Professional Experiences and Skill-Building for Ph.Ds and Postdocs

There are many ways to gain professional experience as a graduate student, including campus fellowships, internships and  leadership positions with one of the many student organizations. Professional experiences can serve a variety purposes, including exploring new industries, learning to apply transferable skills in new areas, learning entirely new skills, and more, and the type of experience that’s most beneficial to you will depend on your goals and background. This page provides information on a range of resources and opportunities, many of which are available directly through Yale.

Part-time Experiences

For many graduate students, it may not be realistic to take a full summer away from research and other obligations. The good news is that there is no shortage of opportunities to gain professional experience that don’t require an onerous time commitment and that can be just as valuable for your career journey as a traditional internship. Part-time work can be carried out during the academic year, and Yale offers opportunities covering many different job functions. Also consider participation in student organizations which builds skills in leadership and project management with a time commitment designed to fit into a graduate student’s schedule.

A number of organizations at Yale also organize opportunities for consulting work, which can range in time commitment from a single weekend to a yearlong project requiring a few hours of work per week. These projects can be a great way to experience working with a team, to learn basic business practices and to see how your skills translate to new areas. You may also consider micro-internships, which give you the chance to do short-term freelance work in your area of expertise.

Summer Internships

In the right circumstances, a full-time summer internship can be an ideal way to explore a career. Tech companies often offer internships explicitly aimed at graduate students, but many other opportunities are open to graduate students even if not advertised to them directly. A number of opportunities are available at Yale, including the President’s Public Service Fellowship.

Keep in mind that GSAS has specific regulations regarding full-time summer internships, as well as part-time work beyond 10 hours per week. If you are interested in these opportunities, you should review the relevant GSAS Academic Regulations in detail and complete the Request for Summer Internship Form if applicable. International students should also consult with an OISS adviser before committing to a position with an outside organization or to any position at Yale beyond 19 hours/week.

Virtual Experiences

In busy periods when even part-time work can’t fit into your schedule, there are still opportunities to build skills and explore careers via virtual experiences and job simulations. These generally involve sample projects provided by real companies using realistic materials and datasets designed to simulate the workflow and process of a particular job function. Yale provides access to several sites that host these opportunities, as well as to resources such as LinkedIn Learning.

Internships for International Grad Students: A Step-By-Step Guide

By Leah Collum, November 18, 2019 – see the original post on Inside Higher Ed

Those two little words are all but guaranteed to strike dread into the heart of practically every international graduate student job seeker. It’s a classic catch-22: …

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PhD Transferable Skills

Employers value many skills in addition to the technical knowledge in your discipline that you have honed while at Yale.  These skills are called “transferable” because they can be employed in a range of employer settings. The skills most cited …

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Professional Resumes for PhDs

If you are considering a non-faculty position outside the academy, you will need to prepare a professional resume. Unlike your CV, which paints a portrait of your academic history and accomplishments, a resume is a marketing tool that selectively emphasizes …

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Student Spotlights


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