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Core Competencies


See All Core Competencies


Learn to:

  • enhance the range of your communication skills including writing, presentation and interpersonal abilities
  • communicate with impact
  • craft a personal narrative for your application materials
  • identify your audience and target your story, whether in a grant application or job interview

Explore Our Programming Focused on Storytelling:

    Humanists' Start-Up

    Attend this problem solving session with a community start-up. In Fall 2018, EyeSeeMe bookstore will share business challenges and invite graduate students to use their critical thinking and humanistic education to solve the challenges. Graduate students will persuade panelists that their idea is the best for a chance to work with the start-up to implement the solution.

      3 Minute Thesis (3MT)

      The 3MT is an academic competition that challenges PhD students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. 3MT celebrates the discoveries and innnovations made by research students and encourages you to communicate the importance of your research to the broader community. 

      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

      Tailoring Your Resumés and Cover Letters

      You hear that tailoring a resume to the job is critical. Did you know this step begins with deciphering the job ad? Use key words from the job description to show the hiring manager you have the capabilities and you’re the right candidate for the job.

      Attend this session to:

      • Decode job descriptions, a critical first step
      • Translate experiences (academic, co-curricular, and work-related) in ways that will communicate your skills in the job search application process
      • Craft targeted resumes and cover letters that respond to particular job applications
      • Practice telling your career narrative in application documents and LinkedIn

      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

      Communicating Your Research With the Public

      You may have mastered jargon from your field, but can you translate your research for: Lawmakers? Grant administrators? Twitter followers? Hiring managers?

      Attend this interactive learning session to:

      • Break down your research from the perspective of your audience
      • Explain the importance of communicating to audiences beyond the academy
      • Practice communicating your research in common language

      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

      Networking at a Conference

      Make the most of your academic conference. Conferences are a great place to share your research and make connections with colleagues in your field. Did you know it’s also a great place to find a potential postdoc adviser or meet potential industry employers?

      Attend this session to:

      • Define your career goals in advance of the conference
      • Outline an effective email to request a meeting with a potential adviser
      • Navigate the conference effectively as an introvert
      • Set strategies to mingle, make eye contact, and leave conversations gracefully
      • Learn etiquette for networking with food
      • Practice the business card exchange

      Prepping for Career Fairs

      Don’t let the thought of the Career Fair or SLAM freak you out! Get a few tips on how to work a career fair or SLAM, from researching employers ahead of time to presenting yourself to an employer. This session is hosted by WU Career Center.

      Social Media Profiles

      Learn to use different online platforms to make connections and look for a job – LinkedIn, Twitter, Research Gate, your personal webpage, blog, Github, Snapchat. What platform might you use to advance your research career and utilize in your job search?

      Attend this session to:

      • Identify your goal in using social media
      • Understand the benefits of using social media for networking
      • Set up your social media profile to advance your career goals
      • Practice using social media to search for jobs


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