“I’m also sort of drawn to this kind of learning environment,” said McAnallen, the graduate careers services coordinator for MSU Career Services. “I was one of the nerds who always loved school.”
However, data have shown the job market for university faculty positions is shrinking. McAnallen is working to ensure Ph.D. students still have ample opportunities for employment.
“There are a lot of really smart and talented people who don’t have a clear career trajectory beyond a faculty position,” McAnallen said. “It’s my goal to find jobs in the government and private sectors that MSU Ph.D’s can excel in with their wealth of knowledge.”
With a Ph.D. in linguistics and a bachelor’s in nuclear engineering, McAnallen can relate to doctoral students from both technical and humanities backgrounds. She once thought she was on the track toward professorship herself, but discovered that position isn’t always the right fight for all academics.
“A professorial position is really the only thing you feel like you’re trained for, but I realized that maybe I want to do something different,” McAnallen said. “Now I help others explore those options and also realize there is a place for skills and knowledge beyond the academy.”