A PhD student at University of Cincinnati recently invited me to speak at an exciting program they have in the College of Arts and Sciences there. From what I understand, it's a course that's focused on Public Careers, which are contrasted with academic careers. Since there are so many more people completing graduate programs than are there are tenure-track faculty positions (or even stable, "career"-track academic jobs) students will be best prepared for life post-graduation if they are aware of and preparing for multiple career paths. I commend the faculty and administrators in this program for being responsible mentors, reckoning with the way the job landscape has changed, and proactively seeking ways to provide this practical knowledge to their students.
Since I am a gainfully employed PhD-holder, I guess I fit the bill as an expert who survived out there among the rest of society beyond the ivory tower (at least so far)! In terms of "public" careers, I currently work in a public-serving non-profit organization, of which the university is a member. And the students I shared with spanned the humanities and social sciences, just like my own academic career. There were MA and PhD students, some planning to pursue the professorial track and others already planning other careers.
Let me know if you'd be interested in a live or video rendition of the expanded presentation with anecdotes and pearls of off-the-cuff wisdom, and I will see what I can do.
Since I just finished a professional development course focused on building a strengths-based organization today, and I submitted my annual review earlier this week, the invitation to speak to the class was perfectly timed. All three activities coalesced for a supercharged week of reflection on what is challenging for me, what engages me the most, how I want to grow, and how I've taken opportunities to learn and applied the skills I gained in new arenas.
Taking my own advice from my presentation to the students to
keep records of your roles and responsibilities in all your different activities, and share the story of what you're doing
I figured this was a good prompt for me to re-launch my website with a new angle. Here it is:
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