Graduate Student Workshop: Preparing for the Workforce

Graduate students make up approximately ⅓ of the ASTE membership, and these members desire support in the transition from graduate student to faculty member. This workshop will focus on helping graduate students prepare for a successful transition to their careers as they complete graduate school. This topic is relevant to a significant number of ASTE members and will help promote ongoing engagement with ASTE among members who are currently graduate students.

This workshop is intended for graduate student members of ASTE. Graduate students who are actively searching for jobs and those preparing for the job search will find the sessions particularly useful because of the immediately applicable information. Graduate students in earlier stages of study will find the information useful as they plan for their future job search.

In order to ensure that quality information is shared and that graduate students receive the support they desire, the workshop planning team will contact recent ASTE Presidents and recent winners of the ASTE Outstanding Mentor Award to present in this session. These individuals have proven records of outstanding support to others, so they are the ideal presenters for this workshop. They have a variety of experience and areas of expertise they will be able to share with graduate student attendees. They will also be encouraged to provide additional resources (informational handouts, websites, etc.) to attendees. 2019 presenters included:
Dr. Randy Bell – Oregon State University
Dr. Kent Crippen – University of Florida
Dr. Julie Luft – University of Georgia
Dr. William McComas – University of Arkansas
Dr. Gillian Roehrig – University of Minnesota
Dr. Kathy Cabe Trundle – Utah State University
For the 2020 workshop Dr. Gillian Roehrig has already volunteered to discuss grant writing skills. We will send formal invitations to faculty this summer.

The learning objectives for this session are:
Participants will learn practical strategies for successfully navigating the transition from graduate school to the workforce.
Participants will connect with mentors beyond their own institution.
Participants will learn how they can receive ongoing support in their job search.
At the close of the session, participants will fill out a brief survey. This survey will allow the workshop planning team to assess the extent to which the learning objectives have been met. 2019 feedback provided positive feedback and interest in 2020 topics, there was a suggestion to provide insight from professionals in industry.

After a brief welcome and introductions by Graduate Student Forum (GSF) leaders, participants will choose among six different roundtables (see topics below). Three roundtable rotations of 15-20 minutes each will allow participants to discuss three different topics from the selections available. Each roundtable presenter will be able to select the most appropriate instructional strategies for their discussion, but they will be encouraged to actively engage participants and allow time to address specific questions raised by participants.

Possible Roundtable topics:
Job search strategies and process
Developing an effective CV
Preparing for the campus visit
Academic life and finding the correct path (research-focus, teaching-focus, informal science education, etc.)
Women in academia (navigating the process with children, spouses, etc.)
The Professoriate
Grant writing overview
Industry pathways

In order to provide ongoing support to participants as well as others who are unable to attend the conference, the GSF leaders will be collecting resources from this session and making them available on the ASTE website and the GSF Twitter and Facebook platforms. The contact information of GSF leaders will be shared, and roundtable presenters will also be encouraged to share their contact information if they are willing to answer additional questions via email.