When I returned to IU last August after conducting dissertation research abroad, I was eager to go on the job market, but had no clear idea of how to begin the process. I joined the Preparing Future Faculty program's bi-monthly meetings for graduate students entering the job market. Six months later, I got a job! The Preparing Future Faculty program played a major role in my ability to enter the academic job market successfully. It also provided an important forum for meeting with other graduate students outside my own field, and for thinking broadly about how to successfully combine teaching and research. I HIGHLY recommend the program to all graduate students in the history department.
All of the Preparing Future Faculty workshops I attended last year were well organized, helpful, and extremely practical. Those of us who were on the job market began by looking at sample resumes and sample letters of application tailored to either small liberal arts schools or large universities. We distributed copies of our own resumes and application letters, and critiqued each other's first attempts. Later in the fall, we gave practice job-talks to the full group, and offered constructive criticism to each other afterwards. Finally, before the AHA interviews in January, several of us had "practice interviews" with a group of faculty volunteers. That gave us a valuable taste of what the nerve-racking conference interview process was like.
Thanks to Preparing Future Faculty, I knew how to write application letters that interested other universities, and I was prepared for the type of questions asked during job interviews. In addition, the discussions we held about each person's philosophy of teaching and about how we define ourselves as teacher-scholars really helped me clarify my own thoughts and goals concerning becoming a professor of history.
The special workshops on the interview process and on applying for postdocs were very informative, as was the guest-lecture offered by faculty members' different universities. The Preparing Future Faculty program played an important and a very positive role in my last year at Indiana University. I wish I had become involved in it earlier, and I strongly advise other students to take advantage of all Preparing Future Faculty has to offer as soon as they arrive at IU.