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June 18, 2017

Special Resources Edition

This week, we're changing our usual format in order to bring you a selection of useful resources to enhance your professional development. For even more advice on networking, applying for jobs, and more, check out our online career development resources.

Tip of the Week

Develop yourself! In this special edition of GradCareers, we are suggesting some resources where you can learn about employers, the job search, transitions from graduate school to careers, buildling effective communication skills, and more. Bookmark these links and make time to check in every now and then to get advice and continue to grow.


One of the best ways to explore where an advanced degree can take you is to learn about what alumni are doing and how they got there. On this page, we have gathered together entries from the "Where Are They Now?" series on the GradLife blog that highlights the amazing work that Illinois graduate alumni are doing in a broad range of careers. 


On GradLife, you'll find everything from posts by student researchers to advice from Graduate College staff to profiles of graduate student fellows to reports from grad student events. Check in on GradLife regularly to find something new and useful. Want to write for GradLife? Email


With career advice for graduate students and postdocs written by experts in the field, Carpe Careers is a fantastic resource. Learn how to network as a grad student, how to explore different careers, why you need to figure out what you want in a career, how to ace an interview, and more.


One of the most important skills you can develop is the ability to explain complex concepts effectively to diverse audiences. Whether you're talking about your research in an interview or presenting to your company's board of directors, you need to be able to get people excited about complicated topics. Each year, the Graduate College sponsors a competition called Research Live!, which asks Illinois grad students to present about their work in 3 minutes or less to a general audience. At this link, you can find recordings of finalists from the past two years. Watch and think about what makes them effective and what strategies you might try yourself.


Whoever you are and whatever your carerer goals, learning how to use a particular tool or approach a particular problem would probably be helpful. If you're not getting those tools or approaches in your classes, consider using to supplement your development. You have free access to Lynda through Technology Services, and you can use it to learn everything from Adobe Creative Suite to statistics to conflict resolution strategies. Learn more about how to use Lynda to prepare you for your career in this blog post.


One of the most improtant things you can do to set yourself up for success in a job search is to build strong, broad networks in fields you are interested in. If you are having trouble finding people working in those areas, you can use LinkedIn's alumni tool to search for them among the hundreds of thousands of Illinois alumni on the site. Search by major, industry, or keyword and see who pops up.


The Graduate College Career Development Office fosters personal growth and professional development in graduate students and postdocs during their time at Illinois and in their future careers.

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