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Non-Academic Career Exploration

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GSAS Alumni Spotlight: Jeff Mankoff, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies

In this new series, GSAS alums describe their path to a fulfilling non-faculty career and how their Yale PhD has contributed to their success. Meet Jeff Mankoff, PhD 2006 (History) who is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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Exploring Career Options 

As you think about exploring career options outside of the academy, take the time to assess your interests, values and skills and to develop a solid understanding of all of the technical and transferable skills you have gained while at Yale.  Also identify any factors which might constrain your search, such as geographic preferences, an organization's culture, or work-life balance. Doing this inventory will be instrumental in focusing your search so that you can direct your efforts in the most productive way.  

If you’re not sure what industries or fields you’re interested in pursuing, or how your skills and interests fit with career options, schedule an appointment with an OCS Career Adviser, and take advantage of our self-assessment tools. As you identify career options that are potentially of interest, employ these resources to learn more about them:

  • GSAS Alumni Spotlight Series:  Interviews with Yale alums about their career choices and how their time at Yale has helped them in their chosen path.
  • PhD PathwaysA collection of career discovery resources at Yale and online specifically for graduate students and postdocs.
  • OCS panels and career fairs: Opportunities to connect on campus with alumni and employers from a broad range of industries
  • Common Good & Creative CareersOCS initiative to highlight opportunities in Nonprofit, Government, Education, Arts (Architecture/Design, Entertainment, Fine and Visual, Literary, Theater and Performing) and Communications.
  • Resource Library:  Extensive searchable database compiled by the Office of Career Strategy with resources on employers, industries, jobs for your specific interests.

The next step is to learn as much as you can about the employers within your field of interest, trends in the industry, and the latest industry news. Immerse yourself in the publications, websites and resources that professionals in the field follow. This will help you to develop your list of target employers, and prepare you to speak about the industry and your interest when networking and interviewing for positions.  The tools and resources in the Resource Library will get you started in this process, as will talking with an OCS Career Adviser who can explain how to make the most of these tools.