The PhD Career Exploration Fellowship (CEF) program encourages non-faculty career exploration among PhD students by facilitating networking experiences and fostering mentorship relationships with advanced degree holding professionals. Fellows can use this experience to cultivate a stronger professional profile and grow their network in a career field. This unpaid opportunity allows doctoral students to gain a better understanding of day-to-day life in various sectors including industry, non-profit, and government organizations. In 2024, the program will allow for in-person, virtual and hybrid fellowships.
This fellowship runs from February to May and typically entails a total time commitment of approximately 8-10 hours with host meetings and informational interviews. Fellows can choose to dedicate additional time by engaging in projects and/or attending sessions for their own professional development.
Fellows are required to attend:
- The CEF program orientation on Tuesday, February 13th at 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
- Two professional development sessions organized by Penn Career Services. These sessions are designed to enhance career readiness competencies and the exploration of non-tenure track careers.
- One social activity (more details will be provided later)
Fellows will first meet with their hosts to both 1) learn about their host’s career path and the various aspects of the host’s position, including specific responsibilities, work culture, challenges, and rewards of the role, etc. and 2) share their own interests as well as any of their short- and long- term career goals. Following this initial meeting, the host will facilitate additional informational interviews with colleagues and other members of their network whose career path and interests align with the interests of the Fellow. A final, debrief meeting between host and Fellow will occur at the end of the fellowship. Additional opportunities, like attendance at virtual meetings and the completion of small projects, may also be available. More information on specific opportunities and projects offered by individual host organizations are outlined in the 2024 Host Descriptions Packet: https://careerservices.upenn.edu/resources/2024-cef-host-descriptions-packet/
To read about students’ experiences in the 2023 program, please visit the PhD Career Exploration Fellow Spotlight Series on the Career Services blog.
For more details about the Career Exploration Fellowship, visit: https://careerservices.upenn.edu/phd-career-exploration-fellowship
*Please note: Because this is an unpaid career exploration opportunity, there are no Visa restrictions for international students.
Fellows will attend a mandatory in-person orientation session on Tuesday, February 13th at 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Breakfast will be provided. The orientation will include introduction to the program, goals, and expectations, and will serve as an opportunity for the Fellows to meet each other over breakfast. The exact date and time of the other professional development sessions will be determined later. Attendance in at least two professional development sessions and one social activity will be required, though participation in as many of the sessions as your schedule allows is strongly encouraged. In addition, all Fellows who participate in the program must complete the pre- and post-program surveys and write a blog post about their CEF experience to be featured on the Career Services blog at the end of the program.
Friday, January 12, 2023
PhD students in any department or school within the University of Pennsylvania may apply. Those who participated in the CEF program or the PhD Externship program between 2017-2023 are not eligible.
For information on the steps you need to apply, please visit: https://careerservices.upenn.edu/phd-career-exploration-fellowship/#CEFapply
- Step 1: Review the hosts and choose your top 3. You will need to write a brief explanation of why this host aligns with your professional and career goals
- Step 2: Complete this survey. Once you have completed the survey, you will be redirected to the Handshake posting
- Step 3: Apply for the position on Handshake by uploading your CV/Resume
If you have any questions about this program, please contact Roseanne Davila-Rivera, PhD Professionalism Fellow at email@example.com.