Career Development for Graduate School Students

GSCD Staff

Ruth Schemmer, PhD
Assistant Dean for Career Development

I came to Vanderbilt’s Graduate School in August 2012, having spent the previous 13 years in career services.

My alternate academic career (higher education, non tenure-track) began at the end of my PhD studies in sociology at Texas A&M University. I determined that I would not leave our town for at least 4 years when my oldest daughter started high school, so I sought work at the university, which would allow me to complete my PhD, not relocate, and stop taking out student loans. Through networking, I learned about a new position as Career Coordinator for Liberal Arts at the Texas A&M Career Center soon to be posted; I applied and was offered the job. My final assistantship in Sociology had been as an academic adviser, so I was excited about the opportunity to help students with career questions. Four years later, I was promoted into a new position as Associate Director for Graduate Students, which I held for nine years. One day, even though I was not actively job searching, I saw a listing for my dream job on a professional association’s listserv. I applied, was lucky enough to be offered the position, and here I am, in Nashville, TN, at Vanderbilt University! I am delighted to be building new programs for the Graduate School students, with a focus on education about career development.

I tell people my career has been accidental–but that I love my job.  All job markets are competitive and my favorite part of this job is educating individuals on how to compete effectively in the search for their chosen career.

I’m excited about experiencing 4 seasons again (after 21 years in south central Texas)! My PhD is in sociology, and my interests include politics and world affairs. I have 2 grown daughters. When they left home, I repopulated my nest with 2 adorable cats, who moved with me to Nashville.

I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible and assisting you with your career plans!
For appointments, call 615-343-0844

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