PhD & Master's Students

To receive our monthly newsletter as well as periodic announcements about job/internship opportunities and upcoming events for graduate students, sign up for our graduate student careers listserv.

STEM students: sign up at https://mailman.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/gradcareers-stem-l

Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences students: sign up at https://mailman.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/gradcareers-hass-l

 

Quick career advising question? Email gradcareers@ucsd.edu

 

Walk-in advising for spring quarter with Graduate Career Peer Educator:

Hours: Mondays 9:30-11am and Thursdays 1-2:30pm, Weeks 1-11 (excluding campus holidays). No appointment necessary! Walk-ins are 15 minutes each.

Location:

April 26-May 21: TBD

May 24-June 14: Career Center, second floor. Please check in at the lobby downstairs before heading upstairs.

Attend upcoming events

Spring 2018 Events:

Career Fair Preparation Workshops (rotating workshops open to all students)
Monday, April 2-Friday, April 6 | Career Center
  • Resume 101
  • Find Out Your Top Strengths Using StrengthsFinder
  • Mindful Interviewing Skills
  • LinkedIn 101

For times, locations, and more details, login to Port Triton


Webinar: Negotiating and Accepting a Job Offer
Monday, April 9, 12-12:30pm | Online: Register on Port Triton
***Online webinar; link will be emailed to those who RSVP at least 24 hours prior to the webinar.

Learn all about the job offer negotiation process and how to negotiate your salary and benefits before accepting a job offer. We will go over resources that will help you determine the salary and benefits to ask for as well as best practices for negotiating fairly and effectively. This webinar will be specifically tailored to master's and PhD students who are interested in careers beyond academia.


Spring Career Fair
Wednesday, April 11, 10am-2:30pm | Price Center

Meet face-to-face with top employers seeking to hire you! Now’s your chance to make valuable contacts, learn inside information (the stuff you can’t always find online), and leave behind a personal impression that employers will remember! More information can be found on the Career Center's Career Fair page.

 
What's Your Side Hustle? How to Generate Extra Income While in Grad School
Thursday, April 12, 12-1:30pm | Career Center, Horizon Room
Register

What are you some of your special skills, hobbies or passions? Have you ever considered how they may be great sources of extra income? As graduate students, we could always use a little bit more cash! Come and learn about what a side hustle is, how to develop a successful side hustle, gain some entrepreneurial tips, and meet others already doing it. For some, a side hustle has even transformed into a full-fledged business or career. So now the question is: what’s your side hustle and what will you do with it?  


 
Versatile PhD "Ask Me Anything" Virtual Discussion: PhD Careers
Tuesday, April 17-Thursday, April 19 | https://versatilephd.com/ama
Featuring Thi Nguyen (Washington University in St. Louis Graduate School) and Fatimah Williams Castro (Beyond the Tenure Track)

Dr. Castro (Cultural Anthropology, 2011) and Dr. Nguyen (Neuroscience, 2010) help PhDs plan and launch successful careers – Nguyen as a graduate career advisor and associate dean at Washington University in St. Louis, and Castro as speaker and career coach to PhDs. Both panelists will be available for Q&A about their career paths and for career advice during this free online AMA event.


Webinar: Branding Yourself as a Professional
Wednesday, April 25, 12-1pm | Online: Register on Port Triton
***Online webinar; link will be emailed to those who RSVP at least 24 hours prior to the webinar.

Come learn how creating and refining your personal brand can communicate to businesses that you are more than just a student: that you are the professional that they need to hire.

We'll discuss what a personal brand is and how you can develop your own. This will also include additional resources you can take advantage of to ensure that you are putting your most professional foot forward.



Job Searching for Humanists and Social Scientists: Careers Beyond Academia
TBD | Career Center, Round Room
Register

How do I narrow my career interests and start applying for jobs? How do I find jobs that would be a good fit for me? How do I interpret job ads and create successful application materials? You'll learn the answers to these questions and more in this workshop designed specifically for master's and PhD students in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. We will also go over resources to help you launch your job search and become more comfortable with the application process.

*Note: this workshop has been postponed until further notice; please check back for updates.


 
Life at a Liberal Arts College: Faculty Panel, Networking Lunch, and Application Review
Tuesday, May 8, 9am-1:30pm | Price Center East Forum
Register

Interested in teaching at a liberal arts college, but not sure what to expect? Join us for a morning panel discussion and networking lunch with faculty and administrators from top liberal arts colleges across the country and represent LADO (Liberal Arts Diversity Officers), a consortium of 24 liberal arts colleges and universities. This is an opportunity to learn about careers at liberal arts colleges and to get a review of your CV and cover letter by LADO faculty in preparation for applying to faculty positions at these colleges.

Schedule of Events:
9:00-9:15: Welcome and Introduction to LADO
9:15-10:30: Building a Career at a Liberal Arts College - Panel
10:30-10:45: Break
10:45-12:00: One-on-One Consultations with LADO Faculty: 15 minute CV and cover letter review sessions: RSVP required by May 1 (limited spots available!)
12:00-1:15: Lunch and Discussions by Disciplinary Areas


 
grAdvantage Career Night: PhD Alum Naomi Handly
TBD | Career Center, Horizon Room
More information

Career Night speaker Naomi Handly is a Scientist at Octant, Inc., a biotech startup using NGS to develop a multiplex platform to cheaply scan thousands of drugs against hundreds of receptors simultaneously. She joined Octant in 2017 and was the second full-time employee hired to set-up the lab and develop the first prototype. Naomi graduated from Brigham Young University and received her PhD in Biochemistry from UC San Diego in 2017. Her thesis work focused on how mammalian cells communicate with one another immediately following a wound at the single-cell level using quantitative fluorescent microscopy.

grAdvantage Career Nights expose graduate students to individuals who have transitioned to careers outside academia after receiving a graduate degree. The speakers will describe their career paths while offering “pearls of wisdom” to those in the audience that may be considering a career outside of academia. The presentations will be followed by a networking social hour for local professionals and graduate students to mix, mingle and discuss career options over food and refreshments.

 

LinkedIn Lab and Free Professional Headshots
Thursday, May 24, 9am-12pm | Career Center, Horizon Room
Register

This workshop will provide dedicated time for graduate students to work on and receive feedback on their LinkedIn pages as well as the chance to get a free professional photo. Hosted by the Graduate Division Climate & Community Interns, GradLife Intern, and the Career Center.


 
Webinar: Finding the Skills You Never Knew You Had
Thursday, May 24, 12-1pm | Online: Register on Port Triton
***Online webinar; link will be emailed to those who RSVP at least 24 hours prior to the webinar.

You have more marketable skills than you might realize. Skills that companies are eager to hire for. This workshop helps attendees develop strategies for identifying these hidden skills, as well as creating a framework for enhancing marketable skill sets through everyday activities.


 
Writing for the Academic Job Market Workshop Series
Presented by the Teaching + Learning Commons
*The Diversity Statement
Friday, May 25, 9am-12pm | Teaching + Learning Commons
Register

Develop skills and insights for writing effective diversity statements, including dedicated time to write and/or receive peer feedback on a draft.


*The Teaching Statement
Friday, June 1, 9am-12pm | Teaching + Learning Commons
Register

Develop skills and insights for writing effective teaching statements, including dedicated time to write and/or receive peer feedback on a draft.




Please see Port Triton and the grAdvantage calendar for information about additional upcoming academic and professional development events.

Explore career options

Explore Your Options

Discover your true calling by identifying opportunities that match your interests and strengths. Find a broad range of resources available to you, including workshops on graduate career development and self-assessment tools.

Careers In Academia

Clarify the academic job search process, develop your credentials, and prepare for the academic interview. Review the Career Center's comprehensive programs and online resources to assist you in your academic job search.

Careers Beyond Academia

A wealth of opportunities await grads with advanced degrees in the private, government and not-for-profit sectors. Explore the professions and industries that seek individuals with your skills and experience.

ImaginePhD

ImaginePhD is a free online career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences. This tool allows users to assess their career-related skills, interests, and values; explore careers paths appropriate to their disciplines; create self-defined goals; and map out next steps for career and professional development success.

The Versatile PhD

Interested in exploring career options beyond academia? Check out a resource that offers information about and support for your search.

Connect with resources and professionals in your field

grAdvantage

grAdvantage is a campus-wide initiative providing a suite of resources to help participants develop essential leadership, teamwork and communication skills to become successful leaders in their field.

Alumni Advisor Network

Get expert advice about your career plans through career conversations, resume critiques, and mock interviews with alumni advisors.

Graduate Student Association

The GSA works for the betterment of academic and non-academic life for all graduate and professional students at UC San Diego.

GradLife

Discover upcoming events and campus resources for graduate students.

Teaching + Learning Commons

The Teaching + Learning Commons advances how we teach and learn, containing a suite of services and programs to develop better instructors and more engaged learners. 

  • Writing + Critical Expression Hub: Resources for graduate students include graduate writing retreats, writing groups, workshops, and individual consultations with graduate writing consultants.
  • The Center for Engaged Teaching: Resources for graduate students include orientations for new instructional assistants as well as workshops and other support for both new and experienced instructors.

Alumni

The Alumni office organizes events, provides resources, and publicizes volunteer opportunities for all UC San Diego alumni.

Discover resources to help you in your job search

Internships, Jobs, and Fellowship Employment Opportunities for Master's & PhDs

Find internship, job, and fellowship employment listings for graduate students and advanced degree-holders.

For other funding opportunities, please see the Graduate Division's Graduate Funding Blog.

Career Tools

Access the Triton Career Guide and find resources for assessing your career readiness, exploring your options, preparing your job application materials, searching for job postings, preparing for the interview, and improving your networking skills.

Curriculum Vitae

CV's are the quintessential document for applying to academic jobs. Find out best practices and tips.

Resume

The core of the non-academic job application: learn how to distill your experiences into a career-winning document.

Cover Letter

The cover letter is your chance to make a strong argument for why you're the best candidate. Learn how to write one.

Informational Interviews

Conduct informational interviews with people in your intended career field in order to narrow your career interests, find out how to best prepare for your intended career, and successfully apply for jobs in this field.

 

Find additional resources for international students

Career Center Resources for International Students

The Career Center offers resources specifically designed to address the needs of international students.

International Student/Scholar and Postdoc Career Development Resource Page

UC San Diego provides a multitude of professional and career development services to support the variety of career options available to our students and scholars.

The International Students & Programs Office

This organization promotes intercultural engagement and provides services for UC San Diego's international students to achieve academic, personal, and professional success.

Talk to a career advisor

Advising for Graduate Students

Two dedicated PhD and Master's career advisors are available by appointment for confidential discussions of all issues related to career planning and professional development. The following services are conducted by appointment:

  • Assistance with career decision-making and planning, job searching, and strategies for an effective and successful career transition in academia and beyond
  • Guidance in finding and utilizing job-search resources by discipline, industry and profession
  • Critiques of CVs, resumes, cover letters, and other job search materials
  • Interviewing and negotiation advice and practice
  • Guidance in making connections with UC San Diego alumni and other professionals
  • Administration of self-assessment tools

To schedule an appointment, please log in to Port Triton. Having trouble finding an appointment? Email gradcareers@ucsd.edu.

Learn about UC San Diego graduate alumni's career paths

For aggregate data on initial placement for recent PhDs (2010-15), see the Initial Placement survey results published by the Graduate Division and Institutional Research.

Alumni Profiles

Andrew Chamberlain, PhD (Economics '14)
Chief Economist, Glassdoor

Please give a brief overview of the research you conducted as a graduate student.
My research was mostly in “applied microeconomics” -- which is basically the use of data to untangle questions of causality, in cases when it’s not possible to run controlled laboratory experiments. During my time at UCSD I worked on an eclectic mix of topics, including the impact of liquor deregulation on neighborhood crime, how layoffs influence the long-term earnings of workers, and the unintended side effects of temporary federal grants on state and local taxes.

Please describe your current job profile.
I’m the chief economist at Glassdoor, where I lead the company’s research group (glassdoor.com/research). I work with a small team of data scientists. Our job is to conduct research with Glassdoor’s data -- online salaries, company reviews and job postings -- to uncover trends in the labor market. About half my time is spent doing traditional research like gathering data, coding in R, Python and SQL, and writing up the results for nontechnical audiences. The other half is spent doing media interviews, including live TV, radio and print media.

What made you decide to transition into your current position?
A fascinating trend today is that a growing number of tech companies are hiring economists to help them extract insights from the social and economic data they’ve collected through their online platforms. As the first economist hired by Glassdoor, I had the rare opportunity to develop and lead a private sector research group from scratch. This role has taken me on a very nontraditional career path, which is not for every economist. But for my personality and career aspirations, being the chief economist at a tech company is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I’m very fortunate to have been given.

What’s one challenge you faced while you were transitioning to your current career, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge has been learning to be an effective media spokesperson. Like most researchers, I am a natural introvert who’s more comfortable doing math at my desk than speaking on stage. Being a public spokesperson has been the hardest job I have ever done, and it never seems to get easier. My strategy for overcoming this has been to try to think of public speaking like teaching -- reaching new audiences with ideas. Doing so has made me a better speaker, and has helped me enjoy the process more.

Please list some of the most striking similarities and differences between being a graduate student and your current position.
My current role is self-directed and requires a lot of creativity. That’s very similar to the Ph.D. program. I do my own brainstorming and technical work, and roll up my sleeves to solve problems just as in grad school. In graduate school, you face seemingly insurmountable barriers to your research, and through persistence, you eventually overcome each one. Learning that you can overcome any professional barrier, and develop any skill, with enough time is a powerful lesson from grad school that has carried over into my current role.

Apart from the research you conducted, do you feel like anything in particular has helped you acquire your current position?
One skill that has really helped me professionally is my exposure to pure econometric theory from UCSD. Having a rigorous theoretical framework for thinking about causality, estimation and statistical inference has helped me see the big picture when thinking about real-world data science problems. Theory helps you see that many seemingly complex problems are really simple. Being able to see the bigger picture for the statistical work I do at Glassdoor has been a tremendous help, and is probably the most valuable skill I picked up in the Ph.D. program.

What do you feel is the most important advice you can give to a current UCSD graduate student in order for them to obtain a position such as yours?
My advice to Ph.D. students is to aim to become a well-rounded person. There are pressures in academia to focus on technical skills and narrow research. While specialization is important, it’s often to the detriment of social and personal skills that are valuable in private sector roles. Outside of academia, if you want your ideas to have an impact you have to communicate and persuade non-technical people outside your field. Being a well-rounded person will help you do that, and will make you more flexible in a broader array of careers outside academia.

 

Barath Ezhilan, PhD (Engineering Sciences [Mechanical Engineering], '15)
Applied Scientist, Amazon

Please give a brief overview of the research you conducted as a graduate student.
My graduate research involved the mathematical/computational modeling of “active fluids” (which are fluid suspensions of living or self-propelled units, such as bacteria, or synthetic micro-robots, that can convert energy into motion). I developed a unified mathematical model and computational framework that improved the understanding of mechanisms that lead to complex collective behavior in such active fluids in confined and unconfined environments.

Please describe your current job profile.
I leverage the tools of statistical modeling and machine learning for important applied problems in computational advertising (such as predictive pricing and conversion rate estimation) at Amazon.

What made you decide to transition into your current position?
Several reasons:
- I wanted to move from mostly theoretical research to applied research that can have an immediate impact.
- I wanted more work/life balance (which I didn’t think was possible for me in academia, because of my own personality and the open-ended/non-time-bound nature of academic problems).
- I didn’t want to spend 3+ uncertain years as a post-doc (a norm in my field after the PhD) before I found a full-time tenure-track position.
- I wanted to live in a big city and earn enough to live comfortably in that city!

Please list some of the most striking similarities and differences between being a graduate student and your current position.
Similarities: I still get to solve interesting applied mathematics problems and go to research conferences.
Differences:
- You have to deliver results within a timeframe that is much more restrictive than in academia. Sometimes, this can be very restrictive.
- Simple and effective solutions are preferred compared to complex solutions. Also, you can’t make (crazy) idealized assumptions.
- Work is more collaborative and fun.
- People are more (verbally) appreciative of your hard work, and good work translates to a hike in compensation.

Apart from the research you conducted, do you feel like anything in particular has helped you acquire your current position?
I did a 7-week Insight Data Science bootcamp which helps academics transition into Data Science / Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence roles (http://insightdatascience.com/).

What do you feel is the most important advice you can give to a current UCSD graduate student in order for them to obtain a position such as yours?
- Take ownership of your grad school experience and your career.
- Start planning and evaluating your post-PhD options early.
- Take courses that will help you obtain relevant job skills (even if you are done with your official requirements, even if the courses are offered by a different department / not related to your PhD research, even if it makes your advisor unhappy).
- Do internships and side projects.
- Remember: that one last paper that you want to work on before you start your job search process is not all that important in the long run.

What’s one challenge you faced while you were transitioning to your current career, and how did you overcome it?
Because I started my career transition process really late (in the final few months of my PhD), it was challenging for me to balance time between my job search / interview prep efforts and wrapping up my thesis work. I overcame this problem by taking 3 months off grad school, and focusing completely on the job search (which included a data science bootcamp).

 

Kara Wentworth, PhD (Communication + Science Studies, '15)
Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow: Strategic Impact Analyst for Twin Cities PBS

Please give a brief overview of the research you conducted as a graduate student.
I spent time on the kill floors of small U.S. slaughterhouses, focused on the daily work of state-sanctioned killing.  I used video and writing to understand how bodies become meaningful and how killing becomes ok.  Working across disciplines, I began to answer broader questions: How is difference made in practice? How do we decide which lives matter?  I ended up learning not only about slaughtering animals but about how the worlds we live in get made.
 
Please describe your role as a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow.
I was hired to lead organizational change: helping Twin Cities PBS focus on, measure, and tell stories about the impact of the work they do.  This is a new role, so a lot of my work is figuring out what the organization needs and how I, in collaboration with colleagues, can help us become a model for media impact research and storytelling.  In some ways I'm an in-house researcher helping a staff of 200 be researchers too.  We create a range of television, educational games, live events, and digital engagement platforms here so it's not just measuring apples and oranges; it's a whole fruit bowl.  I get to work with producers, talent, event planners, grantwriters, designers, leadership, all with Julia Child playing silently on the screen over my shoulder.  It's pretty awesome!
 
What made you decide to transition to your current position?
I love teaching, I love writing, and I love research.  But what I love most is brainstorming and building new systems.  I want to be in a role where I can see the effects of my work in the short and long term, where I can collaborate closely with people I admire, and where I am helping to amplify ground-level social change that I believe in.  Within the academic world I think I would be happy in a position that includes launching a new program or leading a team – but those are rarely part of the early years of an academic career.  And there are so many opportunities to do this kind of work in the wide world outside of the academy.  When Grad Career Advisor Giulia Hoffmann pointed me to the ACLS/Mellon Public Fellows program last year, I was thrilled to see this position that combines qualitative research, organizational leadership, media production savvy, and system building.  It has been such a nice balance to have the structure and recognition of a postdoc while building a career within an organization.
 
What’s one challenge you faced as you transitioned to your new role, and how did you overcome it?
Other than coursework and fieldwork, I spent all of graduate school working from home on my chosen schedule in a pair of fancy pajamas.  I loved that flexibility and wasn’t sure if I was capable of working 9 to 5 again, not to mention wearing non-pajamas five days a week!  At the beginning I felt jet lagged.  Now six months in, I’ve not only gotten used to it but am starting to like the structure, rhythms, and even the outfits.   I am grateful to be in a somewhat flexible workplace: I typically work about 7:30-4 and can occasionally work from home.  If some flexibility is a priority for you, I recommend asking about the workplace norms in the hiring and negotiating process or bringing it up with your manager when you start a new job.
 
What do you feel is the most important advice you can give to a current UCSD graduate student who is interested in applying to the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program or in careers beyond the tenure track?
We graduate students have a lot of angst and insecurity (heck, most academics do even after tenure!). Find a way to leave it at the door as you figure out your next career steps.  The ACLS/Mellon Public Fellows Postdocs are designed for people who want to work in the world as a choice, not due to “circumstance” (e.g. my wife is already tenured, the academic job market is a nightmare, I can't support my family on an entry-level academic's salary… even though that all may be true!).  Get clear about where you are headed and why, even if it is a good-enough-for-now-and-I-know-it-will-change story about yourself.  What are your greatest skills and what kind of impact do you want to have in the world? Let that drive you and your story.

 

If you are interested in more spotlights of our alumni, please visit Alumni's Spotlight page and the Postdoc Alumni Spotlights page.

Are you a Master's or PhD alum who would like to be featured in our Graduate Careers newsletter and on our website, or do you know of someone who would be? If so, please contact Giulia Hoffmann or Joel Tolson.

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