Career Support

The Graduate Center Supports Your Career Development Needs

We recognize your career goals are as unique and individualized as you are. We do our best to ensure every graduate student and postdoctoral scholar receives support that will help them achieve their long-term career goals. On this page you will find information and resources to help you accomplish many of the tasks associated with a successful job or internship search. Remember, you are not alone in your career endeavors.

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If you are faculty or staff that supports career development for graduate students or postdoctoral scholars, please do not hesitate to contact Joel Muraco for a consultation focused on how the Graduate Center can help you achieve your specific objectives. 

Career Counseling Appointment

You have a dedicated career support team within the Graduate Center ready to meet with you whenever you need. During a 1-hour 1:1 appointment, you receive support tailored to your specific goals and objectives and leave with ideas and strategies for moving forward, a timeline to work within, and resources beyond what exists on this page.

To schedule your 1:1 appointment, simply email Ryan Sermon or Joel Muraco

Ryan Sermon

Ryan Sermon, M.A.
G.A. Career Counselor
rsermon@email.arizona.edu

During one-on-one appointments with Ryan, you can discuss a range of professional development topics including career resources, networking, interviewing, and LinkedIn to name a few. Ryan is currently a Ph.D. student in Higher Education, focusing on college access, equity, and sociology. His experience in helping others with their career development stems from serving as a Career Development Specialist with AmeriCorps during his first term of service and as a Career Success and Connected Learning Coordinator with the Pima County Public Library during his second term. Most recently, he brings his experience as a Career Trainer and Employment Facilitator working with the Department of Labor's Veteran's Employment and Training Services Transition Assistance Program, where he coached separating and retiring military personnel on job search strategies.

Joel Muraco

Joel Muraco, Ph.D. 
Ph.D. Career Counselor
Assistant Professor of Practice
muraco@email.arizona.edu

Joel works with and develops professional development programming for doctoral level graduate students and postdoctoral scholars looking to transition into industry, government, business, and non-profit employment sectors. He is available to assist with identifying opportunities, conducting searches, networking, drafting application materials, and interviewing. Joel is a University of Arizona alumnus having completed his Doctorate in Family Studies and Human Development from the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences. Joel's previous experiences include two years at the University of Arizona in Student Engagement and Career Development as a Career Educator, and three years at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay as an Assistant Professor of Human Development.

Graduate students also have the option of using Handshake to schedule a career advising appointment: 

Scheduling an appointment using Handshake
[Clicking the image takes you directly to the last step, after you login.]

Career Support Programs

Career Forward Sprint: Beyond The Academy

For graduate students and postdoctoral scholars thinking about careers outside the academy. This free, fully online (D2L) program teaches strategies to help you successfully navigate your career beyond the academy, while presenting your most professional self. The 1-month cohort experience covers:

1) Career research and discovery
2) Building your network and your professional self
3) Developing your application materials
4) Preparing for and practicing interviews

In typical Sprint fashion, recommended daily tasks help ensure you keep moving forward! Take a look at the Career Forward Sprint Syllabus for more detailed information about the Sprint experience. 

If you have questions or want to reserve your spot, please email Joel Muraco or Ryan SermonA new cohort begins the first Monday of every month. 

Career Fair Prep Program

Career PrepTwice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, the University of Arizona facilitates a multi-day career fair that brings together employers who are actively recruiting our talented students: Career Days. While it is true these employers may not be readily recruiting for roles requiring an advanced degree, you may still find opportunities of interest. If nothing else, Career Days offers you the opportunity to begin building relationships with potential employers of interest. 

This free and fully online program for graduate students launches one month before each of the career fairs - in August for fall semester and January for spring semester - and provides information, guidance, and resources on: 

  • Using Handshake to research employers and their opportunities
  • Crafting a self-introduction and talking points to make a great first impression
  • Preparing application materials if you find opportunities of interest
  • Maximizing your interactions with employers day-of 
  • Continuing to build relationships after the event

Additionally, participants receive priority appointment scheduling with your career support team. This means you can schedule a 30-minute 1:1 career counseling appointment the same day (as available) to help you prepare for the career fair. 

If you have questions or want to reserve your spot, please email Joel Muraco or Ryan Sermon.

Career Resources

Career related resources curated or created by your career support team within the Graduate Center

Goal Setting

Achieving Your Career Goals: Setting goals helps us stay focused and motivated. For your long-term career goals, identify long-term goals and set smaller goals to complete along the way.

Career Exploration and Assessments

ImaginePhD: ImaginePhD is a free online career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

myIDP: myIDP is a unique, web-based career-planning tool tailored to meet the needs of PhD students and postdocs in the sciences.

InterSECT Job Simulations: InterSECT is an online platform that allows PhD-level scientists and humanists, regardless of professional stage, to explore future career options. 

Career Talks: Career Talks provides video recorded conversations with PhDs who successfully pursued careers in industy, as well as career experts, and other professionals with interesting personal stories and insights about the job market. 

Job Search Strategies For International Candidates: Useful strategies and important considerations for internatinoal candidates as they conduct a U.S. job search. 

Video: Searching for Jobs on LinkedIn: This 16-minute walk through shows you how to use LinkedIn to find relevant opportunities. 

Video: Top 5 Career Assessments: This brief video covers the top 5 career assessments we in the Graduate Center recommend you check out! Career Assessments can provide useful insights as well as identify specific careers you would most enjoy. This is a great place to start if unsure about what careers you might want to consider. The video provides information on: (1) Big Five Personality, (2) O*Net's Interest Profiler, (3) 16Personalities, (4) CareerExplorer, and (5) CareerOneStop

Video: Identifying Opportunities Outside The Academy: A "how-to" for learning about opportunities you may be interested in, or a good fit for. From assessments to conversations and using LinkedIn to your advantage - there are likely a number of opportunities for you outside the academy.

Skill Development

LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Premium, which you get free for the first month, gives you access to LinkedIn Learning which includes 15,000+ courses for every step of your career. Chances are good you'll find some useful courses releavnt to your field. Within LinkedIn Learning, "Learning Paths" are especially helpful at walking users through a series of courses and awarding a certificate at the end. 

LeetCode: For coders and those who need knoweldge of coding languages and platforms. LeetCode allows you to build or refine your coding skills, and includes resources for preparing for technical interveiws. 

Branding and Networking

Video: Branding Yourself For Industry Positions: It's important we effectively communicate how our skills and experiences align with what employers are looking for in candidates. Learn strategies for identifying what it is employers want, and how to market your skills and experiences in ways that will resonate with employers. 

Deciphering Job Descriptions: As you search for and review potential internship and job opportunities, it can sometimes be challenging to make sense of what you're reading. This quick guide is meant to help you organize the information you find in a job description so that you can make informed decisions and brand yourself appropriately.

LinkedIn Profile Checklist: This list will help you craft an engaging professional profile. 

Creating Your Self-Introduction: It's your job to communicate who you are and what you have to offer to as diverse an audience as possible. When creating your self-introduction, the most important thing to remember is that it is meant for employers, so focus on communicating what's most relevant for them to know and leave the rest out.

Networking on LinkedIn: This list guides you through making the most of connections on LinkedIn. 

Resumes and Cover Letters

Video: Creating and Tailoring Industry Appropriate Application Materials: Your application materials need to clearly communicate how you are a good fit for the role to which you are applying. Rarely will a CV be your document of choice when applying to industry roles. Learn strategies, tips, and tricks for creating materials that will get you interviews. 

APR Method for Resumes: Often, you'll use bulleted lists in your resume to describe experiences and skills. These bullets are known as accomplishment statements. When writing accomplishment statements, it is important to both explain what the task required and to highlight your successes. The APR Method helps you create effective accomplishment statements. 

CV to Resume Conversion Guide: CVs and resumes aren't the same, and it can be difficult to take a long CV and convert it to a standard-length resume. This guide from Yale can help you through that conversion. 

Resumes and Cover Letters for PhD Students: Harvard's guide to resumes and cover letters contains examples and guidelines to best convey your expertise and experience. 

Cover Letter Checklist: Make sure your cover letters adhere to these guidelines. 

Interviewing

Video: Maximizing Your Interview Experience: Brief 10-minute video covering important things for you to consider and be aware of as you prepare for an interview. 

Video: Preparing For And Acing Industry Interviews: The best way to improve at interviewing is to prepare and practice. Thankfully, there are many resources and tools available to help you do both. To help you increase your chances of receiving an offer, learn how best to prepare and practice for interviews.

Interview Guidelines: Use these guidelines to prepare for the interview process. Remember, in-person career counseling sessions are available for interview preparation and practice as well.  

Online Practice Interviewing - When preparing for a job interview, it's not enough to only read advice - you need to put that advice into practice! That's why Big Interview isn't just a training course. You'll also get hands-on practice with mock interviews tailored to your specific industry, job and experience level.

Career Forward Series

The Career Forward Series was a video series facilitated in partnership with Postdoctoral Affairs over the summer of 2020 and walks participants through the process of securing an industry job. To note, the term "industry" does not refer only to STEM careers, but all non-academic (e.g., private sector, government, non-profit) careers. The following links take you to each of the 1-hour presentations that are housed on Postdoctoral Affairs' Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to watch these videos. 

Video: Identifying Opportunities Outside The Academy: A "how-to" for learning about opportunities you may be interested in, or a good fit for. From assessments to conversations and using LinkedIn to your advantage - there are likely a number of opportunities for you outside the academy. 

Video: Branding Yourself For Industry Positions: It's important we effectively communicate how our skills and experiences align with what employers are looking for in candidates. Learn strategies for identifying what it is employers want, and how to market your skills and experiences in ways that will resonate with employers. 

Video: Creating and Tailoring Industry Appropriate Application Materials: Your application materials need to clearly communicate how you are a good fit for the role to which you are applying. Rarely will a CV be your document of choice when applying to industry roles. Learn strategies, tips, and tricks for creating materials that will get you interviews. 

Video: Preparing For And Acing Industry Interviews: The best way to improve at interviewing is to prepare and practice. Thankfully, there are many resources and tools available to help you do both. To help you increase your chances of receiving an offer, learn how best to prepare and practice for interviews.

Career Blog

Updated at least twice a semester, the career blog addresses important career related topics while providing resources and supports. Check back at least once a semester to see what has been added. 

5 Ways To Be An Entrepreneur As A Job Seeker

You Got ThisBeing a job seeker is actually very similar to being an entrepreneur. While that might not seem apparent at first glance, many of the skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur are the same skills needed to navigate a successful job search.

 

 

4 Career Benefits of Community Engagement Work

CommunityMany graduate programs focus on developing scholars in three areas: 1) research, 2) teaching, and 3) service. While most graduate students will receive direct training and support for their research and teaching endeavors, less attention is usually paid to the service component. Over time, many graduate students join national organizations, and serve on university and department committees. While this sort of service work is rewarding, it maximizes interactions and relationship building with others in academia at the expense of networking with professionals outside of academe. Pursuing community engagement work, on the other hand, offers direct and indirect benefits while simultaneously enhancing one’s service work. Here, in no particular order, are four benefits one gains when engaging in community engagement work.

Pursuing an Internship as a Graduate Student

Puzzle PiecesCompleting an internship while in school is a great way to diversify your experience, enhance your skills, gain insider knowledge about a particular role or employer, and network with professionals in your field. While it can be challenging to carve out the time required to complete an internship, an internship can give you the competitive edge and relevant network you need to help you successfully navigate into your post-education career, especially if considering a career beyond the academia. What follows are important considerations and insights to help you make an informed decision about whether an internship is right for you and, if it is, important information for you to be aware of. 

7 Reflection Questions to Inform Your Career Goals

Laptop

With the end of the year approaching and a new one within reach, many of us will start to develop goals for 2021. Goal setting and looking towards the future is critical to accomplishing goals; however, the key process of reflection is often glossed over. Taking the much needed time to reflect on the semester will help you to acknowledge your accomplishments and summarize them on your supporting documents for your next professional opportunity.

 

4 Ways to Evaluate Fit and Company Culture

Notebook

When it comes to job satisfaction, one of the most important aspects, in addition to salary, involves “organizational culture” and “fit.” Imagine: you’re interested in two different employers. You start to talk with others in your network and notice stark differences between the two cultures. What are you to do next?! This is a dilemma that I hear from graduate students across all disciplines. The conversations we have about this subject focus on culture, preferences, values, and perspectives. Here are 4 steps you can take to evaluate whether your next job opportunity aligns with your values and long-term career goals.  

5 Ways to Infuse Self-Care into the Job Search Process

As we seek resources and supports to help us plan and prepare for our career or execute a job search, well-intentioned others give us all kinds of advice: network early and often with others; diversify our experiences in and out of the classroom or lab; understand what skills and experiences will make us most competitive for the role we want next; be sure to speak the employer’s language. This is all good advice! However, it overlooks one important foundational element: first and foremost, we need to take care of ourselves during this process.

Career Connections

As a University of Arizona Wildcat, you have access to an extensive and supportive group of alumni - you just need to access them! The following pages provide options for you to enhance your connection to and engagement with these individuals. Use these resources to your advantage and begin building your professional network today because you never know where your next opportunity will come from.  

University of Arizona Graduate Center's LinkedIn Group

LUniversity of Arizonaaunched January 2021, the Graduate Center's LinkedIn group is a great place to connect with current and former graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. The group is intended to provide a space for members to connect, build community, and share resources and opportunities related to career and professional development.


 

Alumni Association's Bear Down Network

Arizona Alumni AssociationThe University of Arizona Alumni Association has created a robust online community exclusively for Wildcats. The Bear Down Network is a great resource to find mentors, to become a mentor yourself, and to enhance your Arizona experience with university news and events. 

You can also follow the Alumni Association on LinkedIn

 

University of Arizona's LinkedIn Alumni Page 

University of ArizonaThe University of Arizona has a robust alumni network of over 200,000 alumni on LinkedIn! Follow the University of Arizona, search the alumni network, and begin building your professional network! Don't forget to search and follow the alumni network of each college and university you attended. 
 

 

Alumni Association's Wildcat Mentor Society

Wildcat Mentor SocietyThrough monthly, one-hour group meetings, mentors will be able to have a dramatic impact on the lives of future alumni. Mentors will be handpicked UA alumni with significant professional experience. They will mentor up to 5 current UA students in monthly, group phone conferences. This ratio will allow mentees to form transformative connections not only with their mentor but with the other mentees as well. With the participation of our alumni mentors, we will build this into an extraordinary opportunity for UA’s most promising leaders of today and tomorrow. Applications open every summer for new mentors and mentees.