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Professionalization Workshop

October 16, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Students who are applying this FA20 to pursue further graduate-level training in Philosophy are invited to participate in a professionalization and placement workshop. This workshop will offer a concentrated opportunity for students to develop and polish some of application materials—vitae and statements of purpose, primarily—and to discuss questions about their materials and the application process. It will be held via Zoom from 3:00pm–5:00pm on Friday October 16th 2020.

This workshop will be run by Dr. Cory Wright as a proper workshop. (There is no departmental service position for placement coördinator, officially, and so this role usually falls unofficially to the graduate advisor.) It is not a talk, lecture, or panel discussion. Instead, the focus will be on renovating each students’ documents, using various combinations of critique and feedback.

To Be Completed Prior to Workshop Workshop Agenda Extra Resources
  1. Make appointment at the GSRC
  2. Read resources ad libitum
  3. Draft vita & statement
  4. E-mail drafts to Dr. Wright by or before midnight Sunday Oct. 11th; no alterations thereafter
  5. Dr. Wright will read and review
  6. Participants will receive group drafts on Monday Oct. 12th
  7. Participants will review drafts, and generate comments before afternoon Friday Oct. 16th (comments should be surgically precise)
  8. Print out copy of your vita and statement if possible; this will help with notetaking
  • 3:00–3:20: desiderata and framing principles of vitae
  • 3:20–3:30: breakout rooms: peer critique I
  • 3:30–3:40: breakout rooms: peer critique II
  • 3:40–3:50: breakout rooms: peer critique III
  • 3:50–4:00: student responses
  • 4:00–4:30: statement of purpose feedback
  • 4:30–5:00: open Q&A

Vitae and résumés
Cornell University (OGS)
The Philosophers’ Cocoon (Marcus Arvan)
Berkeley Career Center (DSA)
Cal State Long Beach (GSRC)

Statements of purpose and personal statements
The Splintered Mind (Eric Schwitzgebel)
Cornell University (OGS)
Checklist for writing a great statement (Vince Gotera)
The Philosophers’ Cocoon (Marcus Arvan)
Leiter Reports (Brian Leiter)
American Philosophical Association (Committee)
Wonder Philosophy (Kino)

General application advice
Brown University (Richard Heck)
The Philosophers’ Cocoon (Marcus Arvan)
Graduate School in Philosophy (Trevor Hedberg)

Soliciting letters of recommendation
Daily Nous (Kate Norlock)
The Splintered Mind (Eric Schwitzgebel)
Cal State Long Beach (GSRC)

After the workshop, you will want to revise your documents while the feedback is fresh in your mind. Once your statement is revised, you may do well to get some additional feedback from select philosophers who are not your letter-writers. Once these documents are finalized, focus heavily on your writing sample. The writing sample is frequently treated as the most important indicator of admissibility.


October 16, 2020
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Cory Wright