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TGS Seeking Higher Education Leadership Intern, Professional Development Programming

Created: March 12, 2015

The Graduate School (TGS) is welcoming applicants for the 2015-2016 Higher Education Leadership Internship position, which gives one doctoral student the opportunity to explore careers in university administration. The intern will work in a paid, nine-month position on significant projects; gain familiarity with administrative governance by participating in a range of leadership meetings; and receive mentoring from experienced higher education professionals that will build skills useful across many careers.

TGS seeks an outstanding doctoral student to assist with professional development programming (a strategic priority for TGS) and related special projects. The position runs from September 2015 through May 2016. The primary focus of the intern will be collaborating with select TGS staff and campus partners in the exploration, planning, and execution of a Professional Development Programming Series that will connect graduate students with TGS alumni and prepare students for a variety of careers. The intern will build off of the work of TGS’ current Higher Education Leadership Intern in linking current professional development opportunities to core competencies, enabling students to select appropriate programming at the right times in their careers. In particular, the intern will create alumni profiles so students can access real-life cases illustrating how others have taken advantage of existing opportunities with success.

The intern will work primarily with the Assistant Dean for Planning and Academic Resources in the execution of the specific duties highlighted below. This will be a highly collaborative position, and the intern will work in a team environment with other TGS staff (especially the Dean, the Director of Student Services, and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs) and campus partners. The intern will also have the opportunity to shadow TGS’ Associate Dean for Student Affairs, accompanying the Associate Dean on key institutional committee meetings on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses. As this might sometimes entail exposure to confidential and sensitive matters, confidentiality will be a requirement for the successful working of this internship program.

This position is six-seven hours per week and pays $6,500 for nine months.

Principal Duties:

  • Explore new professional development opportunities by consulting with relevant campus constituencies (including University Career Services, Graduate Student Associations, and partner schools/colleges) and peer institutions.
  • Develop project plans and communication strategies for a Professional Development Programming Series starting in winter 2016.
  • Pilot new programming, as appropriate, and provide associated project support. Consider learning objectives and program assessment.
  • Explore strategies for engaging TGS alumni in programming, for instance, mentoring and networking opportunities for current students.
  • Attend select institutional committee meetings as appropriate.
  • Assist with other related projects of the office, as needed and as time permits.


  • TGS doctoral student in years 1-6 in good academic standing.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills required, with the ability to work with a wide variety of personalities.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills, and attention to detail, required.
  • Strong research and writing skills required.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PPT, Excel) and social media tools required.
  • Demonstrated interest in graduate student professional development and higher education administration preferred.
  • Experience creating communications and published materials for the public preferred.
  • Experience planning programs and/or events preferred.
  • Past participation in relevant student organizations at Northwestern preferred.

How to Apply:

Interested doctoral students should send a CV (highlighting relevant skills and experiences) and a 1-2 page cover letter describing their interest in the position, how it fits in with their career plans, and their previous experience to Mearah Quinn-Brauner, Assistant Director, Student Career Advising, Northwestern Career Advancement at mearah@northwestern.edu by July 31, 2015. (An optional letter of support may also be included with the application materials.) Select candidates will be invited to interview with TGS in early August. The chosen candidate must provide written confirmation from his or her advisor confirming good academic standing and the ability to accommodate a nine-month commitment to the internship.

Faculty and Staff