Alumni are like extended kin: both are based on “connections.” With kin, association is based on family (e.g., marriage/partnership, offspring) while connections with alumni come about by virtue of shared experience – typically in a college or university. How many of us have ever reached out to an alum? Has it ever occurred to us that they might be an excellent source of insight and useful advice? And what do we think about their willingness to engage with someone who aspires to be, or is a part of, that same higher education experience? Likely? Unlikely? It seems that the “unlikely” [...]
About Elizabeth BriodyElizabeth K. Briody has been involved in cultural-change efforts for 35+ years—first at General Motors Research and later through her consulting practice, Cultural Keys LLC. She leads the Anthropology Career Readiness Network with Riall W. Nolan to improve student preparation for careers. In 2020, Briody was honored by the Society for Applied Anthropology’s Bronislaw Malinowski award for lifetime achievement.
A longstanding issue for anthropology has been its low public visibility. The effects in the US, UK, and elsewhere range from erroneous assumptions about the discipline, to still-too-few "seats at the table" in contributing to public conversations and debates, policy, and governance. Economists, psychologists, and political scientists are first among the social and behavioral scientists to be interviewed by journalists when local and national events take place, human actions are questioned, politics are debated, and new movies and books are reviewed. Many anthropologists have been asking: “Where are the anthropologists? Why aren’t members of the media talking to us?” The [...]
Great question! You are not the only one asking this question. Anthropology instructors have growing concerns that their students are not finding employment opportunities that put their anthropological skills to use. They wonder what more they could do to assist. Some suggest that the students reach out to certain alums they remember. Others point their students to the career planning office on campus. Many doubt their own abilities to do much more since they have limited, if any, practice experience. Instructors, here’s one option that builds on what you already know how to do: conduct research, make connections with others (e.g., [...]
Glad you asked. The notion of T-shaped qualifications has been around since the early 90s, but you don’t hear it much in anthropology. It refers to the skillsets needed to actually apply a discipline. Think of the vertical bar of the T as the disciplinary core. The horizontal bar, then, includes the skills and competencies required to actually use the discipline for something. Here’s an example. The application skills will vary a bit from one job to another, but many of them are fairly universal. A large part of the work of the Commission consists of exploring these upper-level skills – [...]