Using the Summer to Your Advantage

Summer is a great time to explore opportunities for Professional Development. A recent article on The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests the following ways you can develop over the summer:

  1. Identify grants and fellowships appropriate to your career stage and your research interests – try using the Graduate Fellowships Database and Pivot. Mark deadlines on your calendar and begin drafting your proposals. Make an appointment with the Associate Program Director of Grants and Fellowships.
  2. Read widely in your field. Ask faculty for journal recommendations and subscribe to the table of contents for the most important journals related to your work. Identify journals that you should strive to publish with in the coming years.
  3. Set up a group of students that want to work towards a common goal – whether it’s a reading group, a presentation skills group, or a dissertation writing group, a built-in network that keeps each other accountable and gives feedback is invaluable.
  4. Explore different career avenues. Complete informational interviews with people in a number of different fields that interest you. Get connected with the alumni organizations here at Notre Dame and your undergraduate institution.
  5. Find opportunities to gain teaching experience outside the university. Volunteer with a local museum, institute, or school. Think creatively about ways you can share your knowledge and skills with the public.
  6. Prepare (or polish) your job search materials: CV/resume, cover letter, dissertation abstract, teaching portfolio, etc. Get in touch with the Career Center and the Kaneb Center for advice.

There’s still plenty of summer left – use it to explore the Professional Development checklist!

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