Understand more about GRADTalk in an interview with Allen Linton, GRADTalk Consultant and Graduate Student in Political Science
FAQ: GRADTalk offers individualized and programmatic resources related to public speaking, interviewing, participating in the classroom, giving classroom or conference presentations, networking, and more. The GRADTalk team works with students individually in customized advising sessions, and also offers opportunities, both on campus and off, for graduate students to practice and improve their oral communication skills.
Learn more about GRADTalk Advising from Allen Linton, GRADTalk Consultant and Graduate Student in Political Science
Why did you decide to become a GRADTalk Advisor?
“I have had a range of interview experiences – for Fellowships, Internships, and even jobs outside of academia, and I learned a lot from those experiences about how to address different audiences. Before taking this job, I worked with other graduate students who were interviewing for jobs or working on presentations, and they were always appreciative of my feedback and advice. When I saw the GRADTalk position advertised, I decided to apply.”
How long have you been a GRADTalk Advisor?
“A little over 2 years.”
What concerns do most graduate students have when they first come to GRADTalk?
“Most graduate students want help translating their lived experience into a good story. The graduate students I meet with are all qualified to do the work they are interviewing for, and my job is to help them reflect on their experiences to talk about how it translates into leadership, teamwork, project management, and goal setting skills. It’s mostly how to best tell their story.”
What do you wish graduate students knew about GRADTalk advising?
“I would want graduate students to know that we provide support for a range of oral communication needs. We see a lot of students as they are leaving the university and interviewing for academic or professional positions, but we can advise students throughout their time at UChicago. We provide well-rounded support that can be customized for students who are giving presentations in the classroom or at conferences, who are serving as a discussant for a workshop, who need assistance with classroom participation skills and much more.”
What programs does GRADTalk offer?
“In the spring quarter, we will host our second annual 3 Minute Thesis Competition, where graduate students present their research in 3 minutes for a panel of non-specialist judges. This gives graduate students a chance to practice public speaking and practical experience condensing the broad strokes of their research into a clear, concise, and exciting format. We also host a quarterly series called Expose Yourself that gives graduate students and postdocs the opportunity to practice presenting their academic work to non-specialists from across the university. You can learn more about these events in the GRAD Guide Weekly.”
What was one of your favorite experiences working with another graduate student?
“I had 5 or 6 advising sessions with a neurobiologist, and while I did not understand the technical components of his research, we were able to work closely together to revise the pacing of a 15 minute conference presentation. The focus of each of our sessions was ‘how to pace information to make it both accessible to experts and those who have general knowledge of the field.’ I provided feedback on the amount of content on each slide and the flow of information; this helped the student to use the presentation to highlight the most relevant aspects of his work and findings.”
Sign up for these upcoming GRADTalk Events via GRAD Gargoyle (Events > GRAD Events > Search and RSVP)
- Preparing Effective Conference Presentations | Monday, November 19, 12:30-1:30pm, UChicagoGRAD HQ
- Elevator Speeches and Networking Skills | Thursday, November 29, 12:30-1:30pm, UChicagoGRAD HQ
- Public Speaking 101 | Thursday, January 10, 12:30-1:30pm, UChicagoGRAD HQ