Career Advancement and Professional Development: Finding, Creating, and Cultivating Opportunities

NSGC is pleased to announce the Online Course: Career Advancement and Professional Development: Finding, Creating, and Cultivating Opportunities.

Course Objectives

After participating in the Career Advancement and Professional Development: Finding, Creating, and Cultivating Opportunities online sessions, attendees will be able to:

  • Assess whether their current position is effectively aligned with their long term career goals and objectives.
  • Identify their personal strengths in the field of genetic counseling and opportunities for both  personal and professional growth and development within the field.
  • Examine opportunities to enhance their genetic counseling career via involvement in mentorship, research, and genetic counseling training programs, and other opportunities.

Course Format

The course consists of 9 pre-recorded presentations written by leaders in the genomics community. The presentations include the presenter's lecture, fully synchronized to their slide presentation. All presentations will be posted online via the NSGC web site for access and review. Participants can to listen to presentations on their own schedule, any time of day by accessing the NSGC web site. While the sessions may be viewed in any order, it may be most useful to complete them in the order listed. The format also allows for increased information retention - since each of us learn at our own time and pace, the amount of information retained from the presentation is often greater with a self-directed process.

Participants interested in earning CEUs for participation in the Career Advancement and Professional Development: Finding, Creating, and Cultivating Opportunities course will be required to complete and pass an online quiz for each presentation with a score of 80% or greater.

Course Session Titles, Presenters and Learning Objectives

  1. Session Title: Self-marketing in a Professional Environment
    Presented By: Shannon Kieran and Elissa Levin
    Learning Objectives:
    • Underline the unique challenges faced by female-dominated professions.
    • Explore the psychology of leadership: knowledge is power. 
    • Distinguish methods for effectively marketing yourself as a leader.
    • Finding the right position: Identify your strengths, your passion, and share with your community.
    • How to negotiate with your superiors: from work schedule to salary. 
    • Establishing your position and worth within your organization.
  2. Session Title: Making Your Career Work for You: Strategies for Launching and Sustaining a Satisfying Career
    Presented By: Nancy Callanan, MS CGC
    Learning Objectives:
    • Identify factors that contribute to career satisfaction.
    • Discuss strategies for launching and sustaining a successful career.
    • Describe how genetic counselors use leadership skills in the workplace.
  3. Session Title: Mentoring: It Takes Two/Mentee finds Professional Happiness with Mentor and NSGC
    Presented By: Mary Ahrens, MS CGC and Amanda Bergner, MS CGC
    Learning Objectives:
    • Recognize the value of participating in the NSGC mentor program and how it can enhance professional growth in genetic counseling.
    • Appreciate the role expectations of both mentor and mentee.
    • Explain the application and match process of the NSGC Mentor Program.
    • Distinguish mentoring relationships from other professional relationships.
    • Recognize the tasks of a mentor and the tasks of a mentee.
    • Describe several ways in which to locate and begin a relationship with a mentor.
  4. Session Title: Gaining faculty status and the other advanced degree: could a PhD be your path to advancement and greater satisfaction?
    Presented By: Barbara Biesecker, PhD MS CGC
    Learning Objectives:
    • Explore career outcomes achieved with a doctoral degree.
    • Identify wasy a PhD can open doors to greater job fulfillment. 
    • Discuss strategies for overcoming barriers to achieving a PhD
  5. Session Title: How to create a new genetic counseling clinic/Starting a private genetic counseling practice
    Presented By: Jehannine Austin, PHD CGC and Lauri Black, MS LCGC
    Learning Objectives:
    • Describe the processes that have been successful in starting up two different types of clinics (private practices, and a new specialist clinic within existing infrasturcture).
    • Outline approaches to creating a client base for your new service through communicating with potential referring physicians.
    • Recognize the various types of professional relationships and their impact on billing for services. 
  6. Session Title: Getting involved in research as a way to enhance your professional/career development
    Presented By: Sharon Aufox, MS CGC and Angela Inglis, MSc, CCGC/CGC
    Learning Objectives:
    • Describe the different roles that genetic counselors can have in research. 
    • Recognize how research positions can change a career path. 
    • Explain how applicable genetic counseling skills are to research.
  7. Session Title: Starting or working with a new genetic counseling training program: personal career development and expanding our profession
    Presented By: Kelly Ormond, MS LCGC and Carrie Atzinger, MS CGC
    Learning Objectives:
    • List the various roles associated with training programs.
    • Describe the administrative aspects a training program director oversees.
    • Create a personal plan to gain information regarding expanded roles in this area.
    • Discuss the roles of genetic counselors in existing genetic counseling programs such as supervision, teaching, research and administration and how they can promote individual professional development.
    • Discuss the roles for genetic counselors in existing genetic counseling programs such as supervision, teaching, research, and administration and how they can promote individual professional development.
    • Recognize ways to identify or create these opportunities either with local or more distant genetic counseling programs.
  8. Session Title: Exploring the opportunities for GCs to advance their careers in business and industry
    Presented By: Bradley Popovich, PhD MS and Susan Manley, MS MBA
    Learning Objectives:
    • Outline career opportunities provided by further doctoral training in clinical molecular genetics/genomics. 
    • Review the work environments differences that exist when working in acadamic, nonprofit and for profit Biotechnology.
    • Identify the "business" threads that connect all work environments in genetics/genomics.
    • Review difference between clinical and administrative genetic counseling positions and which skills are needed for each.
    • Outline knowledge disciplines obtained with an MBA and how they can be helpful for genetic counselors .
    • Describe how a Business Administration degree helps you “think differently”.
  9. Session Title: Leadership within professional organizations as a facilitator of career advancement at ones institution
    Presented By: Sam Baxter, MS CGC and Liz Kearney MS CGC MBA
    Learning Objectives:
    • Appreciate the skills obtained through working with NSGC.
    • Identify how these skills can be applied in the workplace and beyond.
    • Discuss how these skill can be used to advance your career.
    • Explore what professional skills are needed for career advancement.
    • Define some key elements of good leadership and management.
    • Map opportunities within a professional association to skill development. 

Registration Information and Fees

Registration is now available! To purchase the course please go to the Online Education page and click on the button to "Add to Cart". The registration fee includes access to all 10 online presentations as well as all CEU fees. Partial access will not be granted. Registration fees are as follows:

  • NSGC Member: $175
  • Non-Member: $225

(Contact for Student member price options) 

  • NSGC Student Member: $75
  • Student Non-Member: $100
  • Course directors: $275 (covers access for 15 students; no CEU certificates provided)

Accessing the Course

Once you purchase the activity, you will need to wait up to fifteen minutes for the server to enable access within your NSGC member record.


While you are logged-in to the NSGC website, click on the NSGC Logo on the top right corner of whatever page you are on. You will then be taken to the NSGC Member Center. In the Quick Links box, click on the "My Online Courses" link. You will then be taken to a page with instructions on how to access your online courses, and how to optimize your experience. The link to your online courses is labeled "Connect to Your Courses." Make sure the NSGC Online Learning Center page is open at all times while working within a unique module. Also, all pop-ups within the Online Learning Center need to be closed before closing out of the Online Learning Center in order to record your activity within the course. Please call NSGC headquarters at 312.321.6834 with any questions.

From NSGC's Online Learning Center, you will see the course under the training manual section. Click on any one of the ten module titles to participate in the individual session.

Course participants who choose to earn CEUs will have 2 years to complete and pass the quizzes to earn CEUs.  Participants can print their CEU certificate online immediately after completing the quiz and won't need to wait for NSGC to issue CEUs!

Prior to purchasing the online educational programs, please view the system requirements FAQs.


The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) has approved this program for up to .96 CEUs or 9.6 contact hours through 05/18/2021. CEUs earned through this program will be accepted by ABGC as Category 1 CEUs for purposes of certification and recertification.

Attendees interested in earning CEUs for participation in the Career advancement and professional development: Finding, creating, and cultivating opportunities online sessions will be required to complete and pass an online quiz for each session with at least an 80%.

Planning Workgroup

  • Carrie Prochniak, Chair
  • Shannon Kieran
  • Kristen Hanson
  • Sara Pirzadeh-Miller
NSGC Executive Office   |   330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60611   |   312.321.6834   |
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