Already, the Ave Maria University Graduate Theology programs have had a great deal of success, as evidenced by the placement of our graduates in many positions throughout academia and beyond. However, until recently, the practical wisdom regarding professional development had been passed down from year to year in a rather informal manner. With a very competitive job market and, the requirements and expectations of employers changing and increasing, a group of PhD students came together to start a series of professional development colloquia to help graduate students in all the areas that are important for preparing to enter the job market, from CV and resume writing, to practice interviews, publication tutorials, and conference advice, these colloquia will help ensure that AMU Graduate students are prepared to bring what they have learned out into the world.
A small steering committee of current PhD students, Taylor O’Neill (4th year), Brandon Wanless (4th year), Daniel Lendman (1st year), Sean Robertson (1st year), led by Kevin Clarke (3rd year), got together and formed a plan for the success and content of the colloquia. With the approval of GIV President (the AMU Graduate Theology student government) Sean Robertson, this initiative will be conducted under the auspices of GIV in order to ensure its endurance through the years. Dr. Roger Nutt graciously agreed to be the faculty advisor and sponsor, and at his advice the steering committee reached out to Zachary Crockett at the AMU career center and inaugurated was is hoped to be a long standing and fruitful relationship between the AMU career services office and the Graduate Theology Programs.
The first meeting was well-attended and the proposal was gladly received by the graduate students. All are eager to build upon the culture of success that is already in place in the theology programs. What is more, through these meetings graduate students will be able to build one another up, aid one another, and foster a stronger sense of community.