A grad student’s best resource, outside of your department, might be the Career Development Center. You may be unfamiliar with the resources available to you, because you don’t think that they are for you.
Common misconceptions include:
- The Career Center is exclusively for undergrads on your campus.
- Your future is mapped out: grad school to post doc to faculty. So you don’t need any of the services of a Career Center.
- Services are only for those who are actively on the job market.
My goal with this post is to convince you to reach out to the career center on your campus soon. There is so much to take advantage of. Their services complement what is available in your department.
“I don’t want to be a faculty member.” This realization dawned during the first two years of Stacy Hartman’s PhD program. Forthrightly, she told one of her faculty advisors, who encouraged her to explore other options. Today, after finishing her PhD in German Studies in five years, she is leading the Connected Academics program for the Modern Language Association. Located in New York City, the MLA is the professional association for scholars in English studies and modern languages. But bear in mind that the advice Stacy offers is her own, not the MLA’s.
Stacy offers three pieces of advice for graduate students:
- Manage your time. Your day-to-day time, but also your time in graduate school.
- Talk to people. Lots of people. Lots of different kinds of people.
- Do what you need to do to feel positively about yourself. A positive attitude toward your job search is not only helpful but necessary.
The PhD Pathways career conference at Stanford University, held on Friday, January 29, 2016, offered a wealth of information, advice and inspiration.
Nearly 300 PhDs and postdocs attended a day-long conference. It included a dozen panels of PhDs working in non-faculty careers, workshops on career skills, and a keynote address by Peter Fiske, author of Put Your Science to Work.
Here are my five top take-aways from the conference.