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


Career Conversations: Helping the Department of Energy (DOE) Communicate Science

Jul 15, 2020 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm | Online with OPD!

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) receives guidance from Congress about research goals and budgets and uses this information to design and administer funding programs. In this session, Dr. Christie L.C. Ellis, UMass alum and current ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow, will talk about her science communication role at the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, where she is helping her office communicate about the research they fund and helping the researchers communicate their science. Co-sponsored by TRI SCI.


Academic Hiring Freeze: What Else Can I Do?

Jul 16, 2020 | 10:30am - 12:00pm | Online with OPD!

Next year’s [faculty] hiring cycle could be nonexistent.” As you have been preparing (for years!) to become a faculty member, it might be overwhelming to think about other career paths. You might feel simultaneously over-qualified and under-qualified for everything. This workshop will give you concrete steps to start the self-assessment and career exploration that you need to figure out what comes next. 

This workshop is part of a series to help you explore your alt-ac job opportunities! Consider also attending the workshops on July 2 and August 6.


Interview Strategies

Jul 22, 2020 | 3:00pm - 4:00pm | Online with OPD!

Many people already find interviewing stressful and the “new normal” of navigating virtual job interviews during coronavirus only compounds things. 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. 


Teaching Statements for the Academic Job Market

Jul 23, 2020 | 10:30am - 12:00pm | Online with OPD!

How do you talk about teaching on the faculty job market? What are search committees looking for? How can you stand out? In this workshop, you will draft language about teaching that is suitable for all facets of the faculty application, including the teaching statement, cover letter, and in interviews.


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.

Business Foundations Series candid photo