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Tony Tang

I'm an Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Calgary. I'm passionate about Human-Computer Interaction and other weird things.

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Almost got my PhD, but now what? Career mentoring advice for graduate students considering careers in academia

Career Mentoring Panel - Mon, Apr 16 (11am) @ ICT 516

  • When: 11am - 12pm, Monday, April 16
  • Where: ICT 516

An informal talk and q&a session with professors who were faced with the “academia vs. industry” dilemma, and the path they took to stay/get back into academia. Three profs share their experiences (Locasto, Sillito, and Tang), providing insight into post-doc positions, the faculty job application and interview process (from both sides of the table). We’ll make sure to have plenty of time to answer your questions! We invite all interested graduate students and post-docs, as well as any faculty members who want to add their perspective! Light refreshments will be provided.

Questions that we can address

  • What should I do in my PhD to set myself up for a faculty position?
  • How do I find a post-doc position? What should I do in a post-doc to set myself up for a faculty position?
  • How do I prep my package for a faculty position? What should be in a good research statement, what should be in a good teaching statement?
  • What is the interview process like? What should be in a good research talk? How do I interview?
  • How should I find places to apply?
  • Why should I be a faculty member? What are the pros/cons of the position?
  • What was surprising about being faculty in the first year?
  • What was surprising about the interview?
  • How should I prepare for the interview?
  • What is the role of networking in helping me to find a faculty position?

Slides from the mini-talks

Things we wish we’d said

  • more on the tenure/evaluation process (sorry, maybe next time!)
  • interview process: not only are they interviewing you, but you should think of it as interviewing them (two way street)
  • individual interviews: they have no idea what to ask, either. so, use that as an opportnity to interview THEM – do YOU want to be HERE?
  • you can make a lot of plans, but you can only make the decision to make if you have an offer. so, set yourself up. does anyone actually want to hire you? only know that if you try.
  • interview process is long, but many people rely on snap judgements that they come up with within the first 10 minutes. The first 10 minute matter. First impressions count. Come across as an interesting person that would be fun/good to work with. Avoid coming across as an unlikeable person. Dress well, groom yourself. They are also assessing whether you can communicate and have good communication skills. Can you speak, are you intelligible, etc.