This semester we’ve been nothing if not practical over here at Gradifying, with September being dedicated to a series on professional development, October focused on grant writing and career events, and November spent on the actual application phase of job seeking. Today I’m going to offer an editorial summary of our efforts since the new team took over in July before we wrap up the year with each of our reflections on what we’ve learned from this semester and what we’re looking forward to in the New Year. After that, we’ll be on a hiatus for a couple weeks till the Winter semester gears up in January.
What would Atif call it? I consulted Mr. Epidemiology – it’s a “bottle post”!
In July we learned how to use the principles of universal design in our teaching and research presentations. Amanda introduced us to Queen’s new Accessibility Hub, the university’s central online resource for accessibility where you can chat with other educators, students, and staff to answer any of your accessibility questions. Jeremy explored the physical accessibility of campus, offering guides to navigating the built environment, while Dustin interviewed the talented and incisive Lisa Figge, a PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies whose research-creation deals with her experiences living with a disability.
Between August’s series on finding your way in a new program, city, or year, and September’s professional development series, was Rana Pishva’s guest post on how writing your dissertation lakeside can push your writing ahead by leaps and bounds.
Once into September, I gave a run-down on the resource fair; Amanda expanded your horizons with a post on free workshops on communication and interpersonal skills, management and leadership skills, knowledge transfer, ethics and civic responsibility, and career development; you got two posts about another free training suite for professional “soft skills” at MyGradSkills.ca, including one about the non-academic work search; and Dustin closed out the month reflecting on where the rubber hits the road in that ambiguous buzzword “networking.”
October advised you of the grant application cycles you should be aware of. If you’re curious about what Career Week at Queen’s has to offer, then see Amanda’s post on this year’s iteration, the biggest and best yet, and Jeremy’s review of the closing session on “The Employable You.” I explained what you need to know as someone seeking academic employment in order that the end of your degree doesn’t start looking like the edge of a cliff. Finally, from his position in a professional program, Dustin described what a clinical internship takes.
In November, I wrestled with a few items of conflicting advice in writing the academic job letter, while Amanda prepped you for your dream interview. Jeremy helped you with a personal brand (ouch, hot) and broke down what it means to advertise your expertise. Dustin filled in the gaps with a grab-bag of tips for the job hunter, prime among them the analogy that the ironically ambiguous injunction to “communicate clearly” can be cleared up by “just think[ing] of all of the undergrads that you have TA’d who come to you with questions/comments/complaints, but have not clearly formulated what it is exactly that they’d like to say.”
Well that’s our season so far, folks. Remember that you’re always welcome to pitch a guest post or to share your thoughts on any of our content. We’d love to hear more from you in the comments section below, or by email at email@example.com