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


Interview Strategies

May 18, 2021 | 9:30am - 11:00am | Online with OPD!

Many people already find interviewing stressful and the "new normal" of navigating virtual job interviews during the pandemic 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. 


Yes, Scholars are Using Linkedin and You Should Too!

May 19, 2021 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm | Online with OPD!

Are you missing out on jobs and internships? Searching in the right place is important, so is letting companies find you! Learn how to use Linkedin and Handshake to find opportunities and set up a profile that will establish your reputation online.


5 Things You Must Do Before Going on the Academic Job Market

May 20, 2021 | 10:30am - 12:00pm | Online with OPD!

There are less than 4 months until the faculty job applications are due in the fall. It is time to start preparing now! Come learn the 5 things that you must do this summer to prepare for an ultra-competitive faculty job market. (Even if you won’t be on the market yet, I invite you to this session to better prepare for the faculty job market!) 


Five Week Focused Writing Plan: Grant and Fellowship Applications (Wednesdays, May 26th - June 23rd - 10:00-11:00am)

May 21, 2021 | 10:00pm - 11:00pm | Online with OPD!

Are you planning to apply for the NSF GRFP or DDRIG, a fellowship from the Ford Foundation or AAUW, the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, an SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship, or another grant or fellowship in Fall 2021? Join our Five Week Focused Writing Plan to get your application off to a strong start! Each Wednesday (May 26th - June 23rd) from 10-11am we’ll “meet” virtually to share weekly writing goals and write together on a section of your application. During the rest of the week we’ll use an online space to post progress updates, pose questions, and get some writing motivation. This program is open to any graduate student or postdoc working on a grant or fellowship application this summer. After you preregister for “Five Week Focused Writing Plan,” you will be emailed additional information. 


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