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 helping 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 on a professional association’s listserv for my dream job. I applied, was lucky enough to be offered the position, and here I am, in Nashville, TN, at Vanderbilt University!
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 love Nashville, especially the joy of having 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 assisting you with your career plans!
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