Planning Your Professional Development

Development Timeline for PhD Students

Years 1 and 2

  • Complete degree requirements in a timely fashion
  • Get to know the University, the resources available to you as a student, and build a support network here
  • Attend department and UChicagoGrad programming (Pay special attention to events that incorporate alumni in your field)

Year 2 and into year 3

  • Attend TA Training (YES, this is preparation for your academic career)
  • Attend workshops and interact with visiting scholars (when appropriate)
  • Attend career and professional development programming offered by the Booth PhD Office and by UChicagoGRAD. This will include job market preparation and other skill sets (presentation skills, developing an “elevator speech”, etc.)
  • Find out which annual conferences your fellow students and the faculty in your field attend. Identify conferences where you might be able to present.

Year 3

  • Continue active participation in workshops
  • Work on writing and presentation skills. Attend workshops offered through the PhD program office.
  • Go to Graducon (or at least part of it)
  • Attend career programming to get an overview of what it’s like to be on the academic job market and what materials you will have to prepare
  • Create a website and continue to update and develop it
  • Update your CV and have it reviewed with the academic job market in mind
  • Evaluate your 2nd year Curriculum Paper:
    • Does this paper reflect the kind of research you will do for your dissertation and job market paper? Does it utilize the same methodologies? What are your paper’s major weaknesses?
    • Is it a piece of work that you want to include on your CV in addition to a future job market paper? What kind of revisions would elevate your 2nd year Curriculum Paper to that level?

Year 4

  • Are you ready to go on the market in year 5? Early in the academic year, discuss your plans with your advisor, committee members and any other faculty who may write you letters of recommendation.