Essentials of a Graduate Student Portfolio

By Cyndi D. Lynch

Graduate Student Professional Development, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


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    Rasika Kalwit

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    I thought that this presentation is really useful for any graduate student who wants to pursue a career in specifically research field. Sometimes when you work on some particular topic for very long period of time it becomes difficult to concisely present your work in efficient way. For a graduate student a portfolio is good way to understand one’s goals, personality and suitability for the job. In the beginning the presenter talks about identifying your own values, skills, experiences and personality. The self-assessment can lead to find a job you want. Presenter also talks about networking narrative where your previous work experiences and the contacts made at the job can lead you to the job you want. It is crucial to highlight your relevant experience and attributes while applying for a job. The career strategy for the future also helps you to keep track of your goals and what do you want to achieve in 5/10 years of span. A very useful point was brought up by the presenter about references. You want to be prepared if the potential employer asks about references without bothering the person by contacting them too often. While finding a job it is important to keep networking, gather information about new jobs and connecting to right people. The job searching strategies such as improving your portfolio to encompass the skillset required for a particular job position are discussed. The presenter also talks about interview skills and how you want to have good first impression on potential employer even if the type of interview is not the conventional one.

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    Sofía Nicole Cerdas

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    The presentation offers very good insight into actions and attitudes that can be taken to further one's career, and improve your probabilities of finding and being hired for a job you want. The first part of the presentation focuses on self-assesment; how to understand your skills and experiences, and how to frame them in a way that is relevant to employers. The presenter mentions the importance of documenting your experiences over long periods of education, such as graduate school, as they might serve as data points or evidence that can later be used to convince a future employer you're suited for the job and possess the skills required. A very useful point brought up as part of the self-assessment is the importance of also assessing your personality and what your future plans for your career are; she mentions examples of the advantages and disadvantages of a faculty position versus an industry position, citing the freedom of selecting your own research versus potentially higher income as an example. She also mentions job search strategies: such as the importance of looking for several options and building up an array of duties and skillsets required for each, so that you might better choose which one suits you best. Some general and very useful advice given is to also identify and make known skills that aren't necessarily academic, but might be sought after by employers: teamwork skills, for example, as well as cross-discipline experience. She stresses the importance of networking and how it can assist with the process of obtaining this information, as well as linking you to people who can help, and gives strategies on how to stay in touch without bothering the person by contacting them too often. Finally, she closes the lecture with a summarized version of how to prepare for an interview, as well as important advice for one: researching the company's mission and goals, the importance of your first impression and nonverbal cues such as posture, clothing and gestures, and to focus on what you want the interviewer to remember about you in particular.


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