5 from a Professional is a series for Humanities PhDs to learn about a variety of career fields from leaders currently working in these positions. Intended to help graduate students reflect upon the strengths they already possess, as well as identify areas for further development, 5 from a Professional spotlights the transferrable skills that humanities PhDs already have in relation to specific career trajectories. Here are five skills and three career fields outlined by Nicole Balsamo, Senior Director of Development, UC Irvine School of Humanities.
University Development is NOT just parties and schmoozing….
Top 5 valued skills you probably already have:
- Understanding and appreciation for research
- Ability to articulate the value of a liberal arts education
- Communication skills required to effectively work alongside faculty and academic leadership
- Experience as a student and the need for student support, research funding, and much more
- Good sense of how to navigate bureaucratic red tape at a large research institution
3 career field details you might want to reflect on before deciding this path is right for you:
- Understanding the art and science of donor development and fundraising (which includes the right combination of good instincts, listening skills, and timing) is critical
- Comfort soliciting financial support from donors and cultivating relationships accordingly
- Unrealistic expectations of starting salaries/available positions when one does not have direct work experience in development