Community Spotlight: Q&A with Daveena Tauber

Daveena Tauber is an adjunct professor who recently provided a workshop for Student Fellows of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions where they had the opportunity to identify their strengths, integrate their personal experiences and stories to support their career advancement, and practice challenging interview questions with peers around the room. This conversation highlights how she supports students, institutions, and professionals in the work of diversity and inclusion in sustainability.

How have your services/tools helped clients prepare for their career goals?

I am passionate about supporting career diversity. I see this as a practical and ethical necessity in an age where most people will change careers multiple times and where many people hold multiple jobs. In teaching undergraduates through University Studies I frequently call attention to the ways that our work in class uses skills that students will need in the workplace: the ability to speak in front of people, lead groups, synthesize information, write cogent emails, and even just show up on time. I want my students to be self-aware about the skills they are cultivating. 

In my work through ScholarStudio I frequently give talks that support graduate success and professional development. Graduate students particularly need to be able to navigate multiple roles: being a student as well as a teaching or research assistant, an intern, a colleague, and a worker. In addition to giving workshops I have helped hundreds of clients articulate their skills in the context of job applications as well as applications for admissions, fellowships, research grants, and postdocs. I have also helped several clients navigate the very intense of experience of finishing a dissertation while conducting a job search. I do a lot of work helping people prepare for interviews and recently did a session with a client on preparing for Skype interviews that I'd like to turn into a short class. For academics who are interested in self-employment, I curate a resource page at Scholar Studio. Career preparation is an important part of my overall focus on graduate student success. 

Could you share three brief takeaways you'd like for students and emerging professionals?

  1. Your degree does not speak for you. People outside of academia may not know all the different kinds of skills involved in earning a degree in your field. Make sure to "translate" your skills for each audience. 

  2. Rather than just listing your skills or years of experience, tell what these skills mean for each potential job. 

  3. Use the present and future tense whenever possible in applications. Avoid the conditional (Ex: I could, I might, I would) which introduce an element of doubt and make you sound tentative. 

Who are some potential partners you'd like to work with in the future who could benefit from the tools you're offering?

I will be giving versions of "Telling Your Professional Stories Across Contexts" workshop for graduate administrators at the Western Association of Graduate Schools conference and for graduate students at the University of Nevada in March. My professional development work is also a natural fit with the missions of the Graduate Career Consortium and Connected Academics, an initiative of the Modern Language Association. These would be great places for future partnerships. Find more resources and information at my website (scholar-studio.com) and blog (scholarstudioblog.com)