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Core Competencies

Reflection & Resilience

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Learn to:

  • engage in reflective activities to assess and explore career options and in goal setting strategies
  • create plans to balance personal and professional goals
  • track and revise progress on plans
  • practice viewing failures as opportunities to learn and grow

Explore Our Programming Focused on Reflection & Resilience

Navigating Your PhD: An Introduction to Career Development

Attend this information session to learn about the WUSTL resources available to support you as you prepare for a career while progressing toward your PhD. Whether you are just getting started, exploring your career options, developing professional skills to succeed in your career, or preparing for the job market, there is something for you.

Identifying Your Transferable Skills

How does your graduate education translate into skills that are valued by an employer beyond academia? As a graduate student or postdoctoral scholar, you have honed your ability to find information, communicate your research with academic and lay audiences, manage projects, teach complex ideas, mentor undergraduate students, and work with diverse individuals. These are examples of transferable skills that you can communicate in your application materials or during an interview.

Attend this session to:

  • Identify your transferable skills
  • Communicate the value of these capacities in application materials and interviews
  • Set a strategy for developing the skills to advance your career
  • Learn about resources online and on-campus to support your skill development

LinkedIn For Job [Re]Search

LinkedIn can be a valuable resource to research career options, make connections, and search for a job.

Attend this interactive session to:

  • Learn the benefits of connecting and networking through LinkedIn
  • Develop strategies for using social media for the job search
  • Set up or update your LinkedIn profile to advance your career goals

Interviewing and Acing Common Questions

The interview is a chance to share your professional experience, skills, and why you’d be a good fit for the organization. Interviewing is more than answering the questions well, and includes showing you’d be a good team member, looking your best, and following up with the employer.

Attend this interactive session to:

  • Identify stages of the interview and how to navigate each stage
  • Prepare for different interview formats – phone, Skype or in-person
  • Answer the common questions such as “Tell me about yourself” and “Why are you leaving academia?”
  • Practice telling your personal and professional stories using the STAR technique

How to Fail Better

Studies show that graduate students who have grit and growth mindset are most likely to succeed. According to researcher Angela Duckworth, grit is defined as perseverance and passion for long term goals. Individuals with a growth mindset don’t see failure as a sign of unintelligence, but rather a springboard to overcome challenges, as described by researcher Carol Dweck.

Attend this session to:

  • Understand the research behind the concept of growth mindset
  • Hear stories of PhDs who have failed better, what they’ve learned, and their new career paths
  • Develop strategies to work through failed projects and rejections

Career Exploration: Identifying Interests, Skills, Values

The first step of career exploration is identifying the types of tasks you are good at and enjoy doing, and the types of work environments in which you thrive. This session will introduce you to the process of reflecting on, identifying, and prioritizing your skills, interests and values as it relates to finding a career that fits you.

Attend this session to:

  • Define your skills and interests and how to use skills and interests, specifically, to explore career paths using LinkedIn
  • Identify your values and reflect on the importance of values in job satisfaction
  • Discuss how to reconcile discrepancies in a careers of interest (a common ex: I really enjoy teaching and also enjoy making a high figure salary)
  • Outline and prioritize your career exploration plans

Reading Group: "So What Are You Going To Do With That?"

Host a new reading group to explore careers in the Humanities & Social Sciences.

What can you do with a humanities or social sciences PhD in a changing market? Drawn together by initiatives that center on reconceptualizing the humanities and social sciences PhD, this group will meet twice a month to discuss Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius’s So What Are You Going to Do With That?: A Guide for M.A.’s and Ph.D’s Seeking Careers Outside the Academy. The group will discuss work both inside and outside academia, and everything in between.



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