Career Preparation

Career Preparation

OPD helps graduate students and postdocs plan and prepare for careers beyond UMass Amherst—and it’s never too early to start! We organize numerous events and activities to help you assess your values, skills, and interests; explore career paths; build professional networks; and navigate the job application process. Our OPD alums enjoy rewarding, impactful careers in academic, industry, government and non-profit organizations.

Adaeze Egwuatu, PhD student, Neuroscience & Behavior

Coming into UMass, I didn’t know many people who had earned a PhD, so there were a lot of transitions I didn’t know about.  I attended OPD events to learn more about careers I hadn’t imagined before, meet with professionals to expand my network, and begin the process of self-discovery to find the right career fit for me.

Adaeze Egwuatu (PhD student, Neuroscience & Behavior)

Upcoming Events


Academic Job Market Check-in: Silence, Frustration, Now What?

Jan 27, 2020 | 12:15pm - 1:15pm | 528 Goodell

Are you applying for faculty jobs this year? Come to this informal brown bag discussion and share the frustrations with a cohort of others who are experiencing the same thing! Bring your questions about what happens next and what to do when faced with rejections. Please feel free to bring your lunch; snacks will be provided. 


Interview Strategies

Jan 30, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:30am | 538 Goodell

Many people find interviewing stressful – but it doesn’t have to be! This session offers a framework that can help you reduce anxiety and boost confidence. If you are considering jobs outside academia or non-faculty positions inside academia, this session is for you. 


Informational Interviews: "How To" for this Important Career Exploration Tool

Jan 30, 2020 | 2:30pm - 3:45pm | S320E Life Science Laboratories

Have you heard that you should be doing information interviews in order to explore your career options or to become a better job applicant? Not sure how to go about this? This interactive workshop will feature a live demo of an informational interview and you will learn how to reach out to a potential contact, what questions to ask, and how to use the information for your job search.


Career Conversations: The role of a AAAS Science and Technology Policy (STP) Fellow at USAID

Are you interested in a career at the intersection of science and policy? Are you interested in global initiatives that disseminate science and technology for greater societal benefit? Learn how one UMass alumna is pursuing both! Dr. Chelsea Marcho will talk about the work she is doing as a AAAS STP fellow at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a US agency that invests in projects to save lives, reduce poverty, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises. Join this informal conversation to learn about AAAS STP Fellowships and what it’s like to work at a federal agency.


Additional Resources

Your advanced degree opens the door to many career possibilities. New resources emerge daily to help graduate students and post doctoral students navigate this discovery process. Here are a few of our go-to resources.

  • Graduate students and postdocs may access the Handshake career platform managed by UMass Career Services. Create a profile today to access actual jobs, internships, and fellowships and to register for career-related events sponsored by each College’s Career Center. For students, access is automatic using NetID. Postdocs may request an account by emailing the appropriate college-based UMass Career Center.


Contact us for more information on OPD’s Career Preparation workshops and assistance.

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