blog postsStop the Hamster Wheel: Making Plans in Grad SchoolOct 12, 2015 9:30 am1922 views Graduate school can sometimes feel like running on a hamster wheel, like you’re in constant motion but not really sure that you’re getting anywhere. There are a ton of one-week deadlines (I have to write that literature review by Tuesday!) and a few five-year deadlines (I’ll defend my dissertation!), but bridging the gaps between those can be tough. And that makes it hard to figure out whether you’re headed in the right direction. Planning can help you build those bridges effectively, preparing you to make choices with your goals in mind so you don’t just keep spinning until you’re dizzy. So what makes a good plan? What will help you leave the wheel to the hamsters and make the most of grad school? Here are some approaches we recommend...Going on the Market? Time to Get Started on those ApplicationsJul 30, 2015 2:15 pm1393 views Back to school is almost back. Soon, it’ll be time to put away the sunscreen and dust off your research. Time to fold up that beach umbrella and pull out those freshly sharpened pencils. With the start of a new semester, you may find yourself busy to bursting with things to do—new classes to prep and new deadlines to meet—but now is also a great time to get ready for the academic job market.What Can I Do with a PhD in the Humanities?Oct 10, 2017 1:00 pm1294 views It’s well-known that academic jobs are in short supply for humanities PhD graduates right now, but the question ‘what can I do with a PhD in the humanities?’ should have less to do with a lack of academic positions than it should the sheer number of career possibilities. That was the focus of ‘What Can I Do with a PhD in the Humanities?’, a 5-week Graduate College workshop run by Derek Attig that I attended last Spring. The workshop covered advice and resources for finding jobs beyond academia, weekly conversations with humanities PhD graduates working in fields like public radio to environmental advocacy, and self-assessments of values and skills. The self-assessments were particularly illuminating, and they allowed each of us to approach the broader workshop questions with a focus on our own goals and interests.What We Learned at the Faculty Job Search RetreatAug 8, 2016 10:15 am1237 views On an especially hot and muggy day last month, nearly 250 graduate students and postdocs peeled themselves away from the bench, left the library, set aside their dissertations, and trekked over to the Illini Union for the Graduate College’s seventh annual Faculty Job Search Retreat. The retreat featured sessions on application documents of all kinds (cover letters! teaching philosophies! research statements!), helping attendees get ready to write excellent materials. But as it is every year, the highlight of the day was a panel of faculty members who offered a window into everyday life and hiring practices at their very different institutions. This year’s guests were: James Matthews, Associate Professor of French at Illinois Wesleyan University; Angela Glaros, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at Eastern Illinois University; and Jeremy Guest, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois. Since not all of you could attend this year, we thought we would share some highlights in the form of 3 tips from our panelists.... Grad School 101: Building Community in Graduate SchoolOct 18, 2018 4:30 pm1068 views By starting a graduate program at the University of Illinois, you have joined a large, vibrant community of people committed to exploring and understanding the world. You’re surrounded every day by tens of thousands of fascinating, dedicated, and creative people. Within such a large and dynamic community, though, it can sometimes be challenging to connect with others. You may be wondering how to find those connections and build relationships with people around you. Good news, though: everyone else is wondering the same thing.Grad School 101: The Faculty InterviewJan 14, 2016 2:30 pm1054 views There’s nothing quite like a faculty interview to get you tied into knots. The stakes are high, the formats can be awkward, and it’s not really like anything you’ve done before. So it’s easy to be scared, anxious, worried, nervous, apprehensive—or just plain super-freaked-out. And that’s normal. But it’s a good idea to be some other things, too. Here are some ideas...Where Are They Now? Mariela FernandezApr 18, 2017 10:45 am949 views Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?". Mariela Fernandez graduated from Illinois in 2015 with a PhD in Recreation, Sport and Tourism and a minor from the Latina/Latino Studies Program. Now, she works at Clemson University as an Assistant Professor. Her research examines why lack of access to park and recreation resources occurs in Latino communities, what the health implications of this are, and what strategies can be used to address the problem.Where Are They Now? Michael SantanaJun 19, 2017 2:15 pm848 views Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?". Michael Santana was the recipient of a Ford Predoctoral Fellowship from 2013 - 2016. He graduated from Illinois in 2016 with a PhD in Mathematics. Now, he is an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the Department of Mathematics at Grand Valley State University, which is located in Allendale, MI. In this capacity, he is a teacher, mentor, and advisor to the students at the university and an active member of his department, college, university, and the mathematics community.An Internship Can Help Change the Direction of Your CareerSep 20, 2016 4:30 pm772 views Should you do an internship in grad school? Kristin Divis says “Yes!” and once you hear her story, it’s easy to understand why. This summer, after graduating with a PhD in Psychology from Illinois, Divis started an exciting, full-time job at Sandia National Laboratories. Sandia is also, as it turns out, where she’d worked as an intern for several years while in grad school. I spoke with Divis earlier this year, shortly before she graduated and not long after she accepted that full-time offer. She wanted to share her reasons for doing an internship, what she learned, and why you should consider doing one, too. Here’s what she had to say...Where Are They Now? Hannah Chan-HartleyMar 3, 2017 3:30 pm573 views Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?". Hannah Chan-Hartley graduated with a PhD in Musicology from the University of Illinois in 2014. Now, she works as the Managing Editor and Musicologist at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In this capacity, she oversees the production of the TSO’s program books and other print publications such as the subscription brochure, which includes the creation, commission, editing, and proof-reading of content. She also works with graphic designers and printers to shape the look of these publications.Where Are They Now? Madeline MeyerJul 25, 2017 1:45 pm453 views Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?". Madeline Meyer graduated from the University of Illinois Professional Science Master's Program in December 2014 with a master’s degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition. Now, she works for Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) as a Regulatory Affairs Associate where she supports domestic life cycle management initiatives for the Infection Prevention business unit, including performing regulatory assessments and submitting new drug application supplements to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).Where Are They Now? Alison GoebelAug 15, 2017 3:45 pm423 views Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".What to Do Immediately After an InterviewNov 12, 2018 3:15 pm370 views You just finished a job interview. Moments ago, you hung up the phone or arrived back at your hotel room. What should you do next? In his most recent article for Inside Higher Ed, Derek Attig talks about things you can do in just 15 to 30 minutes to set yourself up for success in the next stages of the hiring process and beyond. This advice applies to any kind of job search -- whether in or outside academe.Grad School 101: Making Your Skills Make Sense Outside AcademiaMar 25, 2016 3:45 pm354 views I’ll start with the good news: as a graduate student, you have a ton of fascinating, impressive skills. You know how to do lots of different things, and you know how to learn even more of them. The bad news really isn’t so bad, just initially frustrating: many of those amazing skills you have aren’t always going to make a ton of sense to people outside your field, let alone outside of academia entirely. At least not at first. Does that mean those skills aren’t valuable outside academia? Absolutely not. It just means you have to be creative and translate them. By shifting how you think and talk about your skills, you can help potential employers see the links between what you've done and what they need—and make it easier for them to hire you. And you’ll also make it easier for yourself to discover and explore broad, interesting career options.Using Job Ads for Career ExplorationJul 31, 2018 12:00 pm254 views Reviewing advertisements of all sorts can help you identify appealing job types and sectors that you may never even have heard of, advises Derek Attig in this post originally published on Inside Higher Ed.Where Are They Now? Tori DavisJan 30, 2017 2:30 pm240 views Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?". Tori Davis graduated from the Illinois Professional Science Master’s Program in December 2015 with a master’s degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition. A month later, she started her career with AB InBev as a Group Manager in the Research Pilot Brewery. In this role, she supports the development of new products as well as the continuous improvement of AB InBev's current products and processes. Staying Organized During a Job SearchMar 26, 2019 10:15 pm27 views In his newest article on Inside Higher Education, Director of Career Services, Derek Attig, gives his tips for staying organized on the job search.