Professional and Career Development

Approach your professional and career development as an integral part of your time in graduate school. Alongside your research and teaching, develop leadership skills that will prepare you for success, whether you pursue a career inside or outside the academy.

A view inside the Humanities Quadrangle that highlights the arched ceiling and play of light in the foyer.

Yale supports your professional and career development through two complementary offices: the GSAS Assistant Dean for Professional Development and the Office of Career Strategy. Together, we offer one-on-one advising, a range of workshops, online resources, and varied experiential learning opportunities that will make you more successful during graduate school and better prepared for the job search. Professional and career training can help you clarify your career thinking, find ways to develop professional skills, build professional networks, understand the world of work, and prepare for a successful job search.

Jump-start your career and professional development in years 1-3 

  • Learn about professional and career development and make a one-on-one appointment with an advisor. 
  • Plan for success:  Outline your goals and develop a strategy to achieve them 
  • Hone your professional skill set through workshops and resources. 
  • Gain professional experience on campus and beyond to develop skills and learn about careers. 
  • Learn how to build a supportive mentoring team 
  • Explore diverse career options that fit with your priorities, interests and skills 

Solidify career options and identify opportunities in years 4+ 

  • Explore careers through online resources and networking 
  • Continue to network with professionals in careers/companies of interest 
  • Continue to build professional skills and experience 
  • Meet with an adviser to clarify how to communicate your professional identity and highlight your strengths to employers 
  • Prepare for job applications, interviewing and job talks, and negotiation 

Learn more about GSAS Professional Development

Learn more about Office of Career Strategy


Additional Resources

Poorvu Center: Teaching Development and Initiatives

The Teaching Development and Initiatives team provides opportunities for you to develop your pedagogical skills while you're here at Yale and as you prepare to teach at other institutions. You can earn a certificate that affirms your expertise, join in community with other graduate teachers, and compete for an opportunity to develop your own course alongside a faculty member. PhD students are also eligible to become McDougal Graduate Teaching Fellows, in which position you can further develop your teaching by facilitating workshops for your fellow graduate students and postdocs.

Digital Humanities (DH) Lab

The Digital Humanities Lab (DHLab) is uniquely positioned to support graduate student professional development through its programs. The DH Certificate allows you to complete coursework, training, and project work to demonstrate digital humanities competencies. The DH Dissertation Fellowship provides a stipend, space, community, mentorship, and mini-grant funding for students building a digital dissertation component.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

The 3-Minute Thesis competition challenges Yale PhD students to describe their thesis clearly and persuasively to a broad audience – in 3 minutes! Create a professional asset that is just as critical for academic conferences and job talks as it is for a job search outside of the academy.

Poorvu Center: Graduate Writing Lab

The Poorvu Center’s Graduate Writing Lab supports Yale graduate students in all aspects of written, oral, and visual communication. You can discuss a draft with a GWL Fellow in a 1–1 writing consultation; write with other graduate students at an All Write or Retreat; or join a peer-review group to give and receive support as you make progress on your dissertation, prospectus, or fellowship application. The GWL also offers over 100 workshops per year and a suite of public speaking programs. Alongside these resources, the GWL strives to promote a culture among graduate students that centers writing as a process of developing, refining, and disseminating knowledge, nurtured within a supportive community of scholars.

Yale Library Workshops

Yale Library offers workshops and events on a range of subjects that allow you to familiarize yourself with the library's resources and support your use of scholarly tools and online platforms. Workshop topics include: getting started with Zotero; syncing your online bibliography; cleaning messy data using Excel; literature searching; using LaTex; and curating your online scholarly profile. Workshops are sequenced to support every level of familiarity with scholarly tools, from beginner to proficient.

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