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Check out the video to hear more experiences and gain more insights!

Do you only have a few minutes? Feel free to scroll through the video's timestamps:

  1. 01:00 Landing a Career Direction with the Right Mentor

  2. 05:30 Role Models of the Past & Present (including Dr. Alder)

  3. 14:34 Career Development with the Rutgers iJobs Program

  4. 20:33 Work-Life Synergy

  5. 23:40 Keeping on Top of Career Trends

  6. 31:11 Supporting the Future

  7. 39:40 Tips for Current and Future Leaders


It is not easy to find someone as committed to their roles as Dr Janet Alder, an Associate Professor, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies, and Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Postdoctoral Affairs at Rutgers University. Recently, I had the privilege to sit with Dr Alder to chat about the evolution of STEM career development and leadership.

Dr Alder is the mind behind the highly successful iJOBS [Interdisciplinary Job Opportunities for Biomedical Sciences] program at Rutgers, which has supported thousands of students and postdoctoral trainees with career development beyond academia. In our conversation, we dive into the challenges the STEM community faces today, from creating spaces where students are valued and truly feel like they belong, to recruiting postdoctoral trainees back into academia to pursue faculty positions. 

On top of helping solve these big issues, Dr Alder runs a neuroscience lab, “[B]eing super organized is very helpful,” she tells me. She then introduces me to the concept of “work-life synergy,” and her belief that people should know about the other responsibilities you are dealing with in life. 

Obviously, I ask Dr Alder about the STEM leader of the past, the present and the future. She candidly shares her views and experience, and indicates that the future leaders must find allies, communicate often, and know their own weaknesses.

Dr Alder hesitates to call herself a leader, rather, she sees herself as a “helper.” In this inspiring talk, we discuss her ability to build and nurture relationships with students and trainees to support their needs - the actions of a true leader.

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