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3 May 2016

Webinar: Using Your PhD to Build a Career

We asked the organizers of an annual online career conference to explain the event.

Here’s a report.

Beyond the Professoriate is a collaboration between Maren Wood and Jennifer Polk. They first met as MA student in the history department at Carleton University. After graduation, they each went on to complete PhDs, Jen at the University of Toronto, and Maren at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2014 they decide to team up to build a conference for PhDs interested in non-faculty careers. The conference, now in its third year, is held entirely online (no travel necessary!), and this year runs on May 7th and 14th.

We wanted to create a conference that combined the personal stories of PhDs with concrete advice about the job search process from career education professionals. And, we wanted it to be affordable and accessible, which is why it’s online/virtual.

Day 1, “Career Day” is designed to spark your imagination: on four panels, you’ll hear how 16 PhDs went beyond the professoriate. How does an historian become a consultant? What is it like to work in student services? How did these PhDs land their jobs, and what skills, developed in their graduate training, allow them to be successful in these new careers? Perhaps most importantly, you’ll hear that they are happy professionals, advancing in their careers, engaged in interesting work, and being paid a liveable wage!

Day 2, “Professional Development Day,” will help you learn the skills and techniques to succeed in your job search. The six panels are led by PhDs (and one ABD) who now work as career education professionals. Do you really need to be on LinkedIn (yes!). How do you build a network when all you know is academics? What is going through the mind of an employer when they’re looking for new talent?

We’ve received excellent feedback from attendees, like this comment from a participant at last year’s conference: “The Beyond the Professoriate conference helped me feel empowered about my job search. By the end of the conference, I’d learned not only how to identify the skills I developed in grad school, but how to communicate them to potential employers.”

We hope you’ll join us and/or recommend the conference to your students. (Interested faculty are welcomed, too). Through the end of April, we’re offering $10 off to those who made it to the end of this post! Use CAGSBP2016 when you register for the both days of the conference. If you want to buy tickets for students in your department or university, we offer group rates, which you can learn about on our website.