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Career Advice

Just around the Career Corner

Congress offers career development for students and faculty.


Classes are winding down, grades are being posted and campuses are transitioning into the quiet season of summer. That means many humanities and social science scholars are turning their thoughts to … Congress!

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is an annual pilgrimage for an estimated 6,000 academics and 70 associations, who all come together for eight days of meetings, lectures, workshops and of course networking. This year marks Congress’s 82nd year, and the week of scholarly meetings will take place at the University of Victoria between June 1 and 8.

In partnership with the Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences and UVic, University Affairs will again co-host Career Corner, a popular professional development workshop series now in its seventh year. The workshops provide insight into academic careers, teaching skills and careers outside academia.

We picked out a few sessions to help you start planning your Congress schedule.

Graduate and postdoctoral students

Are you considering an academic career or planning to look for work outside the university system? Career Corner includes sessions for both tracks, as well as some advice for your next steps:

  • So you want to be an academic includes a panel of new and experienced faculty members from a range of disciplines, moderated by 3M National Teaching Fellow Marty Wall. The session will offer insight and advice on what it means to be an academic, the job application process and the path to the professoriate. (Offered twice, Monday, June 3, at 1 p.m. and Friday, June 7, at 10:30 a.m.)
  • Teaching your first course: What to expect will cover just what the title promises, with panelists discussing common challenges and stra-tegies for those about to teach for the first time. (Sunday, June 2, at 2:30 p.m.)
  • Careers beyond academia will help grad students considering a move into the non-academic world of work, including how to transfer your skills from academia to business or government. (Date and time to be confirmed.)

New faculty members

As an early-career academic, you juggle your research with teaching duties. A number of Career Corner workshops offer strategies to address these two aspects of your work:

  • Applying for teaching awards: Some strategies for success will take you through the award application process, led by the director of UVic’s Learning and Teaching Centre Teresa Dawson and awards facilitator Brad Buie. They have worked together on several successful national teaching award nominations for others. (Wednesday, June 5, at 2:30 p.m.)
  • Several of Canada’s academic publishers will share advice in the session on Publishing and marketing your scholarly book. Topics include how to get a book published and onto the shelves of bookstores and libraries. (Offered twice, Sunday, June 2, at 1 p.m. and Thursday, June 6, at 1 p.m.)
  • Training the next generation in service and engaging the community considers the role of community engagement in university missions and helps participants identify challenges, opportunities and strategies for creating community partnerships. (Tuesday, June 4, at 10:30 a.m.)

For everyone

A number of workshops address common career questions that concern graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and early-career academics:

  • How to write student fellowship proposals: The student and supervisor partnership is a panel discussion on how to succeed at writing funding proposals. Both supervisors and graduate students can benefit from the experience-based strategies shared by the panelists. (Thursday, June 6, at 9 a.m.)
  • In Presenting your research at Congress or your lessons in the classroom, speaking coach Kathy Bishop will identify the skills needed to make strong presentations at conferences and in the classroom. (Thursday, June 6, at 2:30 p.m.)
  • Those who have not yet used social media in the classroom may appreciate the interactive session Social media in the classroom: Blogging, vlogging and Twitter! Oh, my! (Tuesday, June 4, at 9 a.m.)

All Career Corner workshops are free and open to all Congress attendees. Verify the locations and times at the Congress website, where you will also find the full list of sessions.

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