Student Advocacy and Professional Development in Graduate School With Jinelle Wint

This week on Papa PhD, we’ll be focusing on graduate students and their professional development needs and common blind spots. My guest, Jinelle Wint, did her PhD in the biological sciences and throughout her academic journey, she learned the value of of working on her professional skills, and has coached many students in exploring their career choices.

Black woman with braided hair, wearing a red shirt and dark blue blazer, looking and smiling at the camera. Navy blue frame.

Jinelle Wint, PhD, is the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs for the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Jinelle has extensive experience in program management, graduate career professional development, mentoring, and outreach. As a Graduate Career Coach at Stony Brook University, she led one-on-one career coaching sessions and coordinated career exploration seminars. She has served on the executive board of many organizations, held a position in the Center for Inclusive Education, and has advocated for graduate students on local, state, and national levels. Jinelle received her Ph.D. in Molecular Cellular Biology from Stony Brook University in the laboratory of Dr. Howard Sirotkin. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and General Studio Art from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How taking part in student-led programs and events can positively impact your graduate school experience
  • Internships in university as a path to non-research academic jobs
  • The importance of time management and of avoiding burnout
  • The PhD timeline and when to start thinking of career exploration and professional development
  • Self-assessment as a starting point for planning ahead
  • Why you should use the ressources offered by your university even if they’re not tailored for PhDs
  • Challenges for international students and advice on how to make the best out of their time in graduate school

This episode’s pearls of wisdom:

“I’m not exactly saying that you can’t only think about the professoriate, but, I mean, it is good to have other careers in mind. But even, for example, that you know 100% you’re just not gonna give up on being a professor, even dedicating time to getting to that goal outside of lab it’s also a good thing. So even if you need to get a postdoc, for example, for your next step, looking into who offers postdoc, who’s doing what research – dedicating time to do that outside of your research is always going to benefit you. So even if you’re going into academia or outside of academia, what I’m saying is to dedicate the time to developing that and to thinking about your professional development is necessary. And it gives you peace of mind later on that you’ve done some of the leg work earlier on.”

“It is a struggle. And I know that the PhD takes a lot of time, because I’ve seen it, and I’ve lived it, and I had tons of friends who spent 60 hours a week in lab. But if you can take a few hours to do something outside of lab, it actually clears your brain to be like “you know what? I was thinking about this project”… And as you’re in there, you don’t go into where you get frustrated, you get this cycle of “this is not working”. When you take a step away and then come back, things become clear. It’s always good to take some time doing some activity that you like to do, or some hobby, and then come back into lab.”

Jinelle’s links: LinkedIn –; Twitter – @DrWint_signalin.

You might also like the following episodes:

Chris Humphrey – Career Counseling:

Emily Roberts – Finance for PhDs:

Falisha Karpati – Skills Development:

Rebecca Maymon – PhD Recruitment:

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