Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Graduate students become the next generation of educators, researchers, leaders of non-profit organizations, and creative thinkers—building the highly skilled workforce needed to solve the complex local, national, and global problems of  the 21st century. The Graduate College is committed to preparing students for future success in a wide range of  careers.

Professional development resources

The Graduate College Office of  Graduate Development and Postdoctoral Affairs advises on career options, job search strategies, professional social media use, and academic and non-academic job application materials. Last year, the office provided career resources and workshops to over 1,500 students and postdocs.

Professional competencies

The Graduate College and campus partners recently identified eight key competency areas to help students navigate skill building and career preparation throughout graduate school: communication, research, diversity, fellowships, teaching, leadership, careers, and wellness.

Organizing opportunities thematically around intended outcomes and skills allows students to identify resources according to their own professional development needs.  These eight competencies highlight the breadth of  the professional development opportunities offered by the Graduate College and available across campus—regardless of  discipline.

These competencies are available on a new website that gives graduate students a centralized location to learn about upcoming events, programs, campus resources, and skill-centric classes.

Students benefit from alumni connections

Graduate students learn about career opportunities through networking with alumni. Careers Outside the Academy, an annual conference now in its third year, features panelists from a wide range of  disciplines—medical advising, publishing, industry and government research, student services, and other sectors.  This event helps students explore career options and connect their current work to future professional goals.

The mentor network, a directory of  alumni and Careers Outside the Academy panelists, offers students the chance to connect with professionals by e-mail, LinkedIn, phone, and/or in-person meetings.

The Graduate College has also launched an online series, Open Doors, to complement in-person networking. The live question-and-answer sessions feature professionals working across career sectors. Discussions are recorded and archived for future student viewing.

“Open Doors is a really unique space. Students can tune in from home and chat with an industry professional, a grant writer at the Field Museum or a tech writer in Silicon Valley—all professionals with Ph.D.’s,” says Jennifer Teitle, assistant dean for graduate development and postdoctoral affairs.

With these initiatives the Graduate College will continue to  grow professional development services—helping prepare graduate students for a wide variety of  career opportunities.