Tuesday, June 16, 2015

PPPE/ POEC alumni in Puerto Rico!

Hi all,

It was wonderful to see two alumni of the PPPE program last month at the Latin American Studies Association's annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Sharon Wrobel (PhD 2005) is working at University of Memphis.  In Puerto Rico, she was studying decentralization in Cuba.  Alejandro Tirado (PhD 2012) is moving to Rhode Island to teach after working at Texas Tech for a few years.  He is working on an evaluation of Mexico's Oportunidades program.

Here are a few pictures of us.  The PPPE alumni group keeps in touch!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Congratulations to Dani Litovsky Alcalá (BS IPE 2014).  She was admitted (with a scholarship!) to the University of Chicago's  Master's degree in Computational Analysis & Public Policy (CAPP).

We are all so proud!

Keep us posted of your successes!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

This fall, Dr. Javier Osorio came to campus to lead a workshop on his new software package, Eventus.  This new program machine codes news stories in Spanish.  One of our current PPPE students, Viveca Pavon is going to use this for her dissertation.  Here is a preliminary paper of hers outlining some topics that may be better studied using this tool.

PPPE is known for offering opportunities to students to learn sophisticated new tools and methods.  We will keep you posted on her progress.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Notes from the APPAM 2014 Professional Development Workshop in Albuquerque, NM

Yesterday I attended three sessions that were focused on helping masters and doctoral students get jobs.  Here are my notes from the three sessions, for those of you who could not attend the sessions.

Fantastic sites and resources for you!

General hints about job hunting:
What is your web presence?  You will be Googled.  Do you have Linked In?  

The Career Search: Behind the scenes in the policy job market (non-profit, government, private sector)

Cover letter:
  • Crucial - even if they job site doesn't obviously have a place for it - include it.  Append it to your resume if you have to!
  • Demonstrate that you know something about the organization
  • Use any connections/introduction that you may have.
  • Talk about how your knowledge and skills match the job description
  • Try to let your personality come through.  Would you be a good team player - fun and easy to work with? 

What do policy shops want?
  • People who are interested in policy relevant research/ the application of research (written in a way that non-academics can actually read!)
  • People who can talk about research as necessary for making better policy decisions
  • People who write well
  • People who ask the right questions
  • People who are willing to keep learning

Job search hints:
  • Ask for an informational interview (But be flexible and have an open schedule!)
  • What are you looking for in a job?

o   What field?
o   What type of organization [govt, non-profit, or private sector]?  What is the mission and culture of the organization?  Is this a good fit for you?
o   What role? (teach, research, etc?)
  • What are the employers looking for? 

o   They want people who understand their field, organization and role. What value are you going to bring to them?
o   Do you have the relevant skills, education, and experience for the job?  (Think in terms of - references, experience, classwork, education, publications, presentations, professional affiliations)
o   Are you committed to the work that they do?  Do you know who their competitors are?  etc.  DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
o   They want someone who fits in their culture / way of working.
o   They want smart, serious, and engaged people. 
  • Try to be in the room with people with similar interests (conferences, etc.)  People are looking for the bright bulbs in the room.  Who is interesting?  Who is crazy?  Who asks interesting questions?  Who is enlightening?
  • Don't call people about jobs - just apply - unless you actually know someone there.

Non-Academic Career Path

  • Goal for resume length:  1 page per every ten years of work experience
  • Short cover letter (know your audience - they are looking for fit and personality, in addition to skills and experience)
  • Don't start with your dissertation
  • Stick to an experienced based resume as opposed to a skill based resume (unless you are applying for a job in the federal government)
  • Don't call people about jobs - just apply - unless you actually know someone there.

How to prepare while in graduate school to prepare you for a career outside of academia
  • Conduct research with the state, agencies
  • Get internships to get experience to match the work you want
  • Places like Mathmatica Policy Research have a team approach to research (administrative data, etc)
  • Acquire research & program evaluation skills 

Federal job market
  • Great advantage for people with quantitative skills
  • You need to know how to apply.  Learn the game/bureaucracy of USAjobs.gov  
  • Before accepting the job, learn about the environment & culture about the organization.
  • Great match for people who don't want the publish or perish mentality of the academic market
  • The online application process (ie "are you an expert in an area" - learn about what precisely they mean by expert ... etc.  Look at the guides)
  • Customize your CV to the job description.
  • Go to meetings like APPAM and talk to staff at your targeted agency
  • Also prefers collaborative individuals

Contract research (like Abt) job setting
  • Collaborative setting (both within the firm and with the government agency)
  • Work directly with agencies within the government, so data access is not a problem

Tenured Faculty and the Fellowship Career Path

Application process
  • Your pitch:

o   Extensive CV, longer cover letter
o   Start with your research
o   This is a long-term prospect, so people are looking at you and asking if they want you as a colleague for 30 - 40 years.
  • Don't call people about jobs - just apply - unless you actually know someone there.  Your dissertation advisor can call if s/he knows someone there.
  • If you are at a conference and have applied for a job at someone's university, go ahead and chat with people from that institution.  Introduce yourself and go ahead and give them your CV.

General Advice
  • Keep in touch with your dissertation advisor.  You will need him or her later.
  • Have at least one well connected person on your committee.
  • You can never have too much grant money, too many publications etc. as an academic.
  • Network at conferences with faculty and students ... this can turn into a publication network too 
  • No one wants to hire a jerk or a pain in the rear.

If you are on a visiting faculty position
  • Keep your head down, get stuff done, and publish
  • Don't neglect teaching - no one wants someone who generates complaints
  • Stay out of factions and feuds among faculty
  • Be active in department, school events - not in university politics or controversies.

Obtaining grants as graduate students
  • Grant money gives you independence & bodes well for future productivity. 

Publishing as a graduate student
  • Publish or Perish: There is no substitute for publishing before you are on the market. 
  • Maybe start by co-authoring with faculty or fellow graduate students, but a solo publication is always better.
  • If you publish with a faculty member, make sure you explain your contribution so that you are not just perceived to be a research assistant.
  • If you have more funding left, stick around and publish before you go on the market.
  • Avoid common mistakes

o   Pick appropriate journals before you submit your article
o   Show your paper to your faculty for comments and suggestions before submitting.

As a new faculty member
  • Ample grant money and publishing keeps you mobile. 
  • Book versus articles?  This is discipline and research dependent question... but aiming for a book may be a bit higher risk.
  • Don't be a perfectionist to the point where you don't submit your paper.
  • Be a good university/department citizen ... this isn't enough to get you the job but it can be enough to keep you out of a job.  Know what being a good citizen is in that university.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Inaugural IPE Student Advisory Board!

Hi all,

The faculty wanted to make sure that we were hearing about student concerns and compliments. So, we decided to create an advisory committee of students to help us help you!

Here is a special thanks to our new board members: Diep Truong, Daniel Blauser, Sean Edgren, Hillary Corwin, and Ana Girón Vives.  We are working together to improve the undergraduate program in IPE.  

If you have ideas, please let me know or get in touch with them.  We will have two more spots open in spring as well.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Great news from an alumnus!

Congratulations to Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn for being quoted in the NYTimes!


Many people chasing the American Dream are working long hours and skipping vacation to reach it. Most employees strongly believe, compared with people in other countries, that hard work pays off in success. But they seem to overestimate income mobility: Research by Miles Corak, for instance, shows that mobility is higher in some other countries than in the U.S.
My research shows that Americans who work over 40 hours a week are more happy than those who work less, but that doesn't always translate into economic success.
My research shows that Americans who work over 40 hours a week are more happy than those who work less – so are they happy being overworked? Europeans, on the other hand, are different – they seem to value leisure time more, and accordingly those who work over 40 hours are less happy than those working less.
Protestant influence and a strong belief in individualism (taking things in one's own hands, making it without help, proving yourself) account for some of the aspects of the strong American work ethic. But Americans are also forced to work more than others – in many other developed countries there is universal health care, education is cheaper or free, and in the U.S. you need to have money to access these things. Inequality is also more marked – so it makes more sense to work harder to be a winner.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Good job sites for you!

Hi all,

Here is a list of job sites that many of your peers and recent alumni have found useful.

Good luck!

Policy Jobs:

Domestic and Non-profit jobs:

international jobs:
The Development Executive Group is a membership organization for the development industry and, among other things, provides recruiting services to development organizations. This is the source of the forwarded message below.
This is a directory of various job, internship, and volunteer opportunities with some sort of connection to socially-conscious service.  They also send out regular updates of opportunities if you join the list.
This is the web site of the American Council for Voluntary International Action, a group of nongovernmental organizations in development and humanitarian fields.
This web site gives members access to listings of international jobs, as well as profiles of companies that employ people abroad in development and humanitarian aid.
This is another directory of international job opportunities.
This is a directory compiled from various listings of international jobs. Access to the most recent job listings requires a paid membership, but if the listing is a few weeks old, a membership isn't needed.  
This is a directory of job listings in humanitarian fields.

Study abroad:
This web site provides information on various types of international travel programs, such as volunteer opportunities and internships.

This is the web site of the Council on International Educational Exchange. It has a wealth of information on study and teaching opportunities in other countries