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Author: Rebbecca

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PostDoctoral is a modern-day, academic Dear Abby podcast for those interested in career options outside the professoriate. Whether you're about to finish your PhD or somewhere out there trapped in an ivory tower of your very own making, it might be time for a change in 2020. We've been there, and we're here to help you address your "post" ... whatever form it may take. Got questions about life after academia? We'll get answers. So we can see you out there, happier and healthier than ever.
27 Episodes
Your community--nourish it and it will nourish you. In the capstone episode of PostDoctoral, Dr. Cynthia Estremera Gauthier shares her perspective on cultivating a community that will support and sustain you during the PhD program and as you consider future career tracks. Our conversation follows Cynthia's "Aha!" moment to the advice and encouragement she received from her academic and personal support systems, then to her current position as  Director of Racial Equity and Engagement for a strategy firm. Cynthia's story, inseparable from the mission of this podcast, reaffirms the central role community plays in your pivot. From the PostDoctoral community to you: enjoy!------------------------------Dr. Cynthia Estremera Gauthier is an educator, humanist, expert facilitator, and equity practitioner. She leads the Equitable Community Engagement service area as the Director of Racial Equity and Engagement at Strategy Arts. Cynthia has a superior record of supporting the development of coalitions that work to solve societal issues nationally and across the Greater Philadelphia region. Her focus is on strategies of inclusivity and advocacy that empower Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), women and those who are financially insecure. She has presented at local and national conferences to share strategies for how nonprofit and government agencies should equitably engage historically underserved communities and is actively supporting clients in implementing equitable community engagement practices. Cynthia specializes in safe space facilitation and in creating diverse, inclusive and equitable initiatives that amplify the voices of marginalized peoples. Her expertise of institutionalized racism spans more than 10 years across sectors, and she previously taught extensively about the Black and Latinx experience in America, identity development, white privilege, and racism. Prior to teaching and consulting, Cynthia worked in local politics and in nonprofit roles in Philadelphia. Cynthia has authored several pieces in blogs, books, peer-reviewed journals, and has been featured in podcasts like UCHRI’s “Voices of Diversity” and “PostDoctoral” and documentaries like “Uhuru: Rooting Our Voices.” Cynthia holds a B.A. and a M.A. from Penn State University and Villanova University both in English and a English and Africana Studies from Lehigh University. Cynthia is a writer, mother, and runner, and likes to dedicate her free time to exploring new places to travel and eat with her husband and boys.
Oh, the places you'll go, Humanists!Follow the many career adventures of Shannon Clute, humanities PhD-turned-marketing-guru-turned-higher-ed-innovator, and learn how one prolific and enjoyable side project changed his track forever.Because: why live only one career life when you can live nine?Enjoy! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Dr. Shannon Clute is Director of The Hatchery, Emory Center for Innovation.  His career has been evenly divided between academia and industry, and in both sectors he has worked at the crossroads of innovation, brand strategy, media, and instructional design to launch numerous scalable edutainment initiatives that aim to drive broad engagement while serving a greater good. In 2005, he and Dr. Richard Edwards launched Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir—the first film analysis podcast and among the first academic podcasts—which went on to be featured on iTunes, broadcast on Australian Radio National, and downloaded over 1,500,000 times.  He also created a series of four innovative multimedia edutainment courses at Turner Classic, which enrolled over 70,000 learners and drove more than 300M organic Twitter impressions.Most recently, he served as Sr. Director, Brand and Communications for the Division of Alumni Affairs and Development at Cornell University.  Previously, he held several positions with Turner Classic Movies, including: Director, Business Development and Strategy, where he was tasked with building a cross-functional and collaborative culture of innovation to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in response to market disruption; Director, Marketing and Editorial, where he was tapped to build the marketing vertical and lead integrated marketing strategy, planning and campaigns.  Before his time in industry, Dr. Clute was Assistant Professor at Saint Mary’s College of California, and Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky, where he taught courses in French and Italian language and literature.Clute holds a BA in Italian from the University of Colorado Boulder, and MA and PhD degrees in Romance Studies from Cornell University
What if we changed the post-academic career narrative? What if the Plan B career actually felt like a step in a brave new direction, not another step down a beaten--and beaten down--path? What if we sidestepped our fears and transformed them into agency?Agency. That's the theme of the second half of my interview with Natalie Berkman, PhD in French carving a path for herself, of her own design, at the intersection of academic management, ed tech, and self-directed scholarship. Enjoy the second chapter of Natalie's postdoctoral choose your own adventure story, where adventure gives way to agency.  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Natalie Berkman is a higher education specialist and award-winning scholar, currently working as the Directrice pédagogique (Academic Manager) at SAE Institute Paris, a creative media college that specializes in audio, film, and video game production. With almost a decade of experience in pedagogy, curriculum design, research, mentoring, and academic administration, she is also currently consulting with ViaX and Crimson Education.
When does the desire for a TT job surrender to the grim reality of the academic job market and need for personal fulfillment, and when it does, what happens to that desire? Does it disappear entirely, or does it just take on another form--a select-as-you-go brand of scholarship? Is the space between desire and surrender really the only path, or does another, of one's own design, exist at their convergence?My conversation with Natalie Berkman, PhD in French literature, explores this topic by way of her own transition from the academy to a world of new, previously unimagined opportunities, that successfully unites desire and surrender. Enjoy! ---------------------------------------------------Natalie Berkman is a higher education specialist and award-winning scholar, currently working as the Directrice pédagogique (Academic Manager) at SAE Institute Paris, a creative media college that specializes in audio, film, and video game production. With almost a decade of experience in pedagogy, curriculum design, research, mentoring, and academic administration, she is also currently consulting with ViaX and Crimson Education.
Welcome to the second half of my conversation with Rob Pearson, Assistant Dean of Professional Development and Career Planning in the Laney Graduate School at Emory University. The first part of our conversation found Rob heeding the siren call for stability and rootedness, which he did by exploring other career paths within the academy. In today's conversation, listen closely for Rob's implicit--yet, clear-eyed--message that each one of us has the opportunity to accept life not as it should be or could have been, but as it is. Such insightful advice for any stage of life and career development!Enjoy! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Rob Pearson is a musicologist by training and a champion of graduate education who is dedicated to preparing graduate students for the range of career options available to them. Currently, Rob serves as the Assistant Dean of Professional Development and Career Planning in the Laney Graduate School at Emory University. Prior to coming to Emory, Rob served as a faculty member in musicology at various academic institutions. Rob earned a PhD in musicology from Brandeis University in 2011.
The PhD job search may land you near and far--then near and far again. With all of this uprootedness, what happens when you want to put down roots? Rob Pearson did just that, and it changed the course of his career for good. This is part one of his story, from itinerant musicologist to leading voice in graduate career services. ------------------------------------------------- Rob Pearson is a musicologist by training and a champion of graduate education who is dedicated to preparing graduate students for the range of career options available to them. Currently, Rob serves as the Assistant Dean of Professional Development and Career Planning in the Laney Graduate School at Emory University. Prior to coming to Emory, Rob served as a faculty member in musicology at various academic institutions. Rob earned a PhD in musicology from Brandeis University in 2011.



When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Sure. Fine. We've all been making lemonade recently. What about slowing down to actually enjoy the lemonade?Some thoughts about where I've been during my break from podcasting, where I am, and the stories I hope to share with you in the months ahead, best enjoyed with a tall glass of lemonade. 
Katina Rogers is co-director of the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she guides and mentors graduate fellows, develops programming, and exercises administrative oversight over all aspects of the program. She is also Director of Programs and Administration for HASTAC, the online scholarly network, and co-director of the CUNY Humanities Alliance, a partnership between the Graduate Center and four CUNY community colleges, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Rogers researches and writes about higher education reform, including scholarly communication practices, professionalization and career development, public scholarship, and advocacy for fair labor policies. Her first book, titled Putting the Humanities PhD to Work: Thriving in and beyond the Classroom, will be published by Duke University Press in August. Rogers holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
That's a wrap on Season 1! Join us as we reflect on the key takeaways of our discussions this season – and what we learned along the way. Thank you for listening!
No one wants to hand out cards at a mixer. It's just a fact! Luckily, there are other forms of networking out there for you to explore – and that will help prepare you for your job search. We turned to Dr. Bedelia Richards to learn more about new ways to think about networking, why it's crucial for students and faculty of color – and how we can all move beyond the dreaded small talk.A little about our guest:Bedelia Nicola Richards, PhD is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Richmond. She is also the founder of RaceTalk LLC. RaceTalk LLC provides workshops and other consulting services to academics, administrators and student groups on issues related to racial and socioeconomic equity in higher education institutions. Dr. Richards received her doctorate in Sociology from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. As a race/ethnicity, immigration and education scholar, she interrogates the role of educational institutions in reproducing institutionalized racism and classism. Consistent with this interest, Dr. Richards has worked in organizations that advocate for underserved and racially minoritized youth in furthering their educational and occupational goals. She has also co-edited a volume, Clearing the Path for first generation college students which focuses on practical and effective approaches for addressing the opportunity gap between first-generation college students and students with college-educated parents.Dr. Richard’s scholarship also examines inequities in higher education that manifest in the classroom experiences of women faculty and faculty of color. Her goal to produce knowledge that can inform the professional development and mentoring of underrepresented and underserved faculty is reflected in her essay “Faculty Assessment as Tools of Oppression.” Dr. Richards has also published her work in Ethnic & Racial Studies; Sociology of Race and Ethnicity; Social Problems, Black Women, Gender and Families; and International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Dr. Richards is available for consulting with institutions on how to create inclusive and equitable environments on college campuses. She can be reached at
Episode 9: #ZoomLife

Episode 9: #ZoomLife


There's no more #CubeLife. Only #ZoomLife. Catch up with PostDoctoral as we dip our toes into socially distanced podcasting and commiserate on all things Zoom. 
A PhD can become your whole identity – so who are you if you don't stay on the academic track? It's a dark feeling many of us have faced, but it doesn't last forever. We discuss our experiences and get some insight from Chris Cornthwaite on navigating the darkness.A little about our guest:Chris graduated with a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Toronto. After working in public policy for a think tank and for the Canadian government, he created Roostervane to offer career direction to people doing advanced degrees. In January of 2020, he and his wife co-founded Thinkhouse, a Canadian research firm that works for government and private sector clients doing great public policy work and sharing in engaging ways.  Chris lives in Ottawa with his wife and three daughters.
Socially distant does not mean invisible. Now's as good a time as any to start considering your online networking options – and make sure your profile is ready for prime time. Which brings us to LinkedIn, a vital professional tool in the world of nonacademic jobs. We sat down with career coach Rhonda Sarmento to figure it all out. How can PhDs best use the platform to bolster their job search? Find out in this episode.A little about our guest: Rhonda Sarmento is an experienced Career Coach and has worked with clients of all professional and academic backgrounds. She is currently a Career Coach for a major consulting firm, where she provides coaching services to staff interested in transitioning to new roles or industries. Prior to her current role, she was a Career Coach for MBA, Masters and PhD students at both Duke University in Durham, NC and Emory University in Atlanta, GA. With an academic background grounded in the humanities, she has a passion for helping others identify their strengths and transferrable skills and achieve their career goals. Rhonda holds a Masters in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from East Carolina University and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Every work niche has its own weird language. On this special #CubeLife edition of PostDoctoral, we're translating some common office expressions to help you master the lingo from day one – and distinguish a compliment from impending doom.
You know you need to "translate" your PhD experience into "transferable skills" to land a nonacademic job. But what does that really mean? We went to career advisor Annie Maxfield to find out.A little about our guest:Annie Maxfield has been helping PhDs pursue their career of choice for more than 10 years. She is the Director of Graduate Career & Professional Development at UT Austin in the Texas Career Engagement Center and Leads the Design and Development for ImaginePhD, a free and confidential online career exploration and planning tool for humanities and social sciences.  She grew national employer education and recruitment for doctoral students by establishing the Virtual Master’s & PhD Career Fair for the Graduate Career Consortium and worked with the Modern Language Association’s Connected Academics Initiative and the American Historical Association to develop Career Diversity Faculty Trainings, Humanists@work, and the MLA Doctoral Student Career Planning Guide. A long-time advocate for doctoral students, Annie is most passionate about changing the culture of academia to embrace all PhD futures as viable, valued and visible.
The stakes are high and the stipends are low. Learn how to prepare financially for all career contingencies from Day 1 with guest Emily Roberts. About our guest:Dr. Emily Roberts is a personal finance educator specializing in early-career PhDs. Through her business, Personal Finance for PhDs, she equips graduate students, postdocs, and PhDs with Real Jobs to make the most of their money. She gives seminars at universities and for associations, interviews PhDs on her podcast, serves as a money coach, and creates courses and workshops on taxes, investing, and more. Emily holds a PhD in biomedical engineering from Duke University and lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and two children.
Surprise! A special series brought to you by PostDoctoral: #CubeLife! Where we detail the mishaps, misunderstandings and misadventures of modern office culture. This week's topic: Outlook. It's not just a perspective. It's a way of (office) life. 
Episode 2: Mentor Polo

Episode 2: Mentor Polo


They say you need a mentor to survive the shift out of academia and into the rest of the working world, but how do you find this person? To help answer this question, we reveal our own awkward missteps and turn to a mentor among mentors, Liz Fusco, for advice on how to approach finding a mentor.A little about our guest:A communicator by nature, Liz has worn many hats throughout her 20+ year career, including: marketing generalist, writer, entrepreneur, strategist and client nurturer. Whether she's crafting an integrated marketing strategy for a leader in healthcare technology or telling the social world about the tastiest tortillas on the market, her goal is the same: Reveal the heart and soul of the company. Discover what makes them desirable. Give them a voice. Make people believe. When she's not stewarding creativity on behalf of clients, you can find Liz spending time with her family, cooking for friends or burying her nose in a book. For more from Liz, check out her blog: 
On the inaugural episode of PostDoctoral, we tackle the question "How do I make the most of my graduate school's resources and career services offerings?" We turned to Dr. Susan Carvalho to learn more about how graduate schools are evolving their career services offerings to adapt to the changing PhD landscape.A little about our guest:Susan Carvalho serves as Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at The University of Alabama, where she oversees recruitment, admissions, financial support, new program proposals, professional development (including Career Center partnerships), and academic policy related to the University’s master’s and doctoral programs. She also serves on the Council of Graduate Schools’ Humanities Coalition, an ongoing initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation that seeks to understand and support the careers of PhD’s in the humanities. In addition to her UA role, Dean Carvalho serves as a senior advisor to the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Laboratory, which has guided the work of over 150 universities in strategic planning for international activities. In this role she has mentored universities from Colombia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and the US. 
Meet your hosts, Rebbecca and Rosie, and find out what inspired them to start a podcast dedicated to your post – in a world post PhD. 
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