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From PhD to Life

BY JENNIFER POLK | JAN 19 2016

Earlier this month I attended the American Historical Association conference in Atlanta. Although I earned my PhD in history, this was my first time at the annual event. I didn’t go to present a paper or otherwise talk about my research, and I didn’t go to interview for an academic job. I went to co-host […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | DEC 16 2015

My friend Lisa Munro, a fellow history PhD who works as an academic editor and writing consultant, cut right to the chase in a recent blog post. “Sticking to a writing schedule is difficult because it requires me to prioritize myself,” she wrote. This resonates with me because – lo and behold – I’m not […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | NOV 25 2015

Alison Norman earned her PhD in history from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She’s currently a Research Advisor in the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. She’s also a Research Associate in the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies at the School for the Study of Canada, […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | NOV 10 2015

In this post I’m going to tell you how much money I’m making and how I’m making it. I’m doing this because I think it’s important to have conversations about money, especially among freelancers. I want to help potential business owners learn more about the process of starting out, and I share my own experience […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | NOV 04 2015

Kenna Barrett earned her PhD in English with a specialization in rhetoric and composition from the University of Rhode Island. She returned to her doctoral studies after 12 years in nonprofit fund development, nine of those at Yale University in New Haven. She’s currently Director of Development for the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | OCT 28 2015

Last week the US National Endowment for the Humanities announced a major new funding initiative for career preparation programming for graduate students. In response, professor and higher ed commentator Marc Bousquet argued that there was little need for these programs: While no one is going to argue against supporting degree holders who search for nonprofessorial […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | OCT 19 2015

Last week I participated in an event for engineering graduate students at McMaster University. I was interviewed over Google Hangout by three students. They asked me excellent questions about my career. It was a fun experience, and one that got me thinking. I went “straight through”: high school, BA, MA, PhD. By the time I […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | OCT 06 2015

Paul Hartley trained as an ethnomusicologist at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he is currently a PhD candidate. He worked on music production practices in the Turkish film industry with the help of an IIE Fulbright grant, but now works as Sr. Resident Anthropologist and Head of Human Futures at Idea Couture, a […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | SEP 29 2015

Christine Buske earned her PhD in cell and systems biology from the University of Toronto. She is a recovering academic who spent about ten years in research, studying the effects of low dose embryonic alcohol exposure on the development of social behavior and the brain. Little did she know she would be moving to a real life […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | SEP 23 2015

When I finished my PhD, my dissertation turned into a book manuscript. I worked on it for several months, on and off, even writing a book proposal that I aimed to send to academic publishers. My intention back then was to publish a book based largely on my dissertation. The closest I came was to […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | SEP 15 2015

Pablo Dominguez Andersen earned his PhD in modern history from the Humboldt University of Berlin. He currently works as a content manager at interactive tools, a digital agency in Berlin. Find Pablo on LinkedIn and Academia.edu. What did you hope for in terms of employment as you completed your PhD? During my first year I was […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | AUG 25 2015

Sara Langworthy earned her PhD in developmental psychology from the University of Minnesota. She’s currently an educator at University of Minnesota Extension’s Children, Youth and Family Consortium and an organizational consultant and co-founder of The Exchange Loop organizational consulting firm. Sara is the author of Bridging the Relationship Gap: Connecting with Children Facing Adversity. Find […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | AUG 17 2015

Joseph Fruscione (PhD, English) contributed to the Transition Q & A series in December 2013. You can read his interview here. He was then teaching first-year writing in George Washington’s University writing program and beginning a post-academic career as freelance editor, writer, and tutor. Since leaving academia in May 2014, I’ve done a lot of […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | JUL 27 2015

Kimberley Yates (PhD, English) contributed to the Transition Q & A series in March 2013. Read her interview here. She was then associate director of the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto. I am still employed as associate director, Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto.  My job duties have developed into a greater […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | JUL 15 2015

John Robertson earned his PhD in medical biophysics from the University of Western Ontario in 2011. He currently works for the Techna Institute in Toronto as a Research Communications Officer. John also recently published a book on investing for regular people called The Value of Simple: A Practical Guide to Taking the Complexity Out of […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | JUN 22 2015

Tom Westerman earned his PhD in history from the University of Connecticut in 2014. He is now an upper school history teacher at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC. He teaches a variety of courses in World History and United States History and also assists with the school’s Model United Nations Club. What did you hope […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | JUN 15 2015

One of my intentions for the summer is to step up my networking. I want to reach out to more people, both those I know and those I don’t yet know, to have conversations about their work and mine. I’d like to know more about the professionals who work in and around universities, especially as […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | MAY 25 2015

I co-hosted an online conference earlier this month, with Maren Wood: The 2nd Annual Beyond the Professoriate. What fun! What learning! The conference reaffirmed for me that PhDs working in non-faculty positions are enjoying all kinds of wonderful, fascinating, and meaningful careers. One highlight for me was Elizabeth Keenan speaking about how, as a real […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | APR 22 2015

My conference is coming up fast! Beyond the Professoriate will bring together 25 PhDs from a wide variety of disciplines – engineering to ethnomusicology, genetics to German – who are working in a variety of fields. The two-day conference will be presented entirely online. All are welcome to register and attend. On Career Day, Saturday, 2 […]

BY JENNIFER POLK | APR 08 2015

Raj Dhiman completed his PhD in bio-organic chemistry at the University of Toronto. He is currently the sales training manager for Vicinity, a division of Rogers Communications that focuses on customer loyalty and marketing solutions for small businesses. Connect with him on LinkedIn. What did you hope for in terms of employment while completing your […]