I am wrapping up my second year as DGS in my department. Over the last couple years I’ve made some small, but significant changes in our grad program and I’m finally beginning to see the results. Now that I’ve found my sea legs (just in time for my term to end next summer), I’m ready to tackle something new: improving our support for students on the market.
I think back to the limited formalized resources for students on the market in my grad program, but I also remember the rich informal support of friends who were going through it with me, others who had been there, and an involved advisor and other faculty mentors who not only guided me through the process but supported me through the highs and lows. Until there is a larger cultural shift in my current department (and, in part, to encourage such a shift) we need to take a more formalized approach. With that in mind, are there other things that we, as a department, can do to help these students?
At this point, we have a collection of example materials from recent grads and hires and I have been on the lookout for job ads to pass along. We’ve also created a series of job market gatherings, meeting to talk about issues our students have faced on the market, the basics of applying and various online resources, and the elevator pitch (for materials and in-person interactions). The students, I’ve heard, have organized a job market support group.
What are additional topics for these regular gatherings of students on the market? Things that your department does/did or that you wish they would/had? Friendly wisdom or advice might you impart? In other words, what can faculty and departments do to make the whole process a little less awful?