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Humanities Career Connections Workshops


This series of events is intended to support humanities graduate students from across fields in exploring and preparing for the diverse career paths available to them. Students may attend events individually but may find it especially helpful to attend each in progression. Presented by the Institute for the Humanities, Rackham Graduate School, and the University Career Center.


Humanities Mindsets
With Derek Attig and Mearah Quinn-Brauner
October 12, 2pm
Institute for the Humanities Osterman Common Room, 202 S. Thayer

Led by Derek Attig and Mearah Quinn-Brauner, the Humanities Mindsets workshop invites participants to experiment with using humanistic modes of thinking in conversations about jobs and careers. The workshop adapts a form used in many career workshops: having participants reflect on their experiences and the experiences of their peers using shared terms. But instead of an unfamiliar (and potentially alienating) vocabulary of “skills” or “values,” we guide participants in using theoretical frameworks from the humanities to analyze those experiences. Our hope is that the workshop helps humanists see their working lives as worthy of deep, critical, and playful intellectual engagement—and equips them to help one another to make stronger and more confident career decisions.

About the presenters:
Derek Attig is the assistant dean for career and professional development at the University of Illinois. Mearah Quinn-Brauner is the senior director for strategy and policy at Northwestern University.


Cover Letters & Resumes for Diverse Career Pathways in the Humanities
With Kirsten Elling and Joe Cialdella
November 9, 3pm
Institute for the Humanities Osterman Common Room, 202 S. Thayer

With a focus on humanities students, this workshop will provide guidance around cover letters and resumes for positions beyond tenure track roles. The process of synthesizing your academic experiences into strong application materials for jobs beyond academia can be challenging but rewarding. This workshop is a hands-on opportunity for graduate students to learn how to effectively develop a resume using the foundation that they have laid with information and experiences from their CV. The session will also include strategies for writing compelling, tailored cover letters and thinking strategically about how these two documents complement each other. To make the most of the session, students should come prepared to discuss and workshop ideas, and have a simple list of their recent experiences and skills they might want to highlight (a CV or past resume would also work).

About the presenters:
Joe Cialdella is the assistant director of internships & public scholarship at Rackham Graduate School. KIrsten Elling is the coordinator for graduate student career advancement and the Rackham embedded career counselor at the University Career Center.


Networking and Informational Interviewing for Diverse Career Pathways in the Humanities
With Kirsten Elling and Joe Cialdella
November 17, 12pm
Institute for the Humanities Osterman Common Room, 202 S. Thayer

Developing your professional network is an important part of graduate school and success on the job market. Join this discussion to learn strategies for building your network and professional community (including tips on using LinkedIn, alumni networks, and professional organizations), and how to connect with this network for both career exploration and job/internship searching. We will also cover informational interviewing, including the purpose of an informational interview, how to identify people to interview, and how to prepare for a productive conversation. There will be plenty of time for your questions!


Alumni Panel
With U-M Humanities PhD Alumni
December 4, 3pm
Virtual/Zoom (You will receive Zoom link upon registration)

For humanists interested in pursuing diverse career pathways beyond tenure-track roles, the options can sometimes feel overwhelming and abstract. During this session, a panel of alumni from U-M humanities departments working in diverse industries will provide concrete details about their day-to-day work and the career journeys that led them there. Panelists include: Jill Jividen, Senior Director of Research Development at the University of Michigan; Michelle-May Curry, Curator at the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities; and Jamie Hart, Executive Director at the Coalition to Expand Contraceptive Access. The goal is to provide examples of the varied pathways and types of work humanists pursue after graduating with a PhD.

Students should come prepared with questions for the panelists, as there will be plenty of time to steer the conversation in directions that are most meaningful for the group.