Join An Organization

Careers Beyond Academia works with and supports many organizations whose goal, in part, is to explore career options beyond academia. There are many on-campus organizations in addition to national and international professional societies in your discipline that offer extensive professional and leadership development opportunities, awards or fellowship opportunities, travel grants, links to job postings, and more.

Professional Societies

By joining a professional association you gain a competitive advantage in your field. The association will introduce you to other members working in the industry – or even your dream job – around the world that you can connect with by phone or email. The association is also a resource for industry trends, legislative rulings, and technological advancement.

  • Resources – journals, member profiles and contact information, job postings, advocacy efforts, newsletters
  • Conferences – treasure trove information, a great way to network and stay up to date on industry trends
  • Research – access new ideas and datasets that may be valuable in any position
  • Networking – meet leaders in the field, connect with mentors and view job openings
  • Grants – whether you work in academia or non-profits, grants are a great way to further your organization’s mission statement and raise awareness. Many professional societies have small grants and travel awards you can apply for.
  • Discounts – for conference attendance, journal subscriptions, travel or professional development

Find a Professional Society

Often, disciplinary and professional societies offer career and professional development opportunities that you can take advantage of either online or while you are attending a conference. They usually welcome ideas you may have to improve the offerings for graduate students and postdocs. In addition, membership gives you access to individuals in the profession you seek to explore; these contacts are potential individuals for informational interviews. Professional societies are designed to bring people together, connect like-minded workers, and promote the mission of a given industry. Over the years we have developed relationships with many societies to co-create and present programming or support student membership. You can locate a professional society to explore in a number of ways:

  • If you attend a conference, see who is sponsoring the conference.
  • If you are publishing, check who has oversight of the journal.
  • See what student clubs are on campus, sometimes they are an affiliate of a national organization.
  • Directory of Associations has local, regional, national, and international associations compiled by state and categories.
  • See the Library Guides (use the search function) for more information on how to find a professional society.


To find a relevant society, try using keywords from your research focus or careers of interest along with ‘association’, ‘society’, or ‘organization’ in your search. Many more links to disciplinary associations, Think Tanks and Professional Societies are curated in our Careers Beyond Academia Career Search Guide.

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Historical Association
  • Licensing Executive Society
  • Medical Science Liaison Society
  • American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • The Optical Society
  • Biomedical Engineering Society
  • Society for Women Engineers
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • Association for Women in Science
  • Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about how to find an organization.

We Support Cornell Campus Organizations

In addition to the organizations below that we work closely with, who all welcome students and postdocs from any discipline, there are many other graduate student organizations on campus that you can join. View the Cornell Campus Organizations website for a list of all organizations. Most have listservs so you can stay informed of their activities.

Advancing Science And Policy (ASAP)

Cornell Advancing Science and Policy (ASAP) is a group of graduate students, postdocs, and faculty interested in the intersection of science and policy. We engage our members in the policymaking process and educate the public about the role of scientific input in advancing society. We provide training on writing and outreach, discussions of pertinent science policy topics, host invited speakers, and lead annual trips to Washington, D.C. Join us to learn how to best make your voice heard, and understood, by those who represent you.

ASAP hosts many events and training sessions to help Cornell graduate students and postdocs learn how to use non-partisan language to defend the basic institution of unbiased science.

Visit the ASAP website and connect via ASAP Facebook page or email

Cornell Graduate Consulting Club (CGCC)

CGCC mission:

  • Raise awareness of opportunities for Ph.D., J.D., and all other graduate students interested in consulting
  • Understand the basics of consulting
  • Access and share interview prep materials
  • Network with current students and alumni

Connect with CGCC through their CGCC Facebook page, and subscribe to the CGCC Lyris e-list:

Technology and Entrepreneurship at Cornell (TEC)

An organization of engineers, scientists, technologists, and like-minded individuals interested in entrepreneurship. To foster a better understanding of entrepreneurship we:

  • Explore the entrepreneurial process through interactions with students, professors, business leaders, and alumni.
  • Encourage the pursuit of business ideas through interactive campus events, exposure to the industrial and entrepreneurial culture, and workshops.
  • Encourage interaction with Cornell and Ithaca entrepreneurial communities through various networking events.

Join the TEC mailing list:

Join the TEC LinkedIn group, like TEC on TEC Facebook page, and visit the TEC website for more information and to get involved.

Graduate Women in Science (GWiS)

Through outreach, teaching, and advocacy, GWiS improves the scientific culture to help women and gender minorities thrive in the sciences. Home to Science on Tap and various social events.

Society for Humanities

The Society for Humanities operates in the A.D. White House with a robust offering of events, groups, and lectures that offer intellectually stimulating discussions, workshops, renowned speakers, and the opportunity to connect with scholars across multiple disciplines.

Graduate Reading Groups

The English Department offers many intellectually stimulating activities and groups across disciplines. Please check for a group that interests you.

The Office of Postdoctoral Studies

The Office of Postdoctoral Studies supports and advocates for postdocs at all phases of their training by collaborating with offices across campus, including academic departments, faculty, and administrators, to support postdocs as they prepare for their future careers. Visit the Office of Postdoctoral Studies website for more information.

Free Institutional Memberships

The Graduate School keeps a list of free memberships offered to all graduate students, including many resources that will aid students in their job searches.