My most recent blog posting was about teaching a diversity of students, with a variety of backgrounds. Today I’m going to chat about the opposite situation … when it is not the student body, but the department, that is diverse. I am part of the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba. Our raison […]
I have to admit that I was somewhat baffled by the way that others promoted my post on Relevance and Employability as being about non-academic careers. Being able to articulate how your research is relevant is going to matter more and more to academic careers. Already, grant applications for major funding bodies require plans to […]
This is the question that makes my soul say “argg!” because it typically comes from people with lots to offer, and because the prospect of taking on more training is often looming before them in the form of another degree—a completely different degree than the one(s) they have already completed. Usually, these job seekers feel […]
In our current culture of international emigration and the global village, we are more and more likely to teach a wide diversity of students in our universities. In the interdisciplinary institute of which I am a part, students come not just from a range of universities from across the globe, but also from a broad […]
There is a lot of talk about making academic research relevant and about the employment of PhDs. Unfortunately, most of this discussion happens at an abstract level with very little discussion of the specifics. What these debates have in common is research knowledge. Your research knowledge, and your research skills, may be relevant to non-academic […]
Finding work doesn’t necessarily require finding a job. Some academics turn to entrepreneurship to provide some or all of their work and income. Dr. Kathryn Allan happens to be one such former academic. After completing her PhD in English Literature, she launched an editing business. While her degree was clearly relevant in terms of honing […]
One of the best benefits of teaching graduate students is being given the opportunity to meet so many extraordinary people from all over the world. Our department is like many at Canadian research universities; typically, 25-50% of our graduate students are from outside of Canada. This provides a rich and exciting learning environment for all […]
Back in January, I proposed a series of questions you might ask in the spirit of the New Year. The beginning of a new academic year seems like a good time to revisit one of those questions: What are your career goals? It is more useful to frame your goals in terms of the skills […]
So, you’ve got one page to persuade an employer to hire you—no, scratch that. You’ve got one page, along with your resume, to persuade an employer to interview you. Here’s what happens with that page: Some employers read it Some employers don’t Some employers who read it will only read it if they’ve shortlisted your […]
I got a worried email from a student the other day, who had a conflict with a collaborator and became concerned about the implications. While the details will vary with every case, this did make me think about the many projects I’ve worked on: both those that were done as stand-alone projects, and those in […]
The imminent beginning of a new academic year seems like a good time to broach this difficult topic. Before you make another tuition payment, it’s a good idea to make a conscious decision about whether doing a PhD is still the right path for you. How do you feel? This is a serious question. Is […]
During the hiring process, candidates need to be able to communicate their competencies in their resumés and at interviews.
As you get closer to actually finishing the PhD, your thoughts turn to what’s next. In addition to reading blogs like this one, you are scanning the academic job ads, building a CV that might make you competitive and thinking about short term options. While teaching experience is useful, if you are going to be […]
I know people who actually enjoy employment interviews. At some point in their interviews, they forget their nervousness because the problems posed by the interview questions interest them. They slip out of self-conscious self-promotion mode and into problem-solving mode. But most of us find it hard to forget that a job’s at stake and that there’s a […]
As I approach my annual summer vacation weeks, I am feeling a variety of emotions that I am starting to associate with this time of year … none of which include the anticipation, relaxation, excitement, or relief that one might expect. Instead, I find myself vacillating between panic, concern, and guilt about leaving my graduate […]
Jo VanEvery suggests taking advantage of some of the down time summer brings and learn or improve upon some skills you might need for your career.
Liz Koblyk lets grad students know who to approach for reference letters when you’re not sure. You might be surprised at who is willing to be one of your referees.
The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and the male chipping sparrow in my backyard is trying really hard to get the attention of the female he’s hanging around with these days. That all means that it’s time to get busy… for the grad students in my lab, that is. I seem to be remarkably […]
Moving from an academic environment into the workforce is a difficult transition. Think about all those highrise office buildings in downtown Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Halifax, … Thousands of people work in those buildings. Then there are all of the people who work outdoors, or from home, or in factories. I bet you have no idea […]
If you’ve had the experience of carefully crafting and revising a resumé and cover letter, you’ve likely also had the experience of wondering whether anyone actually reads the documents you so carefully research and write. The bad news first Blogs by recruiters suggest that recruiters skim resumés in 5 to 20 seconds. That’s not a lot […]