Next week! 2021 Job Search Prep Camp for PhDs in the Humanities & Social Sciences

Are you a PhD or postdoc in the humanities and social sciences (or an alum of a PhD program!) who is interested in learning more about careers outside of academia?   Then you will want to check out all of part of next week’s 2021 Job Search Prep Camp for PhDs in the Humanities & Social Sciences, set to take place virtually from Monday, June 7 to Thursday, June 10 in the mornings!

Here are some FAQs about this exciting program:

Q: I have not yet done anything to prepare for a life outside of academia – do I need to prepare for the prep camp?

A: Absolutely not!  You are welcome to attend all of the sessions, or just the ones that pique your interest.  You will walk away with lots of ideas about what you can be doing to prepare for your next steps.  Here’s brief snapshot of our four-day schedule. We encourage you to visit our Prep Camp webpage for a full schedule and to register for all of the events.


  • 9:00 – 10:15am: Exploring Careers for PhDs
  • 10:30am – 11:30am: Student and Alumni Job Search Panel Discussion


  • 9:00am – 9:55am: Demystifying Job Ads and Researching Employers
  • 10:00 – 10:45am: Reviewing Job Candidates from a Hiring Manager’s Perspective
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm: Hiring Manager and Recruiter Panel Discussion


  • 9:00am – 10:15am: Converting Your CV to a Resume
  • 10:30am – 11:45am: Telling Your Story in Cover Letters


  • 9:00am – 10:15am: Acing Your Interviews
  • 10:30am – 11:45am: Negotiating Your Job Offers
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm: Announcing the Launch of Aurora at Penn

Q: What might I learn in the prep camp?

A: We’ll provide an overview of exploring career options for humanities and social science PhDs and share specific advice for each step of the job search process. You’ll come away with strategies and tips to help you position yourself for your post-PhD job.  Some programs will help you to develop specific skills, such Converting Your CV to a Resume, Telling Your Story in Cover Letters,  Acing Your Interviews, and Negotiating Your Job Offers.

Other sessions will connect you with Penn alumni who work as recruiters and hiring managers, where they will provide advice about job seeking from their perspective.

Q: I keep hearing about Aurora.  What is this?

A: Aurora is Penn’s newest digital resource — an eLearning Platform with on-demand, self-paced learning modules that allow PhDs and Postdocs to discover career options and methods to apply the skills acquired through their education. Penn students and alumni now have unlimited access to Aurora by selecting the University of Pennsylvania from the dropdown menu. Join L. Maren Wood, PhD, Founder and CEO of Beyond the Professoriate, for a webinar on how to take advantage of this brand new resource to help Penn PhDs explore and plan for their future careers.

This virtual prep camp is open to all Penn PhD students, postdocs, and alums. Please register for each event in Handshake. After registration, you will have access to the web link 5 minutes before the start time on the Handshake event page.  We can’t wait to “see” you there!

By Dianne Hull
Dianne Hull Senior Associate Director, Graduate Students & Postdocs