Welcome to the VersatilePhD Boston group, and thank you for your interest! We are a volunteer-led and independently run local group which is affiliated with, but not directed by the VersatilePhD.com. The main purpose of this group is to reach out and connect with graduate students and PhD's who have gone off the beaten path to pursue careers outside of academia. There are many more of us out there than one thinks, and my hope is to build a thriving community in the greater Boston area.
The ivory tower isn't for everyone. Whatever your reasons for leaving the tenure track or your PhD program (or just pondering it), you need support, dignity, perspective, a little self-knowledge, and a new network of contacts. That's where this group comes in.
VPhD Boston holds two types of Meetups. Twice a month, we meet for a Meet and Greet. Discussion runs the gamut from the nuts-and-bolts of translating academic skills and experience to nonacademic careers, to the more difficult project of figuring out what you actually want. Nor are we necessarily opposed to the academic world itself: some participants have left reassured that the professor track is in fact the right path for them. This is simply a safe space to air doubts and explore other possibilities as well as swap contacts and information.
The second type of Meetup is our Speaker Series. Each month or thereabouts, VPhD invites a former PhD, EdD, or ABD to discuss his or her successful transition into a nonacademic career. Again, the discussion may range from the technicalities of other fields and interview practices to the emotional and psychological work involved in leaving behind past professional identities, achievements, mentors, and colleagues. Some of the speakers will address the search for creative outlets outside the academy; others will focus on the more prosaic problem of finding a steady paycheck.
Since this is the beginning of things to come, there will be some shuffling of things as such, but I guarantee that you will enjoy yourself and meet some great folks. I will try to plan monthly gatherings - and you are free to make any suggestions for things you'd like to do!
Come hang out, network, and make new friends while learning about a variety of opportunities! Also, if you'd like to share about your experience navigating the job market after graduation, that would be great as well. Please contact us at [url=mailto:email@example.com]firstname.lastname@example.org[/url] to get started!
(Note to prospective members, particularly those who have not yet "outed" themselves to advisors and colleagues as academic leavers: This group is private, which means that Google will not "crawl" its pages. For an extra level of privacy, join under a pseudonym.)