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Transitioning out of Graduate School

If the department has gotten a student this far, they've done their job!

However, there are some nice extras to bear in mind when pushing the student out the door. (Advisor = mentor, if relevant.)

  1. At least 2-3 years before (PhD) graduation, advisor and student should have the "what kind of job do you want" talk. Preparatory work for academic versus business job is different, and the student should start examining how to put together their CV, or whether or not to take an extra class (in the local business school, or education department) to better shine when the job hunt arrives.
  2. 1-1.5 years before graduation, someone (maybe the advisor?) should encourage the student to go to CV writing and job hunting workshops - but ONLY if they are science/engineering-specific. CVs and job-hunting techniques for the social sciences are radically different than for computing.
  3. When the student is putting together their own CV, copies of the advisor's old CV, or of CVs from other recently-graduated students, can help, especially if the example CVs are from people on the same "type" of job hunt (research, teaching, etc).
  4. If the student wants a job different from what the advisor's experience is with (i.e., if student wants a teaching post and advisor is a research professor), the advisor should send that student to those who do have experience in that sort of hunt - recent graduates, other professors in department, etc. The student may not want to "foist" themselves on a stranger, so a little shove or an introductory email can be quite helpful.
  5. Obviously, the advisor should help with networking if they can.