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B-2 B-Well: Fall into Vocational Wellness!

November is the time for colder weather, plenty of leaves, and shorter days. It’s also a great time for students to look inward and reflect on life and relationships—and to build time into their schedules for vocational wellness

The staff of the Mignone Center for Career Success (MCS) is here to help. Interim Associate Director of Graduate Career Services Caroline Rende and Interim Assistant Director Divya Chandramouli, PhD ’23, recommend that you begin by identifying the skills you excel at, those you may need to polish, and your professional interests and goals. Tools like the StrengthsProfile on the Center’s Self Assessment page, as well as an in-depth self-assessment conversation with an MCS advisor, can help you to think through some of these questions. 

Rende and Chandramouli also encourage students to build their web of professional support. Winter—particularly the break between terms—can be an ideal time to network and reconnect with colleagues and update important documents such as resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles.  

If you’re concerned about the nebulous and lengthy hiring process—particularly daunting for those looking to begin careers in the arts, social sciences, and humanities—take heart. “We want to remind students that we are a resource for alumni for their five years after graduation,” says Rende. She and Chandramouli encourage students in these fields to attend the Humanities @ Work series, a monthly program in which different alums speak about how they have leveraged their degrees in industry, philanthropy, communications, curriculum design, and more.  

The MCS’s Firsthand Advisors tool is another way that those in the arts, social sciences, and humanities can leverage the alumni network and get concrete advice for their career paths—including tips they may not realize align with their goals. “We make a concerted effort to include humanities and arts alumni in Firsthand Advisors to make it more robust and create a broader network of support,” Chandramouli says.  

During the break and in the first weeks of spring term, you may also find you have more time and energy to attend career fairs or other events. The Crimson Careers central platform has a robust calendar that includes not only MCS events, but career fairs, employer visits, and non-Harvard events that are open to Harvard Griffin GSAS students or alumni. You even have the ability to filter the pathways to curate content just for you. Here are some programs to keep in mind: 

  • January@MCS: Dive into mind-mapping and designing your own career programming. 
  • Teaching and Your Non-Academic Career: In partnership with the Bok Center, this program is for those who love teaching and want to transfer that skill set outside academia. Be on the lookout for a new session during January@HarvardGriffinGSAS
  • Humanities, Media, Marketing and Creative Careers Expo (Fall 2024): Connects students with employers to discuss opportunities in marketing, public relations, fashion, social media/digital strategy, media, entertainment, and many other fields. 
  • Pursuing the PhD: Myths and Realities (Fall 2024): For both College and MA students, this event focuses on how humanities students navigate the decision to get a PhD. 

Finally, don’t forget that Crimson Careers also allows you to schedule one-on-one career counseling sessions and to directly search for jobs or internships. 

Work is a huge part of our lives. We owe it to ourselves to cultivate vocational wellness so that our careers leave us as happy and fulfilled as we can be. Please remember that there are always resources you can rely on to help get you to where you want to go and feel less alone in your vocational journey. And if life gets a little rocky, you are always welcome to visit B-2 to B-Well! 

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