Too often, university instructors do not help students to make explicit connections between what they are learning in humanities and social sciences courses, and skills that are crucial for professional life. Some academics have a hard time imaging how their courses might connect to professional skills, or simply assume that these links will be obvious to the students. Almost a decade ago, a group of students pointed out to me this gap: they were passionate about their studies, ambitious and energetic, but they could not see the next steps on a path to a meaningful career.
Since that time, I have given a range of workshops and lectures on the transition from academic to professional life, including very practical concerns, like how to prepare job letters and resumes, and discuss educational experience in job interviews. The slideshow linked to above is part of the Bringing the Learning Home curriculum-design project, a collaborative project I did with Tonia Gray (now at University of Western Sydney) and Jan Gothard (Murdoch University), with support from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (now the Office of Learning and Teaching).
The professionalisation workshop is available here, including PowerPoint, Keynote and Prezi versions of the slides, pre-departure and re-entry workshops for integration into study abroad, instructor’s guide, and all handouts and other materials for students. Videos of both Alexandra Haaxman (Murdoch) and me conducting the professionalisation workshop are available as well, if any part is not clear.
For graduate students and those more interested in academic careers, I have also prepared a workshop on professional trajectories into academic careers and applied anthropology careers that is hosted on the Culture Matters weblog, a collective weblog from the Macquarie University Department of Anthropology. Part one of the professionalisation workshop for anthropologists is available here; part two is available here. These lengthy blog posts cover such issues as how to write a job letter, what the difference is between a resume and a CV, preparing for campus interviews, and even getting started as a teacher.
As part of Macquarie University’s Careers in the Arts and Sciences evening, I gave a talk on getting a job with a degree in these areas. The slides for that presentation are available through Slideshare at: http://www.slideshare.net/GregDowney/reading-an-ad-writing-an-application-getting-a-job-with-an-arts-or-social-sciences-degree