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Design Your Future Book Club for Graduate Students

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It’s a structured way of reflecting on
different futures you could have and actually testing whether you would like
them and what it would take to make them happen. It was about trying to get
us to expand our way of thinking about the ideas we have for what our options
are after graduate school. The course encourages you to think about, okay, just
think about what you like of your everyday life and sort of imagining a
job that would include that rather than being these are the jobs that exist you
know fit yourself into that mold. Most of us come into this program thinking that
there’s only one way to achieve success afterwards which is to become a
professor and like succeed in academia and we often don’t realize that we’ve been
developing other skills that can be useful in other industries where
we could potentially be just as happy. So the biggest takeaway for me about the
experience was you need to stop thinking and you need to start doing. Some
other skills that we learned in terms of networking reaching out to people
outside of our home institutions and things like that, I think those are the
things to start developing earlier on. I think that I tend to think about the
future in a way that isn’t super productive I read more than I actually
productively think about it and I think having the structure of this course was
really useful in that regard. It instilled a sense of
confidence in me to kind of pursue other opportunities. And I think one of the
things that’s really useful is that by being sort of forced and helped to
articulate these possible futures they take on a
much more concrete shapes and otherwise they do when they’re just fooling around
in your head.

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