Summer suggestions for professional development, part 1

 April 21, 2014


It has been quite a year for graduate student career and professional development here at Duke. In her first full year in the newly-created position of Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development, Dr. Melissa Bostrom coordinated a range of programming for all research master’s and doctoral students in the newly launched Professional Development Series. In the fall semester alone there were 35 events in five series: the Academic Job Search, Communicating with the Media, Core Competencies, Ph.D. Career Paths, and Entrepreneurship. This spring, there were nearly two dozen more events sponsored by the Graduate School, in addition to the inaugural Emerging Leaders Institute (which was also recently featured here and here on our blog), the continued growth of the Certificate in College Teaching and the Preparing Future Faculty program, and the restructuring of the Bass Undergraduate Instructional fellowships. There are already exciting plans for next year’s professional development programming, too.

For now, though, as the spring semester is winding down, I want to highlight some professional development resources and opportunities that may be of interest to graduate students during the summer break – when things are a little slower around here. It’s just around the corner!

Humanities and Social Sciences Ph.D. students exploring non-faculty career options may be especially interested in “Beyond the Professoriate,” a two-day, online conference co-sponsored by Lilli Research Group and PhDtoLife. (You may recognize the name of Lilli Research Group because the founder, Maren Wood, visited Duke’s campus both last fall and this spring to share her research on career outcomes for history PhDs, part of a national study released by the American Historical Association. Dr. Wood is also a frequent contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

On Saturday, May 3 and Saturday, May 10, they will host ten panels and workshops on career options and professional development concerns for Ph.D.s in career transition. All events will be live-streamed, and participants will have the opportunity ask questions via live chat. You can learn more about the conference and register online through Lilli Group’s website.


Abbie Langston is a PhD candidate in the Graduate Program in Literature and an intern in the Office of Graduate Student Affairs.