always be thinking about and preparing for the next step.

    It was also good to hear from the panelists about their personal lives and how they balance family and work, and overall, I felt like “getting to a level 10” was exactly that. It is important to be able to balance work and personal life, and to be good at both roles. One should be productive in their work environment, but also able to maintain healthy personal relationships.

  3. I posed the question, about prioritizing when dealing with the transitioning phase in your life (e.g. transitioning from post-doc to the next step). All three candidates had an MD/PhD, which I found fascinating.

    Dr. Walker mentioned that it is good to stay in a post-doc between 2 and 5 years, anything outside of that is easily interpreted as abnormal. As mentioned in the previous comments work-life balance is a must. It is important to keep doing your research, but make sure it is clear the times you are not going to be working on research so that you can prepare for future opportunities and other responsibilities.

  4. The panelists at this seminar gave very down to earth and honest advice on how to reach one’s highest potential. The panelists were diverse in experiences but similar in that they were driven and focused on pushing themselves to their very highest. Ranging from medical school residencies, to post docs and maintaining a family, all were able to find a way to manage being the best they could be.

    One particular piece that I received from the seminar was the importance of being organized. Whether it be during dissertation writing to job searching to writing grants, developing this skill as well as learning how to optimize time management skills can make a large difference in one’s success. This forum also helped me solidify the importance of having a support system to help in your success (whether it be family or supervisors).

    This post was mirrored on

  5. This seminar was very helpful from the point that we were getting details on how the panelists worked through a graduate degree. It was advice from “real” people, I wanted to clarify that in this case I heard explanations from the participants rather than something that someone told me.

    I enjoyed the section when they spoke about balance in life and how family plays an important role. I noticed that organization is the key to making things happen, since you’re set to deadlines most of the time, from writing proposals to getting results.

    Another key element I noticed was that all three panelists have always something going on, there is always something happening regarding involvement. This is how one thinks about the following steps and it will point the direction of our possible decisions.

    This post was mirrored on

  6. This seminar involved three panelists talking about their graduate school experience, the process of getting to post-docs, and producing at level 10. Even as a graduate student, you are required to do many things at one time. You are writing your dissertation, you are applying for post docs, and preparing for your defense. Life could be hectic but the panelists emphasized the importance of organization, balancing the life between graduate school and family.

    This is mirrored at:

  7. I enjoyed the Getting to Level 10 workshop that was held as the Promise Opening Meeting. This panel incorporated 3 former graduate students who had similar experiences but also were able to articulate diverse methods for maximizing their potential. All of the panelists were former graduate students who did not let opportunities pass them by. From grant writing, to preparing for the job market to also establishing methods for being leaders
    in their own fields. Each panelist made it clear that in order to stand out and make a place within post docs, academia, medical school, etc., it was imperative to treat every opportunity to excel as the highest priority.

    I learned a lot from this seminar and find myself moved to reach my Level 10 in my daily life. Within coursework, I strive to give my best during group work activities, and in interactions with professors. Also when planning my future, I learned that it is very important to consistently considering methods for reaching my career goals. There is never one way to reach the top, so it was good to learn from others experiences.

    This is mirrored at:

  8. The seminar was very helpful. We got details on how the panelists worked through their graduate degrees. Hearing how the panelists were able to manage their personal lives and families, and still be successful, makes me realize that I don’t have all that extra stuff in my life, so I should be able to finish without too many issues.

    They repeated a lot of things that we have heard many times while we have been in grad school. How important it is to manage your time wisely, being up to date in your field, and just working hard to show people your abilities. These are very useful tips in any field a person happens to work in.

    This is mirrored at:

  9. […] PROMISE Spring Opening Dinner Meeting: “Getting to Level 10″ — Friday, 2/18/11 […]

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