Phil Skills: Stories of Philosophers Who’ve Forged Non-Academic Careers

Phil Skills is a new website put together by two Philosophy PhDs from U of M, which features interviews with philosophers working in fields as broad as academic publishing, immigration law, management consulting, and national defense. They offer advice based on their own experiences navigating the job search and discuss how they use their academic training in their jobs.

Bringing PhD Training to Academic Innovation Projects

By Shana Melnysyn Dr. Sarah Moncada is a Project Coordinator for the Academic Innovation Initiative in U of M’s Office of Academic Innovation. She graduated from U of M with a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures in December 2016. Dr. Sarah Moncada helps facilitate the Academic Innovation Initiative, a year-long effort launched by the University of Michigan President’s and Provost’s Offices in September 2016. The Initiative aims to generate conversations and experiments to improve learning experiences at the university. Key goals include: expanding the reach of the university to […]

A Political Philosopher in a Taxpayer Watchdog Agency

By Eleni Manis, senior research analyst in the office of an elected official in the New York metropolitan area. Dr. Manis completed her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Michigan in 2009. Not so long ago, I was a philosopher specializing in political philosophy. Today, I work in the political arena, serving as a researcher and communications staffer in the office of an elected official. Then and now, I’ve been motivated by an interest in how government policies like the tax code shape people’s life prospects, and by a […]

How I (Unknowingly) Prepared for My Museum Career

By Matthew Jaber Stiffler, Researcher at the Arab American National Museum and Lecturer at the University of Michigan. Dr. Stiffler received his PhD in American Culture from U of M in 2010. My transition from academia to the world of cultural museums was, initially, supposed to be a temporary exile. My graduate career, eight years in all, was intended to be the prelude to a long and fruitful career as a tenure-track professor. I was attracted to every aspect of the TT lifestyle: flexible work schedule, summers “off”, spending every day […]

Developing and Applying Humanities Skills: From Museums to Financial Services

By Heloise Finch-Boyer, Senior Grants Specialist at Leyton UK. Dr. Finch-Boyer finished her PhD in Anthropology and History at University of Michigan in 2009. Internships aren’t just for undergrads. But when I entered the doctoral program in anthropology & history I was obsessed with other things: my field site, papers, prelims, my PhD “question”, the exciting intellectual atmosphere at the University of Michigan. One day in my 1st year, my friend had a good idea: “Why don’t we enroll on the Museum Studies Certificate Program?” This ended up being my […]

PhDs Discuss Transitioning to Careers Outside the Tenure Track

  From PhD to Life is a website full of resources for PhDs looking to transition to careers outside tenure track academia. It includes this comprehensive collection of Q & A’s with people who have transitioned into various careers, from libraries and nonprofits to banks and tech startups.

What Can You Do with a PhD?

This article discusses the experiences of some recent Mellon/ACLS Fellows, whose 2-year positions in government and non-profits help them gain valuable skills for professional development. Through the Mellon/ACLS program, the foundation seeks to highlight the contributions that humanities PhDs can make beyond the academy.

How to Prepare a PhD for Faculty and Nonfaculty Jobs

This article outlines a case where a PhD student in English entered her program already knowing she would seek employment in the tech industry, and worked successfully to tailor her studies. Although her advisor was used to mentoring students for the tenure track, he altered his mentorship strategies to help the student reach her goals.

Using Humanities Training for Technical Writing

By Asynith Palmer, Technical Writer in Residence at University of Maryland Baltimore County and Information Developer at AMP Systems, LLC. Dr Palmer received her PhD in English from the University of Michigan in 2014. I have been a full time consultant since earning my PhD in English Language & Literature in 2014. I carry two business cards. One reads, “Technical Writer in Residence – University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)” and the other, “Information Developer – AMP Systems, LLC.” In both roles I serve as a persuasive professional writer. At UMBC, […]

Development for Higher Education

By Shana Melnysyn By the time Jill McDonough was about halfway through her PhD in English at the University of Michigan, she realized that she didn’t want to be an academic. She decided to persevere and complete the degree, and then began networking extensively by conducting informational interviews with people in a range of professions that interested her. Through these interviews, she decided to pursue a career in public relations for nonprofits because she could apply her communication and “people” skills to organizations that were mission-driven. Her first job was […]