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Career Development Boot Camp for Doctoral Humanists & Social Scientists

This summer, Northwestern’s Center for Civic Engagement, The Graduate Writing Place; Northwestern Career Advancement; Northwestern Libraries; Office of Fellowships; and Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching are partnering to provide an eight-week career bootcamp for humanities and social science PhD students exploring career options outside of the academic job market.   

The program is divided into two, four-week parts. Part Two: Structuring Your Job Search, will begin on Monday, July 27. Each session will be a virtual, 50-minute workshop beginning at 10:00 AM every Monday until August 17. The program conclude with a career diversity networking opportunity on Thursday, August 20 from 2:00 - 4:00 PM. You’ll find details on that event below.   

While students are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions, this series is designed to build upon itself and participants are encouraged to participate in as many workshops as they are able. You can register for each session through Northwestern’s career portal, Handshake (via Events>Doctoral Boot Camp Series).

Email Elysse Longiotti with any questions.  

PART TWO: Structuring Your Job Search

July 27 - Session 5: Role of Curiosity in Your Career Journey

Facilitators: Steve Adams, Librarian for The Graduate School (TGS), Communication Sciences and Disorders, Psychology, and Counseling
Most successful academics and professionals across disciplines and fields have navigated career uncertainty at one point or another. Resilience in the face of uncertainty can be difficult to manage. One research group asserts that “Curiosity can be commonly defined as the recognition, pursuit, and desire to explore novel, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous events.” This workshop will assist you in understanding the role curiosity plays in navigating career challenges and determining a path forward when plans and aspirations are endangered or derailed. Register here.

August 3 - Session 6: Developing Professional Relationships On and Off-line

Facilitator: Elysse Longiotti, Northwestern Career Advancement
Learn more about developing professional relationships, the role they play in career exploration, and effective ways to communicate professionally on and off-line. We'll spend some time reviewing Linkedin and alumni platforms and networks, in addition to drafting emails and developing questions together.  Participants will have access to facilitated writing groups the week of this session. Graduate Writing Fellows will provide guidance and space to work on drafting LinkedIn and networking content in small groups. Register here.

August 10 - Session 7: Best Practices in Resume Writing

Facilitator: Elysse Longiotti, Northwestern Career Advancement
Understand the difference between an academic CV and a resume for non-academic roles. Learn to reframe your experiences in terms of skills, and tailor documents to specific roles.  Participants will have access to facilitated writing groups the week of this session. Graduate Writing Fellows will provide guidance and space to work on drafting resume content in small groups. Register here.

August 17 - Session 8: Best Practices in Cover Letter Writing

Facilitator: Elysse Longiotti, Northwestern Career Advancement
Understand the difference between an academic cover letter and cover letters for non-academic roles. Learn how a cover letter supplements your resume in the application process, a general structure, and best practices for creating your professional narrative.  Participants will have access to facilitated writing groups the week of this session. Graduate Writing fellows will provide guidance and space to work on drafting cover letter content in small groups. Register here.

PhD to Professional: Exploring Career Diversity

Sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement

  • Date: Thursday, August 20
  • Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM 
  • Register here.

Join this panel and breakout conversations with doctoral alumni across a variety of professional fields – including advocacy, arts & culture, government, and development –  to hear about their journeys. This will be an opportunity to ask questions and gain a better understanding of a variety of fields, career pathways, and insight into the search process as PhD candidates from humanities and social science disciplines. Details on participating professionals will be provided to registrants closer to the date.  

This event is meant to be the conclusion to our Career Development Series. While participation in all of the sessions is not required to register for this event, you are encouraged to consider the preparatory workshops. 

PART ONE: Career Exploration as a PhD student  

June 29 - Session 1: Navigating Our Careers as Humanists and Social Scientists 

Led by Dr. Quinn-Brauner, this workshop will provide tools and facilitate conversation around how we can use the theories and methods we develop through humanistic study to work through tricky career development challenges. 

July 6 - Session 2: Skills and Values Assessment 

Facilitators: Tracie Thomas and Elysse Longiotti, Northwestern Career Advancement  
Whether you’re thinking about tenure track opportunities, a career in public humanities, or a myriad of other fields, you’ll need to target roles focused on your strengths, interests, and values. This session will help participants reframe and reflect on their scholarship, service, and teaching to help develop a professional narrative and they go into the job search.  

July 13 - Session 3: Reflection on Skills Development in Teaching & Research 

Facilitators: Kate Flom Derrick, Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching and Stephen Hill, Office of Fellowships 
During this session, participants will examine the skills they've developed as graduate students in teaching and research, and identify how they may transfer/translate to support careers outside academia. 

July 20 - Session 4: Job Search Resources and SMART Professional Goal Setting 

Facilitator: Elysse Longiotti, Northwestern Career Advancement  
This session will explore job search strategies and resources offered at Northwestern for a variety of career pathways. Participants will spend time focused on resources for humanists and social scientists, and provide a framework for establishing professional goals at every stage of their process.

Categories: Social Sciences