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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.



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Entries in workshop (13)


Recap of Resume Workshop

For most graduate students, their resumes are dusty, outdated documents that are lost somewhere in the files. If you are like most graduate students, then you could benefit from learning a few tips on how to create a great resume!

Here is a brief recap of how to make a great graduate student resume:

  • You can use your CV as a reference, but consider this as a totally new document with a new purpose: to briefly showcase your relevant skills
  • Research is the basis for a great, well-crafted resume
  • You need to target each and every resume for the job you apply for - this means you will have to edit and change the order of various sections and the text of bullets to be geared towards various positions to better align with the job you are after
  • Resumes should be one page! (Two pages is sometimes acceptable)
  • You generally need a cover letter in addition to a resume when applying to industry jobs
  • Font size needs to be 11 or 12
  • Typical sections include education, relevant experience, and skills - utilizing clear titles for sections will be important to organizing your experiences
  • You need 3-5 bullet points per place of work where you elaborate beyond duties and discuss what you did, how you did it, and outcomes/results of your work (hint: include transferable skills!)

Check out UCSB’s Career Services resume tips for more information and please consider coming in to meet with me to review your resume!


Recap of Transferable Skills Workshop

Credit: inspiringinterns.comTransferable skills is a buzzword in nowadays – perhaps you’ve heard the term and wondered, "What does that really mean?"

In case you missed it, on February 3, I presented a workshop on how to identify the transferable skills you are getting from your graduate program. Transferable skills can be defined as a way to talk about your academic skills more broadly. By being able to recognize your transferable skills, you are able to talk to people outside academia and those unfamiliar with working with Ph.D./Masters students about the skills that are relevant to what they do.

In grad school, you learn to become a highly trained researcher who can understand nuanced and specialized information. This is what you are working hard to achieve, and this is to be celebrated. But it certainly isn’t the full range of skills you are learning. So what else are you getting from your graduate program? You are learning skills that go beyond technical skills and fall into other categories such as how to work on a team, how to develop and manage a project, and how to communicate difficult concepts.

The art of this is thinking about your tasks and turning them into skills. I encourage you to spend time thinking of what your transferable skills are, beyond the specific duties or tasks assigned by your advisor.

The other point I wanted to make is that graduate students often have to become their own advocates in order to show how the knowledge you have is relevant and applicable to various employers. To do that, you need to learn how to talk your skills beyond your highly specified knowledge. By being able to show what your diverse skill set is, you are opening the door to many possibilities.

Stay tuned for this popular workshop to be held again in the near future!


Join Spring Pedagogy Workshops 

Instructional Development logoCheck out the useful series of spring quarter pedagogy workshops for grad students. All sessions are limited to 10 participants, unless otherwise indicated here. To reserve your seat, please RSVP by email and indicate your department.

Preparing your CCUT Portfolio

Tuesday, March 31, 3-4 p.m., Kerr Hall 1128


Presenting your ESCI data for the CCUT Portfolio

Wednesday, April 1, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Kerr Hall 1128


Jump-Starting Discussion: Increasing Student Involvement

Tuesday, April 7, 10-11 a.m., Kerr Hall 1128


Teaching Problem Solving and Analytic Thinking Across the Disciplines

Wednesday April 8, 11 a.m.-noon, Kerr Hall 1128


Workshop for International Grad Students: Becoming an Effective TA

Wednesday April 8, 3-4 p.m., Kerr Hall 1128


Effective Use of Technology in Section: What are best practices in your discipline?

Wednesday, April 15, 1-2 p.m., Kerr Hall 1128


Troubleshooting 101: What's going on in your class?

Thursday April 16 , 11 a.m.-noon, Kerr Hall 1128


Drafting your Teaching Philosophy Statement

Tuesday April 21st, 1-2:30 p.m., Kerr Hall 1128


Teaching Demonstrations for Job Interviews

Thursday April 23, 9:30-11:00 a.m., Room TBA



‘Stage Training for Academic Presenters’: Workshop Aims to Boost Confidence, Form Ties With Audience 

They walked like elephants, buzzed like bumblebees, swam like a school of fish, and hugged like long-lost friends. All while barefoot. These were UC Santa Barbara graduate students and postdocs, learning the fundamentals of stage presence in Drama Instructor Jeff Mills’ four-hour “Stage Training for Academic Presenters” workshop on Friday, February 20.  

The aim of the inaugural workshop, hosted by the UCSB Graduate Division, was to help graduate students and postdocs improve their communication skills, build confidence, and form connections with an audience. These skills could then be used to successfully convey the significance of their scholarly work to a broad audience, whether that’s at the upcoming Grad Slam competition in April (registration is now underway), in a research talk at an academic conference, or at some other public venue.

Workshop participants do some breathing and relaxation exercises. Credit: Patricia MarroquinThe graduate students and postdocs came from across the disciplinary map. Materials, Education, Bren School, Physics, Anthropology, Spanish and Portuguese, and Electrical and Computer Engineering were just some of the disciplines represented.

Mills started out by asking all of the participants to remove their shoes and go barefoot, the better to “get comfortable and creative with our bodies,” he said.

The workshop was dominated by physical activities, vocal exercises, and creative improvisation. There was crawling, shouting, jumping, and “birdbath” breathing. The students recited words and phrases (repeating “Bodega, Topeka, Bodega, Topeka”); beat their chests while humming; and massaged their jaws and temples.

Participants line up in preparation for a follow-the-leader exercise. Credit: Patricia MarroquinIn one exercise, participants in a single-file line mimicked the movements of the “leader” in front of them. New leaders emerged with their own movements, to be followed by the others. Some of the leaders were simple and clear in their movements. Mills said it is much easier for other participants and an audience to follow if movements are simple and repetitive.

In the final section of the workshop, the students and postdocs one by one recited the Prologue in Shakespeare’s “Henry V.” They were asked to select words to emphasize.

Mills said all of the exercises, which are used in stage training for actors, accomplished multiple goals. “What we were working on was finding physical presence and different ways that we can be present in the space,” he said, as well as “make people listen to us without having to try too hard or be too intense about it.”

The workshop offered techniques for emphasizing words, he said, by using pitch, intensity, and volume; as well as getting “control of the breath and warming up the voice so it can carry across a room.”

Mills noticed a marked difference in the graduate students and postdocs by the conclusion of workshop. “At the beginning they were hiding, and by the end they were all good buddies and friends, and they were way less inhibited,” he said. “I heard a clarity in their voices that I hadn’t heard at the beginning. Even with the people whose primary language wasn’t English, I was hearing words in a much clearer way. Certainly their communication was much clearer.”

Grad students and postdocs mimic the leader in fish-swimming movements. Credit: Patricia Marroquin

Lisa McAllister assumes the leadership role in a workshop exercise. Credit: Patricia MarroquinWe asked a few of the participants why they took the workshop and how it helped them. Here’s what they told us:

Alexandre Streicher, a first-year Physics Ph.D. student, said: “I took this workshop because I believe communication skills to be vital to the dissemination of one's ideas and theories, especially in my field of theoretical physics,” he said. “I believe that I gained a new perspective on presentations. In addition, I was made aware of the many different techniques to emphasize points in speech.”

Lisa McAllister, a Ph.D. student in Anthropology (with an emphasis in Integrative Anthropological Sciences), who was featured in the GradPost in 2013, is in her final year and writing up her dissertation. She competed in the Grad Slam last year and hopes to compete again this year. One of the critiques she received last year was “my so-to-speak stage presence,” and Lisa wanted to do better, both in the Grad Slam and in other venues.

“I am presenting at a conference in May that is extremely professional and prestigious,” she said. “Despite a lot of teaching experience and having presented at many other conferences, I am very nervous about giving this talk. I signed up for the workshop to help combat my nerves and improve my public speaking skills. I also know I appear nervous when talking, as I move around a lot. I hoped the workshop would help give me more of a confident and grounded presence.” She is happy she participated. “I gained a better sense and awareness of my body on stage, and some neat vocal tricks for focusing attention on me and speaking loudly and clearly in a large space. Hopefully it will help me give a clear and confident presentation in May.”

Workshop leader Jeff Mills, left, instructs the participants on their Shakespeare reading exercise. Credit: Patricia MarroquinKayla McLaughlin, who is pursuing both a Ph.D. in Iberian Linguistics, with an emphasis in Applied Linguistics, and a Certificate in College and University Teaching (CCUT), said: “One of my personal goals for this year is to present at a conference, which I've never done before. I wanted to take this workshop to boost my confidence in myself and learn some skills that might make the idea of presenting in front of a bunch of academics a bit less intimidating.”

Kayla, who is about to start a new research project and hopes to compete in the Grad Slam in 2016, added: “I feel like the workshop really helped me practice the idea of ‘just going with it’ and not letting my nervousness get the best of me. A lot of the activities we did definitely pushed me outside of my normal comfort zone, which was a bit scary, but I left the workshop that day feeling empowered and thinking, ‘Well, if I can do that, then presenting at a conference should be a breeze!’”  

After the workshop, leader Jeff Mills, center, and participants strike a dramatic – and confident – pose. Credit: Patricia Marroquin


Information from Workshop on Non-Academic Interviewing

If you've been in graduate school for a while, it’s possible you haven’t had to do an interview in a long time. And if you’re considering a non-academic career, it’s important to know the features and quirks of an industry interview.

On Wednesday, February 4, John Coate of UCSB’s Career Services led a workshop about the art of interviewing for non-academic positions. The workshop, which is part of the ongoing Graduate Student Career Series, covered a wide range of tips for acing industry interviews including how to conduct research on a company, how to prepare for different interview settings, and how to field interview questions on a range of topics.

You can learn more about these topics by viewing the slides from the workshop here.


Apply Now for ComSciCon15: The Communicating Science Workshop

ComSciCon logoComSciCon: The Communicating Science workshop for graduate students.Apply now for ComSciCon 15, the Communication Science workshop for STEM graduate students.

This unique professional development experience will bring students together in Cambridge, MA. Attendees will meet young leaders in the field and interact with a remarkable group of invited experts. Participants will also produce an original work focused on communicating complex technical concepts from science and engineering to a new audience.

ComSciCon applications are competitive and applicants are encouraged to prepare their responses carefully.

ComSciCon 15

Deadline: Mar. 1.

Eligibility: Graduate students from all fields of science and engineering at all US institutions.

Cost: Application, registration, and attendance to the workshop are free of charge for accepted applicants.

More Information: See website description.

Application: Apply now.


UC Humanities Research Institute to Host Graduate Career Workshop in San Diego

The UC Humanities Research Institute and the UC Humanities Network invite graduate students to attend a statewide career workshop to be held in San Diego on Friday, February 20, 2015. The day-long, hands-on workshop will include:

  • Stories from the Field: A roundtable of recent UC Ph.D.s employed in careers alongside/beyond the academy
  • Two-part workshop on informational interviews and career trajectories for Humanities Ph.D.s led by Dr. Debra Behrens, Career Counselor at UC Berkeley
  • Hands-on workshop with The Resume Studio
  • Theorizing Our Moment: A panel conversation about work and graduate student experiences

The UC Humanities Network is pleased to provide travel and lodging grants for up to three students from each UC campus to attend the event. To register for or learn more about the conference and to apply for a travel grant, click here. Travel grant applications are due January 19, 2015.


Writing Your Résumé/Vitae Workshop for Grad Students

UCSB Career Services is offering a "Writing Your Résumé/Vitae" workshop for graduate students on Wednesday, May 2, from 3 to 4 p.m. in Room 1109 at the Career Services Building. It would be a great opportunity to see what a professional résumé or vitae looks like. Many of us could also use the opportunity to gauge how far along we are toward building credible professional résumés/vitaes for future job talks. Given that UC Santa Barbara graduate students are generally highly interdisciplinary in their research, the workshop could also help serve as a guide to writing our résumés or vitaes in alternative disciplines' format, if necessary, to present accordingly. I am going to try to attend this event so I hope to see you there. 

Here's the full description of the workshop from Career Services: "In the current job market, many graduate students will explore post-graduate employment both in education and the private sector. Each setting requires different job search strategies and paperwork. This workshop will give graduate students an overview of how to conduct a job search in each setting, as well as information on how to write a résumé and vitae."




Interview Skills Workshop for Graduate Students

interview clipartInterested in working outside of the academy?

UCSB Career Services is hosting a workshop to help you gain valuable interview skills so you can successfully land a job after graduation.

Event Details:

When: Thursday, Feb. 2, 3 to 4 p.m.

Where: Career Services, Room 1109 (map)

Add this event to your Google Calendar

Here is a description of the event from Rachel at Career Services:

"In this workshop we will review the interview process for graduate students seeking employment outside of the academy. Students will learn what to expect in interviews conducted for the business industry, social service and/or government positions. Strategies for answering typical questions as well as behavioral interview scenarios will be reviewed."


Workshop for Graduate Students: Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letter Writing

If you want to learn how to construct a top-notch curriculum vitae and cover letter, then make room in your calendar for The Chicana and Chicano Studies Colloquium Series Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letter: Professional Development Workshop.

When: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.

Where: Dolores Huerta Room, South Hall 1623 (map)

Professor Dolores Ines Casillas from the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department will offer tips and strategies for developing CV's and cover letters for various job opportunities.

Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letter Writing Workshop for Graduate Students