Johns Hopkins Investing in PhD Career Planning

I’m always glad to hear about a win when it comes to career planning and training for grad students. Here is a big one. Johns Hopkins has announced a $1.5 M investment in PhD professional development initiatives. Woohoo! This goes a long way towards acknowledging the importance of alt-ac careers.

Hopkins will start collecting & tracking more data about where their students end up working. This will help facilitate networking connections, and more importantly, help students see the enormous range of possibilities ahead where there were “none” before. That’s huge! Imagine if your department were transparent about where its students landed, and you could see that not only are most of these people not failures in any sense of the word, but are actually thriving at a wide range of careers, and doing great work!

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These ain’t your dad’s student loans

When I was in my Master’s program (1999-2001), I had a full ride, so my tuition and health insurance were covered, and I got $5000/academic year to be a TA. That still didn’t cover rent, utilities, books, and food. So in addition to my TAship, I took on a 30/hour/week retail job, did well-paid summer internships, and accepted help from my parents. I still racked up a bit of credit card debt. Nothing major, thanks to my parents’ help!

The next year (2002), I started a PhD program, where I was paid $9900/year. And I remember my dad telling me something like “I know how hard it is. I was making only $9000/year when I was in grad school.”

In 1971.

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A new core curriculum for grad students

I spend a lot of time thinking about what graduate school should look like these days, and I think know I’m not alone. There’s a lot of chatter and a growing movement that is gaining momentum that graduate school curricula must evolve and adapt, not just for its own good, but to address students’ needs, to adequately prepare them for the careers that lie ahead.

No more ifs, ands, or buts. Graduate school curricula MUST require professional develoment courses.

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Four Ways to Apply Time Management To your Job Search

How many of you think: “It’s like a full-time job looking for a job!” Is everyone’s hand up? I know mine is. Time management can play a huge role when it comes to looking for work. To make time for your job search, you have to shift things around a bit, make room on your plate.

Hitting up the sites to find job listings, scanning each job ad, and then, of course, applying all take a lot of time. So here are my suggestions for how to manage your time to make room for your job search.

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Analysis of a Job Application: What to Do (and Not to Do) When Responding to a Job Ad

What exactly should you be thinking about when applying to a new job? Here’s 5 tips.

#1 – Don’t Judge a Position by Its Title

Any work place can suffer from having opaque – or just plain bad – job titles, but higher ed in particular. One place I’ve worked, everyone calls all job titles by a 3 letter acronym, and Academic Advisors are abbreviated….ASs. Seriously.

My point is, when you’re looking for a job, some job titles stand out more than others.

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Your Job is One Part of a Larger System

I work in Training (for my day job) and much of my work is really at its heart about change management – identifying the need for change, laying the groundwork for change, planning for change, communicating about change, and training people to implement the change. This requires a holistic perspective. Seeing how people, projects, workflow, and resources influence and affect one another. Seeing things as part of a system.

It makes me think about how you need to view your career as part of a system, too.

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