GSAS to offer career prep, skill-building workshops in January

3 min read

For the second year running, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) will convene a flexible series of January seminars, workshops, and recreational opportunities designed to help Ph.D. and master’s students build skills and take advantage of the winter break.

January@GSAS, as the series is called, includes approximately 75 events, workshops, and classes, scheduled primarily between Jan. 10 and 21 and centering on professional development and skill-building. Partnering with institutions across campus, including the FAS Office of Career Services, the Harvard College Library, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Graduate School is responding to students’ expressed desire for short, intensive workshops dedicated to topics like public speaking and presentation skills, quantitative data analysis, language skills, and other pragmatic enrichment activities. The series is meant to be revenue-neutral, making strategic use of existing Harvard resources to curate events of interest to graduate students.

“Students have told us they view January as a time not only to make serious headway in their own scholarly work, but to catch up on job-search preparation and other career planning they may not have had time for during the term,” says Garth McCavana, GSAS dean of students. “They also see it as the ideal time to work on fellowship proposals and to expand their grasp of the ever-growing roster of research technologies offered by our libraries and research centers.”

Among the professional development programs on offer, OCS will sponsor workshops on the academic job search, transitioning to a nonacademic career, and building an effective networking identity online. The Center for American Political Studies is planning a workshop on how to navigate through an interdisciplinary graduate program.

In the skill-building arena, HCL is offering workshops on locating numeric data, using Zotero to organize research materials, using EndNote for science citations, and using GIS and Google maps for cross-disciplinary research. The Institute for Quantitative Social Science and the Derek Bok Center will also offer key events.

The January program also includes 10 mini-courses taught by graduate students themselves. These short courses, sponsored by the Graduate Student Council (GSC), are devoted to topics ranging from Russian literature, American art (taught at the Museum of Fine Arts), “instant” Spanish lessons, and the math, science, and philosophy of the ordinary objects of everyday life. The GSC hopes the offerings will give graduate students a chance to step back from their regular line of research and enrich their learning with new perspectives.

January is not all work; social and recreational opportunities will abound. Dudley House is open all month (starting Jan. 5), and its roster of activities includes music, classic movie evenings, a WinterFest for kids, an Asian cooking class, a sports pub, and a tour of the new American wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, led by a Ph.D. student in history of art and architecture.