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Careers Café

BY NICOLA KOPER | October 22 2012

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 […]

BY JO VANEVERY | October 15 2012

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 […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | October 01 2012

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 […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | September 24 2012

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 […]

BY JO VANEVERY | September 17 2012

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 […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | September 04 2012

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 […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | August 27 2012

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 […]

BY JO VANEVERY | August 20 2012

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 […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | August 08 2012

During the hiring process, candidates need to be able to communicate their competencies in their resumés and at interviews.

BY JO VANEVERY | July 23 2012

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 […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | July 17 2012

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 […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | July 10 2012

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 […]

BY JO VANEVERY | June 25 2012

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.

BY LIZ KOBLYK | June 18 2012

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.

BY NICOLA KOPER | June 11 2012

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 […]

BY JO VANEVERY | June 04 2012

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 […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | May 28 2012

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 […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | May 15 2012

Funnily enough, despite the decades I spent as a student, it has been the informal mentoring that I’ve received from my colleagues and supervisors that has helped me to become the kind of graduate student supervisor that I am today… a good one, I hope. FS taught me to be passionate, RB taught me to […]

BY JO VANEVERY | May 07 2012

Have you been communicating your research to audiences beyond your discipline or even beyond academia? Have you been communicating your research using new media? If so, you may be wondering: How do your put these things on your CV? This problem arises for academics at all career stages: from graduate students to full professors. Whether […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | April 30 2012

Tax season always seems like a good time to talk about money. Regarding money, career advice tends to range from “do what you love and the money will follow” variety to “get a practical degree and earn good money.” Money is extremely useful at paying for stuff, and sometimes life or health circumstances mean that […]