Grad Student Event Focuses on Job Search

Daily Texan
September 29, 1998
Ed Mahon
Daily Texan Staff

Graduate students learned at a Friday workshop that diversification of skills is key to finding a job in the academic field, which experts say is becoming more competitive.

The workshop, part of the Preparing Future Faculty program, focused on improving interviewing and resume skills. Professors from area schools -- including Southwest Texas State and Austin Community College -- came to the Flawn Academic Center to teach students what their particular schools are looking for in interviews.

Richard Cherwitz, UT associate dean of graduate studies, said the market for Academic jobs is tight and students may not get the job they want. Diversity and versatility are necessities in today's job market, he added.

"They are realizing that you have to have some skills other than knowledge to make you more marketable," Cherwitz said.

The workshop focused on strategies students can use to put themselves in a better position to get an academic job. Cherwitz said he hoped students at the workshop came away with a good sense of what they need to do to improve their job-hunting skills.

"They are out there competing against a lot of other people," Cherwitz said. "They have to show they are distinct, that they are unique."

Denise Gobert, co-chairman of the Graduate Student Assembly, said graduate Students shouldn't just concentrate on academics while in graduate degree programs.

"The [UT] graduate program is trying to help graduate students so that they are not just experts in their field, but so they are more diverse in their approach to the career market," said Gobert, a kinesiology graduate student.

Both Gobert and Cherwitz stressed that undergraduates are now showing more Interest in going into graduate programs than they have in recent years.

Cherwitz attributes this partly to market demand, but he also said more students are getting involved with graduate research, which increases their interest in participating in graduate studies.

Gobert said he hopes to increase the interaction between undergraduates and graduate students. She and the Graduate Student Assembly have been working with Student Government to develop more mentorship programs as well as one-on-one tutoring programs.

She also said she wants to increase the number of undergraduates working on graduate research.

"Undergraduates should not be afraid to approach graduate students," Gobert said. "They should all have one free tutoring session to see what it is all about."

The Preparing Future Faculty program, a national program sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Council of Graduate Schools, was started four years ago to let graduate students observe and work with other "partner" universities.

The University is partnered through the program with St. Edward's University, ACC, Huston-Tillotson College and Southwest Texas State.