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The Graduate Career Program Blog is Moving!

We are moving!  In an effort to limit the number of locations Notre Dame graduate students (and other Graduate Career Program blog followers) have to monitor in order to keep up with the resources and events going on at Notre Dame, we have decided to partner with the Graduate School Professional Development blog. The topics we will cover and the biweekly schedule of company spotlights will continue to be the same.  We will just have a different blog platform that will allow followers to easily find Career related material as well as the other Professional Development topics of research, teaching, and ethics.  Our goal is to make things more streamlined for our followers while at the same time providing a wide range of resources useful for Graduate Students.  See you at our new blog site!

Jody Peters and Ann Amico Moran

Great Postdoc Resource

The majority of Notre Dame’s graduate students go on to a postdocs after they finish.  If you are planning to pursue a postdoc or have already taken one, an excellent resource is The National Postdoc Association (NPA) which can be found at: http://www.nationalpostdoc.org/home

The NPA is a non-profit organization begun in 2003 that strives to provide national resources for postdocs.  Additionally, the NPA advocates for policies that promote positive experiences for postdocs and provides opportunities for postdocs to exchange information, collaborate, and network to connect with others within the postdoc community.

As you begin your search for that perfect postdoc make sure to look at the NPA’s website  (http://www.nationalpostdoc.org/graduate-students).  Resources include information about finding positions, important things to consider when looking for a postdoc advisor, overview of fellowship opportunities, and much more.

Once you obtain a postdoc position, the NPA has many resources regarding career development and planning, student loan information, information about tax issues, and family-friendly resources including a guide to pregnancy and maternity leave (http://www.nationalpostdoc.org/postdocs).

There is a wealth of information on the NPA’s website.  Make sure to take a look today!

For the Love of Teaching

If you LOVE to teach, then I would highly recommend you read a recent 2 part series posted in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Rob Jenkins.   These 2 articles give a very honest assessment of the pros and cons of teaching at community colleges where teaching is the main responsibility.  It was refreshing to hear Rob’s candor about community college positions.  In regards to the job market: approximately 40% of the teaching positions advertised are for 2-year institution positions.  Having a PhD can both help your chances of getting a position and hurt your chances.  Your teaching experience (TA vs developing your own course) is really going to count when applying to the 2-year institutions!  If you hope to move back into a four-year research institution, it is possible but not likely, and there are additional steps you will need to take to be able to market yourself.  Rob also provides info about a typical salary, workload, and getting tenure.  For anyone exploring what they can do with their masters or PhD and who love to teach, these two articles provide a candid assessment of teaching at a community college.

Part I:http://chronicle.com/article/What-Graduate-Students-Want-to/131600/

Part II: http://chronicle.com/article/What-Graduate-Students-Want-to/131903/

Rob Jenkins is a tenured associate professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College. To see more of his bio go to: http://www.robjenkins.com/bio

Company Spotlight: Smithsonian

The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex including the National Zoo.  There are 19 museums with the majority located in Washington, DC, a couple in New York City and the Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia. The 9 research centers range from centers focused on American art, astrophysical observation, conservation biology and tropical research, marine and environmental studies, museum conservation, institution archives and libraries.  The research centers are located at multiple locations along the east coast in addition to the Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

The Smithsonian has many positions that require advanced degrees.  For example, each of their curators have PhDs in a discipline related to the museums collections.  Advanced degrees are also highly desirable for individuals in conservator positions where individuals evaluate the condition of objects and treat or repair them to prevent deterioration.   Librarians typically have graduate degrees in the subject matter of the 20 different branches of the Smithsonian Libraries along with a masters in library science.  Scientific staff at the National Museum of Natural History and the many research centers have PhDs in programs relating to scientific research in the origin and nature of the universe, formation and evolution of earth and similar planets, ecology and biodiversity, human origins, diversity and cultural change, endangered species and captive breeding.

Learn more about careers at the Smithsonian at: http://www.sihr.si.edu/index.htm

The Importance of Publications

Brett Hillman from www.braintrack.com shared the following article by Brian Jenkins about making career goals.

Use Your Graduate Research to Help You Obtain a Job

In a competitive job market, academic accomplishments set you apart from hundreds, perhaps thousands, of applicants for a particular job. Publications take your resume to a higher level. Judy Friedler, principal of the resume-writing company CareerPro International, stated, “Including a list of published materials shows that you are considered an expert in your field.” She went on to say, “Even self-published content can demonstrate your excellent written and communication skills.”

Build a Stronger Personal Brand

Sherri Thomas, author of Career Smart: Five Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand, stated, “Your resume should definitely show that you have the required skills, education, and experience to perform the job successfully, but you can build a stronger personal brand by including additional information that shows something special about you that your competitors do not offer.” So what can you do? Publish your graduate research. Besides scholarly publications, consider writing your research in a way the general public can understand it and submit articles to mainstream magazines, newspapers, and websites.

Go beyond listing your publications on your resume – get testimonials. They add credibility to publications. Consider getting testimonials from your professors and other experts in the field.

Hiring managers realize past achievements typically predict future performance. They also realize achievers are self-starters, motivated, and valuable assets to a company. Hiring managers typically receive a large number of resumes for a particular job; accomplishments, such as publications, capture and retain their interest.

Publications Section

Properly showcase your publications in your resume. Don’t include them with your general academic information, because they may not be seen. Create a publications section in your resume. Include the print date and the significance of the publication. Details about what you’ve published capture and retain interest.

Placing Publications in a Resume

  • Use the citation format most acceptable in your field.
  • List publications in chronological order, with the most recent work first and the rest of the publications in descending order.
  • Include the complete title of the publication and the complete title of the article.
  • Include the issue and volume numbers of articles published in magazines or periodicals. After the title of the publication, show the name of the publication, the issue/volume numbers, page numbers and date of publication.
  • For articles that are accessible online, show the full Internet address.

Publishing helps grad students get postdoc or tenure-track faculty jobs. Publications also improve job prospects in fields outside of academia. Take advantage of your grad research. Rewrite it for the general public or for a particular audience and get it published. Besides mainstream media, the Internet has plenty of websites seeking fresh, interesting content.

Brian Jenkins writes about a variety of careers for BrainTrack,including those in computer programming.

Company Spotlight: IBM

IBM is a world wide leader creating and applying innovative technology to make the world work better.  IBM does more than just manufacture and sell computer hardware and software.  This Fortune 500 company also provides the infrastructure, commerce, data management, and security services to businesses in industries such as (but not limited to) aerospace, chemical and petroleum, banking, education, healthcare, government, and life sciences.

Leadership and employee development is important to IBM.

An exciting new leadership program in Africa, LEADAfrica, is currently being launched in Nigeria and Kenya in 2012 and has been successful in South Africa for a number of years.  LEADAfrica has been developed for graduates with high-potential to take leadership positions in Africa.  While the application process is closed for 2012, it is worth keeping this page bookmarked in order to apply to the program in the future.

According to an an interview for TOPGRADSCHOOL about leadership and development at IBM: “At graduate level, whether or not you are hired comes down to demonstrating that you possess the IBM foundation competencies: team-working, leadership, communication, analytical skills and so on,” says Sej Butler [IBM’s European Recruitment Manager]. “You can have someone who comes in through graduate entry with a history degree and compare them to someone who had done a three-year computer studies degree with a year out in industry, perhaps even with IBM, and who now has a masters in software development methodology. These two people would go through the same training in their first two years. They will be rotated round a number of different assignments, to find out what kinds of roles really suit them. This is then followed by two years or so working in a regular business area where training is related to the areas that they may ultimately want to develop into.”

Not only is IBM looking for graduate students with computer science and computer engineer degrees, they are looking for students with degrees in anthropology, psychology, mathematics, and many other degrees. The following is a list of the types of advanced degrees IBM is looking for in their different Business Units.

Company Spotlight: Epic

Epic is a privately owned company that has developed and implemented healthcare software since 1979.  The company has 3 offices, one in Verona Wisconsin (near Madison)which is their headquarters, another in the Netherlands, and a third in Dubai United Arab Emirates. Employees work in small interdisciplinary teams to complete challenging and rewarding projects in new technology, helping healthcare organizations change, and optimizing systems and processes.  Epic is growing quickly and looking to hire! Over 27 students from Notre Dame have been hired this year and that number continues to grow.  Visit their website to apply.

While Epic obviously needs people with technical skills to develop their software with degrees in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics or a related field, their staff is not limited to people with only these backgrounds. Other positions with applicants from any field include Technical Writers, Software Testers, Corporate Education, Problem Solver and many more!

To learn more about careers at Epic go to: http://careers.epic.com/

Upcoming Workshop: Establishing a Professional Online Presence

Notre Dame students: this workshop is one you’ve got to check out – there will be many great resources and suggestions!

Graduate students everywhere have or are creating online profiles, webpages, and blogs for professional use in networking, job hunting, and applications.  If you are looking for advice or considerations in developing your own professional online presence join us Thursday, April 26th 2012 from 2 – 4 pm, in the Notre Dame Room of LaFotune Hall.

The GSU TREC Committee will be joined by:

  • Don Schindler of AgencyND to discuss Personal Branding & Blogging
  • Ann Moran of Graduate Career Services to discuss Webpage Content Checklist & Public Posting Cautions
  • Kevin Zeise of ND Marketing to discuss Effective Use of and Cautions for Facebook, LinkedIn & Google+
  • Shari Hill of ND Webmaster to discuss eProfiles @ Notre Dame
  • Tim Flanagan of ND General Counsel to discuss Copyrights, Legalities and Other Issues

Light snacks and beverages will be provided.

You can pre-register here.

Networking, Again

I know. We’ve talked about networking before.  But it is such an important topic and one that many grad students are not comfortable with.  So we will talk about it today and will continue to come back to it in the future.

Think about networking as building relationships.  We do this all the time for our graduate research.  Networking is how we learn about a new research technique, get data to use in a meta-analysis, find a good conference to attend.  Now apply this to finding a company, industry, organization, or university that you want to work for.  Find out what kind of positions are available in order to determine where you would fit best.

As one Notre Dame student I worked with who recently got a job because of her networking said, “Networking has actually been rather fun and uplifting – not sleazy and awkward as I imagined it would be!”

Check out this Forbes article for 5 ways to network that you can incorporate into activities you are already doing and which may not be as intimidating as emailing or calling a contact.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/04/10/5-new-ways-to-network-that-you-wont-dread/

For more general information about the nuts and bolts of networking check out our website and the attached document for grad students: http://careercenter.nd.edu/for-graduate-students/networking/

Also, Notre Dame students can contact the Career Center to set up an appointment to meet with a counselor to get additional help networking!

Capitalize on Your Grad Experience to Get the Job!

The type of work you do during grad school influences the type of success in your career after graduation. Before grad school I wish someone would have stressed how important getting into a top research school and lab are, and just as important, to really explore the interests and goals of any potential advisors.  I ended up being extremely lucky!  I was accepted to a highly productive lab at Notre Dame with a very supportive advisor who wanted me to succeed in graduate school and beyond.  Unfortunately, I have talked to many people who have not been as lucky and who are lacking the advisor support that I took for granted.  If it is early in your grad career and you still have the opportunity to select an advisor, make sure to talk to their grad students, look at their student’s placement records, and determine if this person is someone who is going to support you in whatever job decisions you make in the future.

If you are in the later stages of grad school, with an advisor and dissertation topic in place, now is the time to be productive! Do things such as:

Attend conferences (and while you are there talk to people about their research!) Conferences are a great place to find collaborators or connect with a future post-doc advisor or academic colleagues;

1st author or co-author publications in high level peer reviewed journals;

Find collaborators in and outside of academia;

Network to let people know about your why your research is so great or find out how to make it better.

Everything you do in grad school is setting you up for that future job. Make sure you are getting the most out of your grad school so you are well positioned for any future career you want!

Explore the Professional Development Checklist to make sure you are on track and take a look at this great article from the Chronicle of Higher Education about more suggestions on how to make graduate school a means to a job, especially one in academia (http://chronicle.com/article/Graduate-School-Is-a-Means-to/131316/).