Getting Started

Take the First Step

book icon for graduate students

Preparing for a job after graduate school begins on the first day of your graduate program. This may seem surprising at first, but searching for a job that is fulfilling, challenging, and fitting for you requires a wholehearted investment of time and effort.

Utilize this page to take your initial steps and maximize your opportunities as a current graduate student.

Consider Your Timeline

It may be difficult to understand the most effective ways to utilize your time while you are in graduate school. We have tried to help you think through the ways to balance your career needs to help you pace yourself: you are running a marathon, not just a sprint at the end. 


Timetable for General Job Search

The job search process is a year-round practice. With that said, industries that tend to recruit in fall include: finance, engineering, business, and accounting. It is important to continually search websites to see what is available. We highly recommend implementing advanced searches on your favorite job search engines and utilizing their "save search" functionality to receive emails about positions’ availability based on your interests. Review this timetable for tips regarding each year of graduate school.

  • Build a network of contacts, and continue to cultivate them. Consider maintaining connections through: different community presenters that come to UCSB, relationships you make through community-based research, professional memberships, and advisor’s connections
  • Consider internship options and where you can fit them into your timeline. Gaining direct experience as you receive your Ph.D. can be invaluable and help you to become a competitive candidate. 
  • Identify job areas and job descriptions/positions that could be a good fit for you. Identify skills and areas in which you can gain more experience.
  • Discuss plans with professors and advisors, and receive feedback on available opportunities.
  • Consider evaluating your values, personality type, and interests by taking career assessments and meeting with a career counselor.

Learn More

For more information when seeking internships and experience, check out our Gain Experience pages. Also review our Discover Options page to learn how to assess your interests when getting started.

  • Look at job search websites and identify specific positions of interest.
  • Take note of industries and companies that interest you as well as the skills required for those positions. Use the time you have to build relevant skills that will enhance your candidacy.
  • Continue developing professional connections, and strategically pursue professionals in the areas that interest you. 
  • Attend career fairs on campus and look online at GauchoLink for positions for graduate students. Increasing employers attend our career fairs in search for graduate students.
  • Utilize your network and reach out to prospective connections to let them know you are actively on the job market.
  • Target resumes and cover letters to specific positions you are applying to. Utilize the job description as a resource to help inform you of what skills are needed for the position.
  • Do not hold back from applying to positions which do not specifically request a Ph.D. or Master’s degree. Oftentimes your degree could be valuable to the position and you can make a case for why it makes you a competitive candidate.
  • Prepare for interview questions and consider coming to Career Services for a mock interview.

Learn More 

For more information regarding the job search and how to present yourself, read our Get Hired and Job Search Strategies section.

  • Continue to search for jobs and remain open to possibilities as they become available.
  • Many positions that open up during these months are for positions that are intended to be filled quickly, so be prepared to move quickly on your application materials.
  • Show your resume to friends and colleagues for feedback and understanding of what stands out to them.

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