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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Summer 2014
(Email for availability)

Professional Development Peer:
Shawn Warner-Garcia

Diversity & Outreach Peer:
Hala Sun

Funding Peer:
Kyle Crocco

Writing Peer:
Ryan Dippre

The peers sometimes hold events or attend meetings during their regular office hours. To assure you connect with your Graduate Peer Advisor, we encourage you to contact them by email and make an appointment.

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Thursday
May302013

Grad Students Entering the Job Market Should Consider a Contingency Plan

As some of us enter the twilight of our tenure as graduate students here at UCSB, we also have to begin to prepare for our future career. Some of us have received career advice from different people, both inside and outside of academia. Some of it is good advice, other advice, not so good. Right? Many of us have also had to work our whole time as students (undergraduate and/or graduate), oftentimes holding more than one job at a time. However, have you ever thought about how these positions of employment could fit into your future career? If you haven't, then you should! You should remember that although you are not being paid a full-time salary, you are more than likely receiving top-notch professional development from your supervisor/s. Another way of seeing your employment is as a "contingency plan" for your future job or career hunt. Here's why: There are not enough academic positions available in today's job market, even for those with a Ph.D.

There was a recent article contributed to Inside Higher Education that addressed this very issue, although from a different perspective. The article is titled "Have a Contingency Plan." The author, Nate Kreuter, argues that advising would-be graduate students to apply to "only graduate or terminal degree programs if they can only envision themselves as professors" is bad advice. Kreuter suggests that if you can't picture yourself as only being a professor, then that's not a bad thing either. Although Kreuter is a professor, he also mentions that he could "envision himself doing many other things utilizing the skills and knowledge he acquired from graduate school." Kreuter also suggests that even when graduate students are certain they want to be career professors, they should still explore, and apply, for employment in non-academic fields related to their areas of study and/or interests. "I think that it is only prudent in these times of scarce academic employment for you to cultivate some viable alternatives prior to actually going into the academic job market."

Recently there has been a growing effort on campus to help promote non-academic career exploration and professional development  opportunities. The Career Services department does a wonderful job of facilitating workshops on searching and preparing for non-academic careers. Molly Steen, the graduate advisor for Career Services, can assist you with your non-academic career exploration.The Career Services staff can assist with developing or revising your resume or CV; perform a search for non-academic employment (discipline-specific or not), as well as prepare for job talks or interviews. The Career Services department is definitely one of our best resources as graduate students for fine-tuning our job search efforts.

Given today's state of employment for recent graduate students, I agree with Nate Kreuter that it is in our best interest to also explore employment opportunities outside of professorial appointments. I also believe that there should be more flexibility for employment for those with advanced or professional degrees. For example, we can get involved with or create our own business; for-profit or non-profit organization; and utilize your network of graduate peers, advocates and mentors to help develop and sustain your company. Of course, there are plenty of other ideas for entrepreneurial work as an academic; you just have to be open enough to explore the possibilities.

Tuesday
May282013

Workshop Shares How Grad Students Can Effectively ‘Advertise’ Themselves in Resumes, CVs

Molly Steen, Acting Associate Director of UCSB Career Services, discusses the importance of tailoring your resume or CV to the job opening. Credit: Patricia Marroquin

Think of a resume as a “targeted ad” that shows you off to an employer. But before you can place that “ad,” you need to know what skills, strengths, and experience you have to offer the employer; and you need to organize all of this information in a concise, well-written, attention-getting document. Molly Steen, Acting Associate Director of UCSB Career Services, shared with grad students how to go about doing just that in her recent workshop, “Resume/CV Writing for Graduate Students – with some job search tips, too.”

Steen focused on two areas of job searches: academia and the private sector. She went over what specific sections are included in a CV and on a resume; and how the two documents differ. She also offered tips on when and how to apply for positions in the two sectors.

“The CV [Curriculum Vitae] is far more comprehensive” than a resume, Steen told the grad students. “It really shows off who you are as an academic, a researcher, a teaching professional; and how you have been giving back to the community. It’s going to show off all of those things and in a more lengthy manner than a resume will do.”

The typical length of a CV for a recent grad student, she said, is three to five pages. In general, higher education institutions prefer CVs over resumes, said Steen. The exceptions, she said, are community colleges, which tend to want resumes from applicants for teaching positions.

The basic sections of a CV are: name and contact information; education; experience; and references. The name should be in larger size type and preferably boldfaced to stand out, Steen said. It isn’t necessary to include a street address or hometown address, she said, unless, for example, you would like to be hired at your hometown university, and you want to show that you still have ties there. What is necessary is an email address, a phone number, and if you have one, a website that shows your work.

Under Education, list the most recent degree first (Ph.D., master’s, then bachelor’s). List an associate’s degree, she said, only if you want to show a geographic connection or if you studied something at that level that demonstrates your knowledge of the specialty sought by the university. You may list the title of your dissertation and/or thesis, and if you studied abroad, include it here.

Under the Experience heading, list jobs in reverse chronological order. Tailor your CV to the job description, she advises. For example, if applying to an R1 institution, highlighting your work as an academic is key – your research, publications, presentations at conferences, teaching, and community involvement.

“You are going to want to keep your reader focused for as long as possible on your strongest qualifications for this particular position,” Steen said. Other areas to include are courses taught, guest lectures, student government leader positions, and off-campus volunteer work.

Because universities are looking for those three pillars (research, teaching, and community involvement), Steen suggests working on your qualifications in each of these areas while you are still in school.

Both the CV and the resume should be tailored for the specific position you are applying for, said Steen, who discouraged the use of a one-size-fits-all, general purpose resume and CV for all positions.

“The CV should change, at least slightly, for that position at Dartmouth compared to the position at Cal State Northridge,” Steen said by way of example. “Dartmouth is looking for different things, and you need to demonstrate that to them. That goes along with knowing what you have to offer.”

If you have some but not all of the qualifications for a particular position you are interested in, Steen said, go ahead and pursue the position. “Don’t think you have to match everything that’s on a job description in order to apply,” she said. “That is a sure way to not get a job.”

“As with any kind of job search, it’s incumbent upon you to know what you have to offer,” Steen said. “You need to understand yourself, what your expertise is, what your skills are, and so forth. And you need to get all of that information organized. So that when you go out to apply for different positions, you know what your strengths are going to be for that position as opposed to another position.”

Unlike the private sector, “there is definitely a season for academic hiring,” Steen said. She suggests that all documents be ready to go by Sept. 1 for jobs that start the following summer or fall.

These documents include letters of recommendation, which should be sought out well in advance of applying. Professors and advisors are very busy once the academic year starts, so she suggests being courteous and respectful of recommenders and giving them sufficient time to prepare letters for you. Advisors are also good sources for feedback on your job application materials, she added.

Other resources that can assist in a grad student’s career search, Associate Director Steen said, include websites such as job boards; and professional associations for conference and networking opportunities.

“Don’t forget LinkedIn,” Steen added. “It is a very valuable tool, both in academia and outside of academia.” Through LinkedIn, she said, students can meet and connect virtually with many others who have similar career and professional interests. Joining LinkedIn groups helps you network, she said, and those groups often post jobs as well.

Personal associations, Steen said, not only include friends and family members, but also professors and faculty members. “They know who is doing what out there in the field,” she said, and they may know others who are doing work similar to yours.

"As with any kind of job search, it’s incumbent upon you to know what you have to offer. You need to understand yourself, what your expertise is, what your skills are, and so forth. And you need to get all of that information organized. So that when you go out to apply for different positions, you know what your strengths are going to be for that position as opposed to another position."
-Molly Steen, Career Services

The minimum required application materials for academic positions, she said, are generally: a letter of application that includes a description of your research and teaching; a CV; samples of your work; and letters of recommendation.

If a job posting in academia asks for three letters of recommendation, you can and should send more, Steen suggested. Don’t go more than two additional letters beyond what is requested, she advised, and make sure they are good, strong letters. “Think about it in terms of being competitive with others who are applying,” she said.

Steen told the grad students about Career Services’ Reference Letter Service. Letters of recommendation from professors and employers are stored and then sent out when requested. There is a fee for this service. A similar service not related to the university is Interfolio.

If you are unsure what career path to follow, Steen suggests taking one or more fee-based career assessments. These tests aren’t for everybody, she said, but for some they can be very helpful in determining which fields you are best suited for based on your interests, personality style, values, and skills. Academic Peer Torrey Trust took some of these assessments; read our February 2013 career assessment GradPost article to learn how the experience went for her.

“There’s not a particular season for hiring outside of academia,” said Steen, who advised applying for positions a minimum of three months before you are ready to go to work, or even as early as six months ahead of time. As for where to look, “GauchoLink [accessed via a current UCSB NetID] is the main place for jobs for UCSB students.”

Steen said a resume is short, concise, and “really is an ad about you.” You have much more flexibility with a resume than you do with a CV. The resume’s purpose “is to get you an interview,” Steen said.

“One of the reasons that the resume needs to be so brief and focused,” she said, “is that outside of academia, far less time gets spent by the employer in reading them.” Years ago, research showed that employers devoted about 30 seconds to read one resume. But Steen said recent studies have shown that employers spend a mere eight to 10 seconds reading a resume. “So you need to clearly convey what your value is for this position.”

The rule of thumb on length, she said, is one page of resume for every 10 years of experience. “Your resume will grow with time.”

Steen suggests adding an Objective to your resume, which you would tailor for the specific position sought. The resume should then support that objective. Go over everything you’ve done (employment, volunteer work, projects, research) and find the best examples that demonstrate you can meet that objective.  Although some would say not to include an objective, “there is no single right way to do a resume,” Steen said. “It’s very subjective.” Including an objective won’t hurt, and might even help, she said.

Other items that can be listed on a resume are honors, activities, skills that are specifically requested, lab skills, foreign languages, and travel if travel is required or if it demonstrates cross-cultural sensibilities.

There are two types of resumes: the chronological format resume with jobs listed in reverse order; and the functional resume, which has all the same information as the chronological one but is packaged differently to focus on skills.

When describing skills and work experience, use strong verbs, Steen advised. Career Services’ manual has a page devoted to action words. Highlight your accomplishments, be specific, and quantify whenever possible, she said. Doing so “really helps to breathe life into what those accomplishments are.”

As for references, she said, there is no need to use valuable space to say “Available on request.” However, you should prepare a separate page of references. Give the employer this list, and let your recommenders know that they may be called. It’s also a good idea, Steen said, to give your recommenders a copy of your resume so they can refer to it when giving a recommendation for you. And always thank your references, she added.

“Don’t think you have to match everything that’s on a job description in order to apply. That is a sure way to not get a job.”
-Molly Steen, Career Services

For some positions, an employer will ask for a cover letter in addition to a resume. If the job posting says to send a resume, Steen advised sending both a resume and a cover letter.

“The cover letter gives you another opportunity to convey your value to the employer. It also gives you an opportunity to show off your writing ability.” Steen suggested a cover letter of no more than three paragraphs. Clearly state what you can do for that employer and why you want to work for that company. This requires some research, she said.

Steen encouraged grad students to stop by Career Services during drop-in hours for 10-minute resume critiques. Hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Career Resource Room. If a longer meeting is desired, students may make 30-minute appointments with career counselors. Steen also has drop-in hours specifically for grad students: Tuesdays from 1 to 2 p.m.; and Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon.

Grad students are welcome to pick up a free copy of the Career Manual at the Career Services Center (Building 599). In it are sections for Graduate Students (with a sample curriculum vitae); Job Search Tools (including sample resumes and cover letters); and Job Search Strategies (including networking, online searches, and Career Fair success).

Some final words of advice from Steen: Be positive, be persistent, don’t embellish, and always be truthful and accurate.

RESOURCES FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

UCSB Career Services, 805-893-4412

Graduate Student section of Career Services website

LinkedIn

Career Services’ Reference Letter Service

UCSB Career Services’ Career Manual (available for free at Career Services)

Interfolio (higher education credential management)

GauchoLink (UCSB's official site for jobs, internships, and on-campus interviews)

Tuesday
May212013

The Tenure-Track Job Search: Start Building Your CV Now!

Female shaking handsSource: Microsoft OfficeIn The Chronicle of Higher Education's article, "The Long Odds of the Faculty Job Search," Audrey Williams June paints a grim picture for doctoral students interested in pursuing tenure-track positions. With some tenure-track position openings receiving up to 600 applications, colleagues, advisors and advisees, classmates, and the public at-large all compete for one job.

June's article reviews the qualifications of 117 applicants for a junior faculty position in creative writing at Ohio University. Many of the applicants had published books, presented at highly esteemed conferences, and designed and taught multiple courses. In this strong pool of applicants, 12 individuals made the first cut. According to June, having a proven track record of teaching multiple genres to both undergraduate and graduate students and a strong writing sample were key determining factors that helped the 12 applicants make it to the second round. In the end, an assistant professor from another university was hired for the position.

So, what does this mean for graduate students? We've got our work cut out for us when we go on the job market!

If you are planning on pursuing a faculty position, start building your CV early in your graduate school career—write grant and fellowship proposals, apply to present at conferences, submit many articles for publication, teach or TA for multiple courses, and take advantage of Instructional Development's workshops and programs to improve your teaching skills.

When you start your job search, apply to as many jobs as you can. It's better to cast a wide net and to get a job that may not be your first choice rather than to apply to only a few jobs that you would really like to pursue.

Monday
May202013

Having the Talk with Your Advisor: Pursuing an Alternative Career Path

Inside Higher Ed logoAlmost every day, I waver back and forth between pursuing a faculty position and pursuing a non-academic position (e.g., Student Affairs, Instructional Design, Non-Profit Organization). It doesn't help that I'm in the middle of coding over 10,000 lines of data for my dissertation and the realization that this is only my first "pass" through the data (e.g., I will be combing through it multiple times) often sends me in search of job postings outside of academia. 

So, when I read the article, "Having 'The Talk'," I was surprised to learn how advisors may react negatively if you tell them that you are pursuing a non-academic position. I thought this was a graduate school myth. However, the article brings up some important points to consider. While there is nothing wrong with pursuing a position outside of academia, I think this article is a helpful read for understanding the faculty advisor's point of view. The article also reminds you to think about whether your faculty advisor will be a good job reference if they respond negatively to you pursuing an alternative career path.

If you plan on pursuing a non-academic job or if the thought has ever crossed your mind, take a few moments and browse through the article: http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2013/04/01/essay-telling-your-dissertation-chair-you-may-not-want-go-academe

Friday
May102013

Tool for Higher Education Job Seekers

HERC Smartbrief logo

If you are interested in pursuing a career in higher education (e.g., faculty, dean, administrator), then check out the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) Jobseeker Smartbrief. If you subscribe to the Smartbrief, you will receive a daily e-mail that highlights the latest news related to finding, negotiating, and working in jobs in higher education.

Here are some of the helpful articles from the Smartbrief:

Job Search:

Job Interviews:

Job Negotiations:

Starting a New Job:

Friday
May102013

Finding a Job in the Net Generation

Google search screenshotJob search advice websites and various news outlets have been buzzing recently about the importance of using the Internet to stand out in a job search. Employers are increasingly more likely to Google your name or ask for a digital resume. Browse through the collection of articles listed below to learn more about how you can find a job using social media and web 2.0 tools.

Social Media

e-Portfolios

Building a Digital Reputation (GradPost Articles)

Wednesday
May012013

Apply by May 10 -- UC Davis Graduate Diversity Officer Position Vacancies

A minimum of a master’s degree is required, although candidates with other advanced degrees are especially encouraged to apply.UC Davis' Office of Graduate Studies has opened a call for applications for two Graduate Diversity Officers to support recruitment and retention efforts:

Reporting to the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Diversity Officers are responsible for providing overall direction and implementation of a student recruitment and retention plan for students whose backgrounds enhance the diversity of graduate education.

The role of the Graduate Diversity Officer is to increase the presence and the academic success of a more diverse population of graduate students in targeted fields, including first generation students, underrepresented women and minority students, students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, students of color and students with disabilities who apply, are admitted to and complete masters and doctoral degrees. In support of achieving this goal, the Graduate Diversity Officers provide significant academic input as Managers of the Graduate Diversity Program and work to achieve the goals of the Program through individual but coordinated efforts of recruitment, admission advising, and support of admitted students, as well as development of institutional educational programs that contribute to a more welcoming and supportive campus culture for a diverse graduate student population.

The Graduate Diversity Officers interact closely with deans, graduate program chairs, faculty, administrators, staff, and with other diversity coordinators to foster diversity and support the overall mission of the University and its Principles of Community.

A minimum of a master’s degree is required, although candidates with other advanced degrees are especially encouraged to apply.

Position descriptions and application information may be found at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/about/job-openings.html

Application Closing Date: Friday May 10, 5 p.m.

Questions and applications should be addressed to Adrienne Wonhof at aiwonhof@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-8773.

Wednesday
Apr242013

List of Faculty Salaries From Over 1,000 Colleges and Universities

Faculty Salary Table: Columbia UniversityAre you currently interviewing for a faculty position? Interested in learning about how much faculty make at select colleges or universities?

In the faculty section of The Chronicle of Higher Education, you can find an interactive Faculty Salary table that lists the average salary for full professors, assistant professors, associate professors, and instructors at over 1,000 colleges and universities. You can click on individual rows to see how the college or university's faculty salaries stack up against other institutions.

This can be a helpful tool to use when applying to faculty positions and negotiating your first salary.

Tuesday
Apr232013

Apply to Be the Graduate Initiatives Intern

The UCSB Office of Student Life (OSL) is hiring interns for the 2013-14 academic year. Student Life Interns work collaboratively in support of OSL programs, including Campus Organizations, Fraternities & Sororities, and Leadership Development, as well as First-Year & Graduate Initiatives. Interns will be assigned emphases based on their interests and expertise. Student Life Interns serve as liaisons to the student community and assist in the development of effective programs, policies, and procedures.

Specific duties include:

  • Assist with program delivery, including workshops, banquets, campaigns, conferences, and meetings
  • Assist with marketing of programs and services, including print, digital, and worth-of-mouth formats
  • Assist with office administration, including email communication, telephone calls, data entry and maintenance, filing, and organizing
  • Contribute to major writing projects, such as procedure manuals and website content
  • Attend bi-weekly team meetings and meet as needed with supervisor
  • Attend campus meetings and serve on campus committees

Internship Dates

August 5, 2013 – June 13, 2014 (Summer 2013 Session B – Spring 2014)

Applicants must be available to attend training beginning August 5 and then work for the duration of the summer. The exact hours of training will be coordinated among the selected interns and the professional staff.

General Information

  • Work an average of 10 hours per week – standard/starting pay rate is $10 per hour ($15 per hour for graduate students)
  • Appointments are limited to four quarters, including summers; incumbents must be registered students
  • Interns with excellent performance records may be invited to a second-year appointment
  • All positions require occasional night, evening, weekend, and holiday work
  • All positions include special projects and duties as assigned

Desired Qualifications

  • Knowledge of/experience in at least one area of Student Life (Campus Organizations; Fraternities & Sororities; Leadership Development; First-Year Programs; Graduate Programs)
  • Excellent role model to other students/student leaders
  • Interest in career in higher education and student affairs
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher (or demonstrated commitment to academic achievement)
  • Strong communication and organization skills; extremely reliable, detail-oriented, and self-motivated
  • Fond of working in a team environment; able to work well with others under pressure
  • Computer skills (OSL uses Windows, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Creative Suite)

Click here for more information. Applications due Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday
Apr222013

Recovery Peer Internship Available

The Recovery* Program at UCSB will provide an opportunity for a UCSB student in recovery from substance use to provide mentoring to other students in recovery and to work with Alcohol & Drug Program (ADP) Staff to continue the development of a the Gauchos for Recovery program for recovering students. 

Recovery Peer Interns will have the opportunity to serve the UCSB recovering community and help to develop a program that will have lasting impact. The position will also provide interns with skills in marketing and outreach, program development, qualitative research, and basic counseling health promotion skills.

Responsibilities include:

  • Help ADP staff to further develop and implement the Gauchos for Recovery program using evidence-based models
  • Outreach to other recovering students and students considering recovery, utilizing both traditional and creative approaches
  • Serve as a supportive mentor to students considering or in early recovery, connect them with campus and community resources
  • Assist with the development of the program website and brochures (includes all aspects such as text, formatting, layout/design, etc.)
  • Conduct focus groups or field research in the process of program development
  • Attend weekly collegiate recovery program meetings
  • Assist ADP staff in planning of weekly meetings
  • Assist with additional projects associated with any research projects, grants or gifts related to the program
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Qualifications desired:

  • At least 1 year of continuous sobriety (abstinence from alcohol and all other non-prescribed drugs). This may be negotiable if the applicant can demonstrate a strong commitment to long-term sobriety.
  • Active participation in a 12-step recovery program
  • Ability to be an effective role model for recovering students
  • Ability to make public presentations
  • Must be a UCSB student
  • $10/hour for undergraduate student; $15/hour for graduate student
  • Approximately 10 hours per week
  • Desired 1 year commitment (September 2013 to June 2014)

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Angie Bryan, MFTI at bryan-a@sa.ucsb.edu by May 8, 2013.

*Our working definition of Recovery: Recovery from substance dependence is a voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, personal wellness, and citizenship.

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