Get Involved

To Start

We are here to facilitate professional development for Cornell pre- or postdoctoral scholars in any discipline, and link you with the resources and experiences for your career aspirations beyond academia. As a participant you will get priority access to special events, be on a short list for select opportunities based on your career interests, be able to request funds to gain additional experience in your pathway, and receive regular emails with information about events and opportunities. Do remember your first priority is your adequate academic progress toward your Ph.D. or to fulfill your postdoctoral research aims, and participation in our activities is not intended to distract you from this successful outcome.

Audience member asking a questionWe want to empower you to be engaged with your career success and can help brainstorm ways to get you to where you want to be. We welcome participants in any stage of their career exploration process, from the initial information-gathering stages to verifying a potential career path. We support whatever path you take; our goal is to help you successfully find that path with the most efficient use of your time.

All surveys, meetings, and discussions with our staff are confidential. Our goal is to help you explore career pathways and make informed strategic choices for your next steps. Information gathered is used to steer our programming and prioritize application of our services. De-identified answers collected may be used as aggregate data for statistical summaries and for reporting purposes.

Inform Yourself

  • Sign up and attend an information session. This initial meeting will allow us to personalize the program opportunities to your individual and disciplinary career needs, whether you are in the exploration stage to rule in or out a particular career path, or at a point where you are seeking deeper involvement in a particular career pathway. Information sessions also introduce individuals across disciplines who share a common career interest beyond academia, to broaden your network.
  • Request to join our LinkedIn group. Engage in discussions, learn of opportunities, catch up on industry trends, be inspired, and actively participate in topics of broader interest with members from Cornell and beyond. Don’t have a LinkedIn profile? We hold periodic workshops to help you create and update your profile.
  • Join our listserv that posts events, news, and select opportunities related to various career options, whether you already know the path you plan to take or would like to sample several pathways. Please email if you would like to join the listserv.

Help Us Help You

  • Tell us about your needs via this intake survey which helps us to target mailings and events to your needs.
  • Make an appointment with us to learn how we can connect you with specific resources needed, and how you can be empowered to take control to drive your career success.
  • Visit our website frequently to see past and upcoming events on our events calendar. As your schedule allows, participate in the ones that help you rule in or rule out a particular career pathway and ones that help you acquire the skills needed for your future success.

Explore Your Passions Through Introspection

Examine your values, skills and interests to help set goals for your future career. We encourage you to make an appointment with Career Services to undertake this very important introspection step, as the more you know about yourself, reflecting your values, skills and interests, the better we can help you take your next step to prepare for your career. and build skills that will set you apart as a candidate.

  • With Career Services, complete personality assessments (e.g. MBTI, Strengths Finder) to explore your personal preferences and talents. Explore their Career Development Toolkit to complete Canvas modules.
  • Consult with ImaginePhD (especially for humanities and social sciences disciplines), an online resource designed to help humanities, social science and STEM students identify, prepare for and succeed in non-academic careers and to see the many career options open to doctoral graduates.
  • Start or update your individual development plan(IDP). If you are in a STEM field, read this Molecular Cell paper and discuss your IDP with your advisor.

Analyze your options

You think you want to pursue a career outside of a tenure track position. But how do you decide which options are going to be fulfilling for you and for which you have the skills? You’ve attended some career panels and professional development workshops, you might have researched some options that you found interesting, you’ve been thinking about some of your strengths. But there are so many career paths that you could  do, it’s hard to decide.

We developed the Careers Beyond Academia Career Research Lib Guide in concert with Cornell Libraries to help you to analyze your options. Whether you are interested in non-profits, think tanks, national labs, or want to find out more about consulting or policy related careers, there is a tab for you to learn more. This resource will help you to research the companies and organizations aligned with your interests and skills, that are doing the kind of work you want to do. Moreover, we encourage you to connect directly with the many mentors listed there who have gone down the various career paths so you can find your best fit.

Learn about additional career development opportunities through Cornell Career Services and the Office of Postdoctoral Studies.


Participation in activities with Careers Beyond Academia is flexible; all involvement is voluntary. There are no requirements, aside from demonstrated professionalism (to start, this can mean: show up when you sign up or send a note if you can’t attend). We ask that you share your position as an alumna/us once you have settled into your career, for the benefit of others, and to share your insights with current students and postdocs who are wrestling with their career decisions.

Participants can opt to focus on a single career pathway through workshops, courses, and customized internships, and/or sample multiple career options in less detail, primarily through webinars or career panels. Participant-initiated project and skill building experiences are encouraged, subject to program staff approval and available funding. See Create Your Own Activity for more details. Time commitment will vary based on each individual’s choices, and we can help solicit team participation to spread the workload and collaborate with new friends from across campus. Your top priority is adequate academic progress toward your degree or to fulfill your postdoctoral research aims, and participation in our activities is intended to support your successful career choice, wherever you may end up.

General Career Resources for Grad Students and Postdocs

Although Careers Beyond Academia does not focus directly on careers in teaching or faculty positions, we collaborate with groups on campus who do an excellent job in providing more specific support for this sector: