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Graduate Student Professional Development
Dr. Alina Brown Top Three Career Tips

Dr. Alina Brown, Director of Consumer and Design Research, Global Strategy & Business Development,
Geely Design Global

1. Your career may not be a straightforward path, but more like a jungle gym with twists and turns until you find the best fitting job. Even though the first job you accept may not be the perfect fit, do not worry, that special place is out there and you will find it.

2. Don’t easily accept a “NO” “you can’t” or “NO” “you are not ready.” Work on your skills and build your passion for the position for which you were rejected and come back with a better, stronger proposition.

3. Make sure that you are visible. Always keep your network profiles up to date with accurate descriptions of your portfolio and research interests.


Professional Development Panel

This panel discusses different tips on how to achieve and be successful in both industry and academia. The panelists come from distinct backgrounds with academic and professional business experiences.

Dr. Robin Carufel (Department of Consumer and Design Sciences)
Organizational skills are essential for consistent and continual growth. It is very important to know where you are going and have a plan on how to get there. Backwards planning is more realistic in terms of plotting out how to do things, as well as planning time commitments. One good tip is using to do lists to keep organized. Another tip is being realistic; know your time commitments, as well as your own skills and knowledge. Set your boundaries and learn how to say no. Another tip for organization is tracking time; time tracking helps with being realistic in setting goals. Once goals are set, ensure that your planning includes buffers for when things might not go according to plan.

Ms. Ana Plana (Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management)
Take advantage of the current resources your university or department offers. It is essential to surround yourself with knowledgeable people, people that you aspire to be like. Ask a lot of questions, even if they might seem silly. Push through that uncomfortable phase, it will help you grow and learn. Try to develop your critical thinking skills. Based on my experience, networking is like a domino effect, you will constantly meet new people that might offer you opportunities and introduce you to other people who can be helpful.

Dr. Leanna McConnell (Department of Human Development and Family Science)
Build your brand and take opportunities that come your way that align with your brand. Build diverse outlets, such as social media and a personal website, to showcase your abilities and your work. It is very important to constantly update your CV and social profiles. It also is very important to develop marketable skills. For those interested in teaching, research how to develop better teaching skills, or look into how to give engaging presentations. It is valuable to be honest with your advisors, tell them about your experience and needs. Networking also matters and can open doors for future opportunities.

Dr. Annette Burnsed (Department of Consumer and Design Sciences)
It is of high importance to constantly update your CV and ensure it is organized. When applying to jobs the match between what is presented on the CV/resume and the job opportunity is key. It also can be valuable to create an e-portfolio that contains all the presentations you made at conferences, including posters, and uploading all your publications. Sign up on different platforms, such as LinkedIn and HigherEdJobs, for future position searches. Perfect interview skills by recording yourself to observe your presentation style and take advantage of resources at the University Career Center for interview preparation. Finally, identify people who can write strong recommendation letters and describe your strengths –make sure you have the right people writing letters for you.

In this session, students discuss perspectives and strategies to apply to graduate studies. Clarity of goals and envisioning future career options are covered, as are steps to making the most of opportunities during one’s graduate program. Connecting with supportive colleagues and mentors is emphasized.

Grantsmanship is a core skill that most CHS graduate students will need in their future careers. This introductory session covers the key elements of grantsmanship. A one-hour presentation is provided by Tony Ventimiglia in the Office of Sponsored Programs. Opportunities for follow up discussion/consultation are available.

Graduate Student Proposal Writing Session 2015

From teaching to research to outreach/extension, taking a team approach often enhances the activities being undertaken and often is essential to achieving desired goals. This session addresses the value of collaboration, selecting good partners and ensuring good communication across team members.

E-Portfolios permit online presentation of accomplishments, interests, and expertise. E-Portfolios contain artifacts that document accomplishments and experiences, and incorporate thoughtful reflection about the content presented. E-Portfolio introduction sessions, workshops, and courses are available.

ePortfolios Presentation

Purpose: To understand what to emphasize in the curriculum vitae (CV) and letter of intent.

Importance: Your CV and cover letter provide documentation of your competencies and accomplishments. Often these materials are the first introduction people have to who you are as a professional – before meeting you or hearing you present your work. It is important to ensure that these documents reflect your strengths and your fit with the position.

Next Steps: After this one hour session, you will want to take time to look at models of CVs and cover letters. Most faculty members have their CVs posted on their faculty web pages. Invite your major professor and other faculty members to look at your materials and provide feedback and suggestions.

Additional links:

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

Make Your Resume FAT

Curriculum Vitae

CV Example #1

CV Example #2

CV Example #3

CV Example #4

CV Example #5

CV Example #6

Cover Letter

Tip Sheet on Cover Letter Writing

Coverletter Tips

This session addresses preparation for the interview, preparing and practicing job talks, and other tips for a successful interview experience. For nonacademic positions the Auburn University Career Center has partnered with the Graduate School to offer sessions addressing resume preparation, interviewing, and job negotiation.

This session offers tips for and examples of well written teaching and research statements. Strong teaching statements effectively address: Why do I teach?; What do I teach?; How do I teach?; and How do I measure my effectiveness? A research statement is a summary of your research accomplishments, current work, and future direction and potential of your work.

Teaching and Research Statements

Example Research Statments

Example Research Statment #1

Example Research Statment #2

Example Research Statment #3

Example Research Statment #4

Example Teaching Statements

Example Teaching Statement #1

Example Teaching Statement #2

Example Teaching Statement #3

Example Teaching Statement #4

Three Minute Thesis competition

Three Minute Thesis competition

November 19,2015

Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Conference Center Auditorium

Come see what the 3-minute thesis competition is all about.
If you are not participating this year, consider participating in 2016.

Go to for more information.