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Beyond the Professoriate

BY JENNIFER POLK | February 06 2014

Sarah-Louise Quinnell earned her PhD in geography from King’s College London. She’s now the learning and development manager for the online tutoring service Mactrac, which is part of Macmillan Digital Education.  Follow Sarah @sarahthesheepu. What did you hope for in terms of employment as you completed your PhD? I had expected, like I am sure a […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | January 31 2014

Over the past few months I’ve been in conversation with other post-academic business owners and freelancers, many of whom work with graduate students and PhDs. I had no idea such people existed during my doctorate, and it was only thanks to Versatile PhD that I got connected to Hillary Hutchinson, who was my coach for […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | January 23 2014

I had a great notetaking and project management system when I was working on my Master’s thesis (on Canadians in revolutionary Russia). I used a free program called Scribe, which was developed for historians at George Washington’s Center for History and New Media. The program wasn’t particularly user-friendly, but with time and patience, I made […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | January 15 2014

L. Maren Wood earned her PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She runs her own consulting firm, Lilli Research Group, which provides research support to institutions and professional development services for PhD job seekers. Follow Maren @lilligroup. What did you hope for in terms of employment as you completed […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | January 08 2014

What’s your New Year’s resolution? If you’ve made one that’s work-related, chances are good that it’s to write more. That’s my goal for this year, too. I want to write every day, and produce more blog posts and pieces for publication elsewhere. Since mid-November I’ve been published by the Globe & Mail, Academic Matters, and […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | December 13 2013

Let me tell you about an exercise that coaches do with clients. The most used coaching text recommends that we use the Wheel of Life, and many coaches use this tool with clients to help them sort out how they’re doing in different areas of their lives. To do it for yourself, draw a big […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | December 02 2013

Joseph Fruscione earned his PhD in English from George Washington University in 2005. Since 1999, he’s taught university-level literature and writing courses at GW, Georgetown, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He’s now teaching first-year writing in GW’s University writing program. He’s published a book — Faulkner and Hemingway: Biography of a Literary Rivalry […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | November 22 2013

Leah DeVellis is the coordinator of graduate services & professional development in Carleton University’s faculty of graduate and postdoctoral affairs. She tweets about professional development, social media marketing, entrepreneurship, and alternative academic careers. Follow her on Twitter @LeahDeVellis. Graduate students conduct cutting edge research, invent new technologies, write books, and start companies – and so […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | November 19 2013

I want to write about how great I’m doing, how awesome my clients are, and how good I feel about being a post-academic businesswoman. All those things are true, but there’s more to my story. It’s time to fess up, recommit, and move on. (Can you tell I’ve been mired in Rob Ford news for […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | November 08 2013

I never went on the academic job market. I thought about it, looked at job listings, read the wikis, and pondered what I might write about my teaching and research. But I was never moved to action. There were many reasons for this, ones that are familiar to any PhD or ABD on the road […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | November 04 2013

A few weeks ago I flew to the U.S. for a vacation with my parents. The customs agent I spoke with at the Toronto airport asked me what I did for a living. For nearly a decade, I would have said, “I’m a PhD student.” This time, I said without hesitation, “I’m a coach!” When […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | October 25 2013

As a graduate student I had relatively little support and guidance. I say this not to denigrate my supervisors or imply lesser service from my department or university. Not at all. In fact, I would have told you back then that all was well — I much preferred the hands-off approach to dissertating, feeling strongly […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | October 23 2013

Peter Larson earned his PhD in biological sciences from Ohio University in 2003. He taught for 10 years at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he earned both tenure and a promotion to associate professor. For the past two academic years he served as chair of the biology department. He resigned from his […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | October 03 2013

UPDATED The original post included incorrect information. Streuber is an adjunct at Valparaiso’s Graduate School and Continuing Education division, not the College of Adult Scholars. Sonja Streuber earned her MA in English from the University of California, Davis, where she also spent several years in the PhD program before leaving ABD. She later earned an […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | September 19 2013

Jared Wesley earned his PhD in political science from the University of Calgary. He’s now director of federal-provincial relations for the government of Alberta, adjunct professor of political science at the University of Alberta, adjunct professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba, and academic chair of the Institute for Public Administration Canada (IPAC) (Edmonton […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | September 17 2013

I’m working on a piece for OCUFA about my reasons for not pursuing a tenure-track job. Reflecting on the topic — there’s much to unpack there! — eventually led me to think about how different people within academia actually inhabit their own unique spaces. Take a handful of tenured professors, even in the same or […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | September 11 2013

Maria Irchenhauser received her PhD in German literature from Queen’s University. She now manages the German division of an international media company in London, UK. Find her online over at LinkedIn and follow her @M_Irchenhauser. What did you hope for in terms of employment as you completed your PhD? When I completed my PhD in […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | September 04 2013

I’ve just finished hosting my first group coaching call and I’m feeling pretty darn good about it. That’s how I feel about my life these days in general: pretty darn good. A year ago—less, even—I was jokingly telling friends and acquaintances that I was a loser with a PhD. I was only half joking. How […]