Job-market Mentoring: How Are Programs Doing? (Guest Post by Marcus Arvan)


The following is a guest post* by Marcus Arvan (Tampa) seeking information about what graduate programs in philosophy are doing, doing well, or failing to do, in regards to job placement. It originally appeared at The Philosophers’ Cocoon. Of particular value would be the perspectives of those who have recently been on the market and current graduate students currently preparing for that, but all are welcome to share their experiences and knowledge.

Please note Professor Arvan’s request to not “out” graduate programs that are doing a poor job. Along those lines, as per the comments policy, while pseudonymous posting is permitted, no handles may contain the word “anonymous” or “anon.” If not logging in via a social media account, a working and accurate email address is required; email addresses are not publicly displayed.


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Job-market Mentoring: How Are Programs Doing?
by Marcus Arvan

One of the things that has struck me in my experience with the Cocoon’s job-market mentoring program is that some grad students and recent PhDs appear to receive comparatively little job-market mentoring from their graduate programs. Accordingly, I think it may be helpful to open up a discussion on what grad programs are doing and not doing, so that we can perhaps see:

  • What is “standard”/”normal” (i.e. what kind of job-market mentoring do grad programs generally provide?).
  • What programs with particularly strong job-market mentoring do.
  • Respects in which some programs fall short on mentoring, compared to other programs.

My hope is that an open discussion of these topics might lead programs with substandard mentoring to see what other programs are doing, and what they (“undermentored” programs) could do better–as I tend to think that everyone on the market should have good mentoring (you know, fairness and all).

However, before I open things up with a few prompts, I want to institute some basic ground-rules. I ask that commenters not “out” graduate programs with poor mentoring practices, and that comments to that effect not be approved by the moderator. Rather, I ask that willing readers merely share a bit about what their grad programs do/don’t do in a way that preserves graduate program “anonymity.” My aim here is to generate a helpful discussion, not one that puts particular programs under scrutiny.

With that in mind (preserving program anonymity), here are a few questions for you all:

  1. What kind of job-market mentoring does your graduate program actually provide? (placement director?, mock interviews?, job-market materials development groups?, etc.)
  2. Where do you think your program succeeds in terms of job-market mentoring? (i.e. what does your program do that you think works well?)
  3. Where do you think your program could use improvement?

 

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