In a previous blog post, I wrote about how frustrating it can be to constantly hear that current doctoral students are setting themselves up for failure by pursuing the tenure-track market. Too often, panels, programs, and conversations on Twitter overwhelmingly focus on the decline of positions and negative experiences people have in academia. While these messages may be well-intentioned, rather than being helpful, they leave a lasting impression of uncertainty to graduate students.
That wasn’t the case for my time at NYU Steinhardt’s Faculty First-Look Program—a program that brings together graduate students from across the nation to learn from faculty, post-docs, and administrators at NYU about how to secure a tenure-track position and set yourself up for success once you begin your career as a professor. From the moment I received notification of acceptance, I felt welcomed and wanted.
As a Latinx scholar who was raised Catholic, mentors in academia to me are like the adults in my childhood that were not related but I trusted like family—I’d call them titis and tios (aunts and uncles). They are the mentors who have my best interest in mind and are willing to do what they can to help me succeed, even if it is giving me advice that is hard to take in. I left this program feeling like I gained more titis, tios, and primos (cousins).
Early on during the program, we learned that our individual acceptance into the program were part of a larger initiative to build a pipeline of Faculty First Look fellows that will diversify the professoriate and extend opportunity to future scholars. We were given brochures of former cohorts and we bonded over how our own unique research projects were still connected to the groups’ overall interest to equity and representation. We ended the program committed to keeping each other accountable and cheering each other on.
This program exceeded my expectations. While I was aware that we were going to have workshops on C.V.s and cover letters, the faculty recruitment process, and negotiations, it was not the typical “here is a presentation of best practices.” Instead, we received candid advice from the fac
Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/157965/