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Margin Notes

Drop by Career Corner at Congress 2011

University Affairs will again be hosting sessions offering career advice to grad students, new faculty and postdocs.


This guest post is brought to you by University Affairs’ web editor Tara Siebarth:

At the end of this month, over 6,000 academics will make their way to Fredericton, New Brunswick, to attend the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, known to most simply as Congress. This year it is being co-hosted by the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University.

Organized by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress brings together scholars, students, practitioners and policy makers in a different city each year to share ideas, discuss today’s complex issues and enrich their research.

University Affairs will be hosting the Career Corner sessions, which offer career advice and tips to grad students, new faculty members and postdocs. Here are a few of the sessions we have planned:

I’ve got an academic job offer, now what?

Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m.

How do you negotiate that first academic position? How do you make your asks without creating tensions before you even start your new job? These are the kinds of questions graduate faculty often hear from their students who have just been offered academic jobs. Robert Summerby-Murray (dean of arts and social sciences at Dalhousie University) will offer insight and suggestions in negotiating the terms of a first job and managing expectations from both sides of the table.

NSSE at UNB Fredericton: What we have learned so far

Monday, May 30 at 1 p.m.

This session, hosted by David Kilfoil, an educational analyst at the UNB Centre for Enhanced Teaching and Learning, will present what UNB has learned in the last few years working with the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) data at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. He will provide some examples of initiatives the institution has undertaken to respond to what they’ve discovered about the students (like a student engagement wiki, designed for faculty to share thoughts and ideas).

Yes, there is life after graduate school

Tuesday, May 31 at 9:30 a.m.

This session, hosted by career coach Jo VanEvery, will explore career possibilities, what package of skills/experience/ education you might need and how to identify and fill any holes in your CV before hitting the job market. This session will be followed by a 1-hour CV clinic. Get you CV critiqued by a professional career coach and receive tips on how to properly sell yourself on paper.

A virtual learning experience

Tuesday, May 31 at 2 p.m.

Fellow blogger Adam Chapnick will provide future instructors with a sense of what they might expect during their first online teaching experience. Seasoned online instructors will also have the opportunity to share and compare their experiences.

Check the delegate guide for the full program, as well as where the sessions will be held.

Of course, there are also several other interesting sessions to attend, some of which you might see me at, furiously taking notes, like the Big Thinking lectures, with talks by Chief Shawn Atleo, former Governor General Michaëlle Jean, and many other well-known scholars.

Every association in attendance (there will be over 70) will also be holding sessions relevant to scholars in their field. Here are a couple I will be attending – stop by and say hello!

  • Graduate student concerns panel

Saturday, May 28 at 2:15 p.m., hosted by the Canadian Association for Theatre Research


  • Academic blogging: a space between teaching and publishing

Sunday, May 29 at 1:30 p.m., hosted by the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing

  • Beyond grad school, how to prepare for the academic job market

Tuesday, May 31 at 11:45 a.m., hosted by the Canadian Historical Association

Léo Charbonneau
Léo Charbonneau is a former editor of University Affairs.
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