Interested in staying up to date on the latest news for UCSB graduate students? Subscribe to the UCSB GradPost.

University of California Santa Barbara
Campaign for the University of California Santa Barbara

Translate the GradPost:

Graduate Peers' Schedules

Winter 2016
Peer Advisor Availability

Writing Peer
Kyle Crocco

Mon: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Tue: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thu: 10 a.m.-noon

Funding Peer
Stephanie Griffin
Mon: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: noon-2 p.m.

Diversity Peer
Ana Romero

Mon: noon-2 p.m.
Wed: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

The peers sometimes hold events or attend meetings during their regular office hours. To assure you connect with your Graduate Peer Advisor, we encourage you to contact them by email and make an appointment.



Campus Map


View UCSB Graduate Student Resources in a larger map


New Year, New Name: Graduate Writers' Room Reopens for Fall Quarter

Whether you are completing the final round of revisions to your dissertation or writing your first graduate seminar paper, you don't have to write in isolation. Come to the Graduate Writers' Room (formerly known as the Dissertation Writer's Room) and write alongside your fellow graduate students. We offer a quiet environment stocked with comfortable seating, snacks, and the best free coffee on campus!

This quarter, the Graduate Writers' Room will be open three days a week from Tuesday, Sept. 29, through Thursday, Dec. 3. The days and times are:

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 9 a.m.-noon
Wednesdays: 1-4 p.m.

The Graduate Writers' Room is hosted in the Student Resource Building, Room 1103. If you have any questions about this service, or suggestions for other career resources, please email Robert Hamm, the Graduate Division's Professional Development Director.


Reimagining My Resume: A Peer's Story

Credit: Kelly BrownEver since starting graduate school, I’ve always worked in non-academic positions. I’ve been a nanny, a job skills trainer, a program coordinator, and an executive assistant. As I began to consider career options after graduate school, I realized that I had been pretty diligent about keeping a current curriculum vitae (CV) detailing my academic accomplishments but that my resume, while functional, definitely needed some TLC.

A CV is a pretty straightforward document, made even more straightforward by the fact that it is intended to be comprehensive – even exhaustive. However, I found that keeping my CV up-to-date was kind of like writing in a journal – just add stuff as it happens and occasionally go back to reflect on and refine previous experiences.

A resume, however, is a whole different beast. It has to be lean, mean, and eye-catching. I had been coasting along with what I thought was a halfway-decent resume, but as I began to consider non-academic career options, I realized I needed a document that not only accounted for my relevant experience but also showcased the type of employee that I hoped to be: competent, efficient, with fresh energy and new ideas.

When I attended the Humanists@Work conference in San Diego earlier this year, the timing could not have been better. Although I was representing the UCSB Graduate Division at the conference in my official capacity of Professional Development Peer Advisor, I was personally hungry for the information that was shared there as well. The conference was a one-day event sponsored by the UC Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) geared toward UC humanities and humanistic social science graduate students interested in careers outside or alongside the academy.

One of the keystone workshops at the conference was “Don’t Call It a Template: Unraveling Your Resume’s Purpose, Content, and Design,” led by Jared Redick, an Executive Resume Writer at The Resume Studio. Building off a similar workshop from last year’s Humanists@Work conference in Berkeley, the resume workshop led participants through a job description analysis, open discussion and brainstorming session, and collaborative resume work in groups. In addition to the conference workshop, UCHRI arranged for me to have a one-on-one virtual session with Jared a few weeks after the conference. During this session, Jared walked me through the different parts of my resume and helped me figure out the best ways to frame my professional experience.

Credit: Cristian CarraraAs with many instructional experiences, parts of it were game-changing (I could use prose? I could have an addendum?), and other parts just weren’t my style (I chose to go in a different direction design-wise and move away from bulleted lists and multiple levels of indentation).

Below, I summarize some of the guiding principles that helped me reimagine and redesign my resume, and I provide a before-and-after comparison to show how I implemented these principles.

Job description analysis. (Click here to access related materials) I’m not going to lie: this part was tedious. But it was so worth it. Not only did it force me to get familiar and comfortable with sifting through job posting websites, it also helped me identify exactly what kinds of jobs I’m interested in, what skills those jobs require, and how I could present myself as a viable candidate for those positions.

I highly recommend going through this process if you are actively searching for a job and/or looking to retool your resume after not having touched it in a while. It may also be useful for people who want to take stock of their skill set or just get a general sense of what potential employers are looking for. If you don’t know if you’re ready to commit to an in-depth job description analysis but still want to begin the career exploration process, I recommend checking out Dr. Debra Behren’s materials on Exploring Options for Humanities Ph.D.s and her accompanying Work Values Inventory.

For my hypothetical job description analysis, I culled job ads from two different industries: university administration and nonprofit organizations. I then meticulously went through a handful of job ads that seemed like things I would enjoy doing and pulled out all of the functions, skills, and areas of expertise that the jobs required, ultimately producing a spreadsheet of information I could compare and synthesize. Next, I made my bucket list.

Buckets. Buckets are beautiful things. I’m talking, of course, about metaphorical buckets that are used to conceptualize and organize categories of experience, skills, and expertise on a resume. The bucket categories emerge as a result of the job description analysis and are applied to your professional experience as a way to highlight common themes and capabilities that demonstrate how well-suited you are for a job.

Credit: Sheep R UsYou may have lots of buckets that cover the range of duties you performed at a particular job, but when you go to produce a targeted resume for a particular job, you will likely narrow it down to about three to five bucket categories for each job.

Have a master. I find it helpful to have a master (read: comprehensive) copy of my resume that catalogues all of my professional experience and includes all relevant buckets for each job I’ve had. That way, when I go to apply for a particular job, I can just pick and choose and pare down from the information in my master copy.

Back to prose. I had always thought that a resume was little more than a bunch of headings with bulleted lists underneath. Full sentences were out. Punctuation – no way. Because brevity, right? Well, it turns out it is not that straightforward, and I found that being open to well-structured (and well-formatted) prose can be very liberating and reader-friendly on a resume.

Addendum – or not. This is a judgment call. Jared noted that, particularly for graduate students and recent Ph.D.s, an addendum can be used to capture relevant experience related to your graduate work that wouldn’t normally be accounted for on a resume. Since it’s at the end of the resume document, if employers do want to read it, it’s there. If they don’t, they won’t bother. There is sometimes the concern that including more information will just annoy hiring managers, but I imagine they would be more annoyed if they weren’t able to easily find the relevant information they needed (such as dates and titles) than if you chose to include more information about your diverse expertise.

Find the right design. This part I did largely through trial and error (and in consultation with some very helpful family members – shout out!). In the end, I opted for a more modern design that utilized subtle color, white space, and horizontal dividers to organize information. Everyone has different aesthetic tastes, but the driving force behind the design of your resume should be readability – and by that I mean skim-ability, because your resume will be looked over only briefly to begin with. You should run your resume past several sets of eyes – particularly people who aren’t necessarily familiar with your work experience – to see if they can find the most important pieces of information quickly.

Click on the links below to see how I applied these principles in reimagining my resume.

Ye Olde Resume

Newfangled Resume

Note: This piece originally appeared on the Humanists@Work blog and is reprinted here with permission.


Fall Technology Management Program Courses Open to All Grad Students

Want to improve your practical business skills? Then check out these Fall 2015 special topics courses offered by the Technology Management Program (TMP). These classes are open to all graduate students.

Course titles and descriptions:

  • TMP 291SC - Strategic Communication for Technology Managers

Technology managers and innovators often need to present highly specialized information, and seek support for proposals from an audience that is not intimately familiar with the topic. Often, the message is lost because of the misfired (or nonexistent) communication strategies and/or lack of communication skills.

This course will help technology managers instill clarity, confidence, and credibility in their speaking, presentations, and writing. Students of this course will sharpen their communication skills through assignments, discussions, and simulated activities, and will learn to design persuasive communication strategies to advocate ideas and proposals. 

  • TMP 291DA - Decision Analysis

Should I launch my own business? Should I marry him? Should I accept the job or hold out for something better? Should I report what I saw? Save or spend? Stocks or bonds? Lease or buy?

From the life altering to the mundane, we make thousands of decisions a day, and must live with their consequences. At the crossroads of philosophy, economics, statistics, psychology, technology, business, and the life we lead, exists the decision.

This course explores how decisions are made, key factors affecting the decision-making process, biases we must account for and the tools available for improving our decisions, as well as predicting those of others.

We begin with an introduction to how decisions should be made (normative), followed by an exploration of how decisions are actually made (descriptive), before leading into an examination of choice architecture and the movement it has launched in an effort to help people make better decisions for themselves (prescriptive).

Above all else, the goal of this course is to introduce practical applications of the concepts covered so that students can effectively become the choice architects of their own lives.

For more information: Contact Katie Cabanatuan at


'How I Hire': Hiring Secrets of Richard Branson and Other Top Managers

Photo courtesy of LinkedInA recent LinkedIn article by Amy Chen quotes some of the world’s top business leaders on their hiring processes. The article provides unique insight into what makes a successful professional. Graduate students may find these insights helpful when applying to both academic and alt-ac positions.

1. You can’t fake a personality, purpose, or passion. 

Billionaire Richard Branson believes you can teach someone skills, but “you can’t train a personality.” The Virgin Group founder also believes in recruiting those who can compensate for his weaknesses. But above all, Branson relies on this litmus test when hiring:

"Purpose is no longer a buzzword. It’s a must-have. Passion and purpose will keep people focused on the job at hand, and ultimately separate the successful from the unsuccessful." – Richard Branson 

2. Show me how you think – and feel.

If you ever spend an hour interviewing with Angela Ahrendts, count on questions that have more to do with examining how you think rather than whether you got the right answer. From gauging the size of your ego to assessing whether you’re a left-brain or right-brain thinker, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail details what she might ask – and why:

"By the time [candidates] have reached my office, I think it is pretty safe to say they are incredibly smart in their field. I want to make sure they are culturally compatible. Are they empathetic, compassionate, caring, and giving of their mind and heart?" – Angela Ahrendts

3. Be able to articulate how your critics would describe you. 

Having hired Navy SEALs, Stan McChrystal knows the importance of putting the right people in the right place at the right time. And yet, the retired U.S. general admits that there is no secret formula for hiring. Now the co-founder of a leadership consulting firm, McChrystal has narrowed down his interviewing technique to this one revealing question:

“'What would someone who doesn’t like you have to say about you?'... Answering requires a combination of self-awareness, honesty, and courage that is hard to find.” – Stan McChrystal

4. Realize that “back-door” references can affirm – or sink – hiring decisions.

So you made it through a gauntlet of interviews, and you’ve shared a list of glowing references. Kevin Chou, the CEO of Kabam, goes one step further by checking “back-door” references: “Know that your reputation and accomplishments speak louder than your answers in a job interview. What’s said about you often carries more weight than what you say about yourself.” Remember:

"Your daily interaction with everyone around you, including those junior to you, may affect landing that dream job down the road." – Kevin Chou

5. Know that the qualities I value most aren’t found on resumes.

Character traits like integrity and credibility “make a difference between achieving our business goals and being tomorrow’s headline,” writes Ralph de la Vega, the president and CEO of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions. “If you don’t have integrity, I don’t want you on my team.”

"It boils down to this: The people who work with you must have no doubt that you will do the right thing, whether anyone is watching or not." – Ralph de la Vega

6. Nailed the interview? Now comes the hard part.

If a bad hire is one of a company’s worst nightmares, how can you set yourself up for long-term success? From making your boss and your team look good to retaining your sense of originality, General Electric’s Chief Marketing Officer Beth Comstock outlines her strategies for succeeding as a new hire.

"Remember that your company hired you because your background, skill set, and personality filled a specific need they had – it would be a real shame to suppress the exact things that make you unique once you get your ID card." – Beth Comstock 

The full article can be found on LinkedIn here.

For personalized professional development counseling, take advantage of UCSB's Career Services office and professional development team.

"Purpose is no longer a buzzword. It’s a must-have. Passion and purpose will keep people focused on the job at hand, and ultimately separate the successful from the unsuccessful."
– Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group


Seven Tips for Your Teaching Philosophy Statement

CartoonCredit: Writing Peer Kyle CroccoIf you're stressing out about what to write for your teaching philosophy statement, you're not alone. Teaching statements are the leading cause of stress for graduate student job seekers (based on completely anecdotal evidence).

To calm your mind and focus your writing, here is a list of seven dos and don'ts, borrowed from the Vitae Teaching Statement Guidebook, to get you thinking about what you should include and exclude in your statement. 

Do research the school: What’s their mission? Make it yours.

Don’t repeat your CV: They know your CV, but how do you teach a course?

Do relate it your field and research: Will you be using research content in your classes or does your field influence your methods of teaching?

Don’t make empty statements: Cut out the jargon and buzz words. "Everybody cares about the students, wants to challenge them, runs a student-centered classroom, etc."

Do make it real: Focus on a real life moment or two from your teaching that illustrates what you value most in teaching.

Do give credit: Where did you get these great ideas? Who influenced the way you teach?

Don’t make it too long: Keep it short and follow the page limit.

For more help with writing excellent statements, check out this recap of the Instructional Development workshop on Teaching Statements.

Also, Instructional Development will be hosting a workshop each quarter, so look for announcements.


Versatile Ph.D. STEM Online Panel Discussion: 'Careers in Technology Transfer'

Versatile Ph.D. will host a free web-based asynchronous panel discussion on "Careers in Technology Transfer" beginning Sept. 14. All panelists are Ph.D.s from STEM fields, including:

  • A Microbiologist who is a Technology Licensing Officer at a U.S. university
  • A Biochemist who is a Technology Commercialization Manager at a national lab
  • A Pathologist with extensive technology transfer experience in both university and hospital settings
  • A Physical Chemist who is the Director of Research Partnerships at a Canadian university
  • A Chemist who is a Technology Commercialization Manager at a multi-national corporation

You can interact with panelists throughout the week on the site, or follow the discussion via email. All questions welcome, from the most general to the very specific. As a UCSB graduate student, you have free access to the information and resources on the Versatile Ph.D. website. To learn more about accessing its premium content, such as the panel discussions, follow these simple instructions provided by the Graduate Division.


CARE Seeks Applications for Prevention Education Coordinator

UCSB's CARE (Advocate Office for Sexual and Gender Based Violence and Sexual Misconduct) is currently seeking applications for a Prevention Education Coordinator. The position is 50% time, grant-funded, and a 7-month position for two or more years. Graduate students are encouraged to apply.

The Prevention Education Coordinator is responsible for implementing violence awareness and primary prevention programs on campus on the topics of sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/dating violence. These activities include conducting bystander intervention training and presentations and outreach to various student populations about interpersonal violence issues as well as providing crisis intervention and responding sensitively and appropriately in situations where a student disclosure is made. The coordinator does not primarily work on advocacy issues, but will receive training as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate and share in on-call rotation duties. 

Minimum requirements:

  • Two years professional work experience in advocacy, a college environment, women's resource center, human services agency or related capacity, and a Masters degree in related field.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with sexual and relationship violence-related issues, including support services and prevention/risk-reduction initiatives.
  • Minimum of one year in student affairs and/or gender violence services.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and experience with public speaking.
  • Proficient computer skills.
  • Experience working with survivors of sexual violence, providing crisis intervention, and demonstrate cultural awareness, sensitivity and competency.
  • Knowledge of developmental needs of college students.

The advertised hourly salary for the position is $21.86. The priority deadline to apply is Tuesday, September 8. To read the full job description and to apply for the position, visit UCSB's job site.


The Science of Networking

When you think of networking, what is a metaphor that comes to mind? Speed dating? Collecting poker chips to cash in later? Sowing the seeds of future career success?

Credit: Gillian Blease/GettyIn a recent article on NatureJobs, Peter Fiske compares the concept of networking with that of valence bands in chemistry. Now, I'm not a scientist, but I am a linguist, so I know a thing or two about valence. (OK, full disclosure, I know exactly two things about linguistic valence: it's a thing and it involves how grammatical elements combine in a sentence.) In scientific fields, valence is related to the combining power of an element. When you think about networking, think about the availability and investment of people in different "shells" that radiate outward from yourself.

  1. In the first shell of your network are the people you know firsthand. Many young scholars assume that friends and family members in their valence band who are outside their academic field hold little professional networking value. In reality, friends and family members have their own networks, and those networks may contain a few people who might be able to help you in your job search or with career development. And because your friends and family members know and care about you, they are often eager to do whatever they can to help you, including warmly introducing you to anyone in their own networks.
  2. The second shell of your network (your friends' friends and contacts) plays a huge part in fostering your career progress and development. For one thing, there are a lot of people at this level. If your immediate network consists of 150 people to whom you feel comfortable asking for help, and each of them has a similarly sized network, theoretically, you have a "conduction band" in your network of 22,500 people. At least a few people will be in careers or positions in which they could be of enormous help to you.
  3. Although the numbers in the third shell of your network (friends of your friends' friends) are huge, their utility in your career is limited. Third-shell people share no personal connection with you and so are not predisposed to help you. If you want to communicate with a third-shell contact, you should first solidify your relationship with the person in your second shell who connects the two of you. In effect, you are turning the second-shell contact into a first-shell friend. 

As always, at the heart of networking is maintaining personal relationships. This is where many networking metaphors come up short or set people up for disappointment. Networking is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of endeavor, and no one in your professional network wants to feel like you are just being opportunitistic in connecting with them. Take the time to get to know people and their story. Coincidentally, this will also aid in not feeling sleazy about networking.

And remember that your network operates in two directions: the degree to which you help others is often linked to how much help you yourself receive. Your network becomes stronger through the help that you give. A well-tended and extensive network is one of the most valuable assets for professionals in today's economy. Those who invest in both their work and their relationships will reap the greatest number of opportunities.

To read Fiske's full article on NatureJobs, click here. Also, for more advice on networking from a graduate student's perspective, read Rachel Harris' companion article on the NatureJobs blog.

To get regular updates from Naturejobs, like it on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.


Making Mindfulness Part of Your Job Search Toolbox

"I'll never find a job."

“My adviser won’t give me a recommendation if I tell him I’m exploring careers outside of academia.”

“Why did I say that in my interview? That was so stupid. I completely ruined my chances.”

Walking the UCSB Labyrinth is a great way to practice meditation and mindfulness. Credit: BrianWe all have a little voice in our heads. Sometimes it can be complimentary, but often it’s a nagging sense of negativity. In a recent article on Inside Higher Ed, Sue Levine writes that self-talk is one way in which we interpret the world around us. When the stressors of graduate school, life in general, and the unpredictability of a job search converge, self-talk can become self-defeating and quickly spiral downward into excessive negativity.

Practicing mindfulness as part of your job search can help lessen the anxiety. Caroline Contillo, columnist at Idealist Careers, writes, "Mindfulness is the quality of being able to stay with the present moment on purpose and without judgment." You are working to train your mind to notice stressful thoughts, but to minimize the response to them. Levine lists several pieces of advice for practicing mindfulness:

  • Be intentional. Instead of just clicking “apply” and submitting résumé after résumé, develop a plan and be intentional about the applications you submit. The blanket approach is usually not very successful, and search committees or hiring managers can tell when someone has applied to a job without really thinking about it.
  • Practice breathing meditation. Set a timer for a certain amount of time, such as five minutes. Close your eyes, take deep breaths and count your breaths from one to 10, and then backward from 10 to one. If you find your mind wandering, just slowly bring your attention back to the present.
  • Be in the moment. Don’t focus on the past and don’t relive past job search blunders. Focus on the job search task at hand and you will be better positioned to combat negative thinking.

Read the full article on Inside Higher Ed's website here.

To get regular updates from Inside Higher Ed, sign up for the newsletter, like it on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter.


Advice for Aspiring Academics

Credit: GotCreditPublish or perish. Fortune favors the bold. Trust no one.

These disparate pieces of advice may sound familiar to those interested in going on the academic job market. In a recent article on Inside Higher Ed, Philip Nel offers up a dozen tips to help you in your hunt for that ever-elusive tenure-track position. Here are a few samples from that list:

  • Publish everything. Conferences papers are already half of an article or book chapter.
  • Believe in and doubt merit. Believe in merit because it motivates you to produce and inspires you to keep going, despite the odds. But doubt merit because the vast number of Ph.D.s on the job market means that merit will never be enough.
  • Make your CV easy to read. Look at other people’s CVs online: Which ones are easy to read? Model yours on those examples. Which ones are confusing? Avoid their mistakes.
  • Recognize the limitations of this advice. Advice may sometimes seem absurd, paradoxical or impossible. There is no magic formula to landing the elusive tenure-track job.
  • Do not define success according to academe’s terms. Given the scarcity of traditional academic careers, there are many reasons not to pursue a traditional academic career. Seeking an alternative-academic job is not failure. Leaving academia altogether is not failure. You have much to offer your community. You can do many things.

To read the full article, click here.

To get regular updates from Inside Higher Ed, sign up for the newsletter, or connect via Facebook or Twitter.

Page 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... 35 Next 10 Entries »