Department of English at Illinois State University

Job Mentoring

The English Department at ISU boasts an excellent placement rate for its Ph.D. students into full-time academic positions as well as for its MA students who enter industry, teaching, or Ph.D. programs in English-related disciplines.

The Department takes mentoring seriously, and faculty and staff members volunteer to host sessions for outgoing students, primarily to prepare them for the academic job market and fellowship or Ph.D. applications. The structure of these sessions varies depending on student need and faculty availability, but generally consists of several face-to-face meetings in the fall semester with workshops on reading job ads; writing CVs, cover letters, and teaching philosophy statements; and practicing interview skills in mock phone and face to face interviews.

The spring semester focuses on practice job talks and teaching demos, negotiating job offers, and strategizing for finishing the dissertation. Faculty who lead the mentoring sessions often offer one-on-one support for students to suit their individual needs in the job search process with attention to the range of schools students are interested in working for.

Alumni who have attended job mentoring sessions have repeatedly praised the mentoring for helping them get through the job process and get a job!



Contact Diane Smith for more information about graduate student job mentoring.