Career development training for graduate coordinators - supplemental resources and activities

Graduate program coordinators often find themselves among the first people graduate students go to with a wide variety of questions, including concerns about career options. This presents an opportunity to meet the needs of our graduate students, by providing graduate coordinators with access to training on career development theory, practice, and resources.

In addition to this training, coordinators are encouraged to explore the following resources and activities:
  • Meet with an advisor in the career services office that serves your graduate students.  Ask questions about the types of services offered, if they meet individually with grad students and on what topics, if they host workshops or speakers for grad students, if grad students may attend their career or internship fairs, and if they have partnerships with corporations that may benefit to grad students' job searches
  • Conduct a survey of graduate students in your program to better understand their needs.  Ask questions about the types of careers they are considering, which career-related resources are most helpful to them both at the program level and campus-wide, and what types of additional support and services they need.

  • Review exit survey career outcomes for your program.  To find these, go to the Major Areas of Study page (, select your program, and scroll to the "Program Profile" section.
  • In addition to encouraging your graduate students to attend events in the "Beyond the Tenure Track" series hosted by the Graduate School and partners each fall and spring semesters, go to these events yourself to learn more about topics like writing resumes and cover letters, preparing for interviews, conducting a job search, Individual Development Plans, and more.  Look for similar workshops hosted by other units on campus or in the community.
  • Check out DiscoverPD (, a new tool from the Office of Professional Development in the Graduate School, aimed at helping UW-Madison graduate students advance their academic and professional goals.  Anyone with a netID can access DiscoverPD.  Start by reviewing the nine areas (or "facets") of professional development, then try out the self-assessment, and view a customized report of areas of strength and weakness. This report comes with recommendations to help develop within each facet.

  • Read up on the topic of career paths beyond the tenure track.  Here are some examples to get you started:
    • "So what are you going to do with that?":  Finding Careers Outside Academia, 3rd Edition - Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius
    • Put Your Science to Work: The Take-Charge Career Guide for Scientist - Peter S. Fiske.  
    • Alternative Careers in Science:  Leaving the Ivory Tower - edited by Cynthia Robbins-Roth. 
  • Review content of the Versatile PhD in detail, including sample application materials and various sectors and job types.

Keywords:career development training GSSS Seminar series supplemental resources activities   Doc ID:39839
Owner:Alissa E.Group:VCRGE and Graduate School
Created:2014-05-07 12:25 CSTUpdated:2017-05-23 06:41 CST
Sites:VCRGE and Graduate School
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