Checklist for Years 1-3: Coursework

Invest in Yourself

  • Expand Skills and experience:
    • Teaching Assistant/Associate opportunities
    • Campus clubs and organizations
    • Departmental or campus committees
    • Workshops and courses outside your department
    • Volunteer work, internships, etc
  • Write CV and update quarterly
  • Produce timeline for completion of degree and update annually
  • Reflect on and evaluate your experiences twice a year

Expand your Awareness of Career Options

  • Attend career panels with employed faculty and professionals to explore academic and non-academic career options and requirements for success


Build Your Network

  • Meet and network with graduate students and faculty in your department and around campus
  • Attend talks and presentations in your department and around campus, and network with attendees and presenters
  • Keep in touch with previous contacts from previous educational institutions (undergrad, masters) and/or past jobs
  • Find a mentor (here and elsewhere) besides your faculty adviser


Job Search Process

  • Join relevant professional organizations and/or academic societies
  • Attend conferences, research relevant presenters in advance and network with attendees and presenters
  • Submit papers, panels, proposals and poster sessions for conferences
  • Identify important journals in your field with eye toward getting published
  • Review job ads to see what the job market is like in your area. What specialties are in demand?

Adapted from UCI Career Center, University of California – Irvine