Free Initial 20-minute phone or skype consultation
Talk with a Real-Ac* Expert (introduced below) about your goals, background and concerns, and determine if you want to move ahead with consulting or job application help. Completely free.
$200 for a 50 minute appointment
$350 for 2 appointments
$500 for a set of three appointments.
Non-Academic Job Application Help:
Interview Prep by Skype (50 minute prep for a non-ac interview): $200.
Discounted Job-Application Packages:
NEW! Small Business Material Development with Margy Horton
~creating your business plans, written marketing strategies, and website copy for your own small business~
Standard Review: Client sends a copy of one existing business document. Margy makes edits, notations and suggestions based on the existing content. $200
Starting a Small Business: The Other #Post-Ac Option (led by Karen Kelsky)
Targeting Your Skills for a Postac Career (led by Margy Horton)
Find them on the Prof Shop page. More webinars to follow.
Interested? Have questions? Email to inquire at: email@example.com
Why am I branching into the Real-Ac* world? Because, I am asked almost daily for help with the post-ac transition. Up until now I’ve always turned would-be clients away with a regretful, “sorry, I don’t really do that.” But the tenure track job market is so awful, and the state of the academy so indefensibly wretched, that I am no longer comfortable limiting my services to serving that narrow, shrinking, and ethically questionable realm. My own post-academic transition was one of the hardest and most brutal, but ultimately most gratifying and satisfying things I’ve ever accomplished. I want to support others as they set out on this path. It really is OK to Quit. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any particular requests, or wish to share your story and/or expertise. I look forward to hearing from you. Best of luck whatever you decide to do — Karen
“I have really benefited from this service and Stephanie Day‘s input. No job to show for it yet, but I feel much more hopeful than I did before beginning. It is so clear to me the damage that hanging on to the academic track does to one’s professional self-concept, and it is very helpful to have someone help me see and name my valuable professional skills. Your work in raising awareness about the job market for PhDs has helped too, letting me see that I am not alone in this, and reminding me that it is not all of my doing.”
“Working with Karen Carodozo taught me how to mine my own past experiences and academic job documents for the alt-ac market. She was so positive and fun to work with – academia can leave people ashamed of what they don’t know and I started this process really embarrassed about my resume and cover letter. I went from thinking I had very few marketable skills to writing a cover letter and beautiful resume which I read and think I would hire me! Karen pointed out what needed to be fixed and left me encouraged at the same time. After finishing my documents, I feel more confident about myself and my chances of getting a job which in itself is well worth the money I spent. I have to admit I’m a little sad to be finished, as working with Karen was so motivating and helpful
Between the extensive email analysis of my CV and my productive conversation with Karen Cardozo, I felt excited and invigorated about preparing for a career outside of the academy. Most importantly, now I feel like I have a plan of action for tackling this important job.
I found Allessandria to be a great resource, and I would recommend her to your clients. In our brief conversation, she helped me identify some key areas to work on as I make my transition into a non-academic workplace again, and she offered concrete tips (including reading suggestions) to help me get through the first ninety days. As a consultant, she is efficient, targeted, and thoughtful but not without a sense of humor.
“Having recently used Karen Kelsky’s academic career consulting services (the blog, document revision, practice Skype interviews etc.) to land a full faculty interview at a state school for the first time in a multi-year search, I wasn’t actually offered the position. Getting my foot that far in the door after years of being on the outside was thrilling and I learned a lot about how to present myself as a candidate. After receiving the bad news, I brushed myself off and immediately signed up for Karen’s new post-ac career consulting services to pursue an unsolicited offer in industry. I worked with Allessandria Polizzi, and she was indispensable.
Coming from the world of academia, I was completely flummoxed at much of the vocabulary and concepts inherent to the industry search process. If you’ve never heard of an executive recruiter, couldn’t easily explain what a “strike price” is at a dinner party (hint: it has something to do with your stock options), and you think a “relo” is a type of candy and “circle back” is a species of lizard, then I would highly encourage you to investigate this service. Any career transition can be scary, but being able to talk so much of it through with Allessandria and take advantage of the general and very specific advice she offered took a lot of the mystery out of this process.
I went from a ball of stress, having trouble eating and sleeping, to a confident candidate as I learned how to take the reigns and drive the offer negotiation process.”
“Working with Karen Cardozo I realized there is an art to how you express yourself on paper and it is very important doing it right when looking for a new career/job. She has the ability to help you realize where you shine and how to market those skills. She was especially good at showing me how to align my materials with the position; she suggested changes that responded more directly to the job description and made me seem like a great fit. She worked with me extremely diligently at various hours just to help me meet my application deadlines. Working with her I learned much more than I ever expected in return.”
The Post-Ac Experts
Dr. Karen Cardozo
Karen Cardozo first worked in higher education as a career counselor at Harvard in the 1990’s and returned to that field at Williams College twenty years later in 2012. In between, she completed her Masters in Higher Education Administration at Harvard in 1993 and a PhD in English/American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2005. Before, during and after the PhD she worked as a dean at Mount Holyoke College and taught a total of 18 discrete courses including ethnic, gender, film, literary and trauma studies across the Five College Consortium (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith and UMass). Currently she is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies (tenure-track) at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in the Berkshires, where she hopes to model the academic freedom to which all faculty should be entitled regardless of job status. Karen identifies primarily as a developer of whole human beings, and tries to be one herself by meditating, spending time with her husband and sons, hiking with her dog Sadie, and making music with her folk-rock band (www.showofcards.com). Read more about Karen’s bio in this autobiographical post. Contact Karen at cardozoK1@gmail.com. Find her at LinkedIn here.
Karen’s consulting philosophy:
With a Masters in Higher Education Administration and a variety of work experiences on 8 different campuses (R1 and SLACs, public and private, single-sex and coed), I have significant institutional knowledge and expertise on Alt-Ac careers as well as related diversity issues. As a generalist MBTI-certified former career counselor, I’m also well-suited to offer a robust diagnostic approach to broader career change possibilities. And because I’m an interdisciplinary scholar currently located in the tenure system, I am well-placed to help you consider the comparative merits of academic versus nonacademic jobs, as well as the transferable potential of your scholarly background. Finally, as an aspiring yogi, singer-songwriter, and parent, I can empathize with and support your larger efforts to compose a satisfying and meaningful life.
Dr. Joe Fruscione
Joseph Fruscione is reinventing himself as a freelance copyeditor, proofreader, and writing consultant. He’s handled several editing projects in the last few months, including: a scholarly book manuscript; nonprofit organization’s proposal in response to a government RFP; two Master’s theses; and a part-memoir, part-leadership book project. Yet, he’s still finding his way through post-ac and the private sector. He’s worked with Jennifer Polk and others in writing about the post-ac job search, self-marketing, and (in Chris Humphrey’s phrase) being “A professional _____ with a PhD.” He has nearly fifteen years of experience as an adjunct instructor specializing in English studies, American literature, and first-year writing. He has a PhD in English (George Washington University, 2005) and has published a book, written several articles and reviews, and presented at numerous conferences and the Library of Congress. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter (@ProfessorF74).
Joe’s Consulting Philosophy:
As a current post-ac job seeker, I’m able to help you navigate the early stages of the process–sticking to you decision to leave academia; rebranding your academic skills and experience for a post-ac or alt-ac career; emphasizing transferable skills and assets; finding the right language to describe yourself in your resume, cover letters, and interviews; finding freelance work in your ideal field(s); and handing informational and official interviews. I’m in the middle of this process myself, so I’m happy to share some of the strategies I’ve adopted in making my career transition and reinvention as smooth as possible. You can ask questions, or I can ask you questions, or I can just listen and let you talk about your process and strategies. I can be a consultant, an editor, a sounding board, or some combination of the three. For both of us, the dialogue and interaction will be key.
Dr. Maggie Gover
Maggie Gover serves as the Director for Professional Development at the University of California, Riverside. Her career is dedicated to helping students successfully complete their graduate degrees and then transition into successful professional lives. As such, she has quite a bit of experience helping students identify industries in which they may be successful and describing their graduate careers in ways that might be attractive to those industries. While she is most knowledgeable in alternative academic jobs, she has helped students transition into private industry, government, and non-profit jobs as well. Maggie’s service to students began when she was an undergraduate at the University of Southern California where she served as an intern in the Office of Admissions. While she was completing her Master’s degree at the University of Oxford she served as a Junior Dean at St. Hilda’s College. When she was a PhD candidate at UCR she was the Coordinator for Academic Preparation and Outreach and then the Graduate Student Mentorship Program Coordinator. While she is now primarily an administrator, she is still researching and publishing in theories of new media and 19th C visual sciences. Get in touch with Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Margy Horton
Margy Thomas Horton founded ScholarShape, a writing support service, in 2013. Through writing consultation and editing services, she helps scholars, researchers, students, and academics to work efficiently as they produce high-quality theses, dissertations, proposals, and other projects. Although based in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, she works with clients nationwide. Margy’s interest in helping academic writers began while she was a doctoral student at Baylor University, where she served alternately as a writing consultant, professor, and tutor. She taught courses in academic writing and collaborated with administrators to develop support services for Baylor’s graduate student writers. She has also published peer-reviewed articles. She blogs at ScholarShape.com/blog.
Margy’s consulting philosophy:
Dr. Sarita D. Jackson
Sarita D. Jackson, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of the Global Research Institute of International Trade, which she founded in July 2013. GRIIT is a think-tank/consulting firm whose purpose is to analyze the opportunities and costs of free trade agreements and simplify the rules within these agreements so that businesses can take advantage of global market opportunities to increase their profits. Previously, Dr. Jackson was a tenured associate professor of political science at North Carolina A&T State University from 2007 to 2013. She was awarded the Fulbright Scholar/Lecture Award to the Dominican Republic. In addition, Dr. Jackson worked as a trade policy consultant for the Arlington-based firm The Services Group, Inc. from 2005-2006. Dr. Jackson earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Brown University. You can find her at her LinkedIn page and on Twitter at
Sarita’s Consulting Philosophy:
As a formerly tenured professor who has worked in a variety of academic settings (R1, HBCU, international, online), as a consultant for a small firm and, now, as a business owner, I am able to share advice from a variety of perspectives on how to make yourself marketable today for a non-academic career tomorrow. In addition, as a woman of color with substantial experience outside of the academy, my coaching also addresses issues of diversity, or lack thereof, in different settings and how to best address them while remaining on a path to success.
My coaching includes the following areas:
Building your marketing capital today;
Exploring career options;
Making your skills and knowledge applicable to the real world;
Preparing for a non-academic job (application material critique, phone/face-to-face interview practice, negotiating an offer);
Understanding the unwritten norms within a non-academic setting;
Building a strong social network of the best mentors and sponsors for you; and
Conveying the right message within a corporate, etc. setting.
I collaborate with you to identify your strengths and develop a strategy to capitalize on those strengths so that you can thrive beyond academia.
Dr. Jessica Langer
Jessica Langer holds a PhD in English and is CEO of ideas in flight, a social media and digital marketing agency that specializes in strategy, training and implementation for SMEs. A veteran marketer with a decade’s experience in the field and a seasoned lecturer who’s been teaching since 2006, Jessica currently runs her business full-time and teaches in the Department of Marketing at the Schulich School of Business at York University and in the McMaster-Syracuse Master of Communications Management program. She is also devoted to helping her PhD-holding peers find paths out of academia and into fulfilling, sustaining work in the ‘outside world’. Check out some excellent post-ac content on the ideas in flight site above, and find Jessica on Twitter at
Jessica’s Consulting Philosophy:
I’m a marketer by trade, and I’ve been doing it for a long time; I’m also an entrepreneur who runs a successful, profitable and growing company. And I’ve done it all while balancing family life. My goal is to help you market yourself to get where you want to go, and to help you find and secure the opportunities that will help you get there. Whether you’re looking for a job or looking to start your own business, particularly if you have other aspects of your life that you need to include in the bigger picture, I can give you expert advice from someone who’s been there. Thing is, though, I don’t do nice. I tell it like it is. If you’re barking up the wrong tree, I’ll tell you. My goal for you is to help you find something to do for a living that’s both attractive and achievable for you.
Dr. Allessandria Polizzi
Allessandria Polizzi is a certified coach who currently leads education for 7-Eleven in her role as the Dean of 7-Excel University. She has been in corporate education, change management and organizational development for over 15 years, earning several honors in her field including a 2012 ”Best Place to Learn in Dallas” award from the American Society for Training and Development, a “Top Innovator Award” from Chief Learning Officer magazine, and Training magazine’s ”Top 40 Under 40″ award. She serves on the board of directors for the DFW Learning and Development Director’s Roundtable and participates in the Network of Executive Women and Women’s Foodservice Forum. She has a PhD in English with a specialization in 20th century American literature from the University of North Texas (2001). She lives outside of Dallas with her husband, son, daughter and rescued pug. Read more about Allessandria’s path in this autobiographical post. You can learn more about her experience by visiting her LinkedIn profile and by following her on Twitter at @FromProf2Prof.
Allessandria’s Consulting Philosophy:
With over 15 years in corporate positions, I can providing career transition coaching focused on any and all stages of the process, with advice from both a former academic’s and a potential hiring manager’s perspective. This includes:
initial exploration of options based on your area of interests and passions
detailed coaching on how to begin the process, including translating your experience and skills into something marketable in the corporate space
guidance on approaches for networking and finding positions that would be a good fit
interview preparation & practice
position & corporate culture evaluation
As a certified coach with years of experience in leading teams and mentoring others, I will partner with you throughout the process. My goal is to help you uncover and unlock your potential, no matter which path you choose.
Dr. Jason Tebbe
Jason Tebbe is a former academic who has been teaching for three years at an independent high school in New York City. He received his PhD in German History from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign in 2006, and went on to be a visiting professor for two years and an assistant professor for three years after that before seeing the light. He is the author of the blog Notes from the Ironbound (KK: where he has excellent post-ac content) and still maintains active research projects on the history of memory and travel. Find him on Twitter at @wernerherzbear.
Jason’s Consulting Philosophy:
I am a former academic with experience on both the contingent and tenure tracks who has made the transition to teaching at an independent high school in Manhattan. Having recently made this change, I have a lot of expertise in applying for jobs at private schools, and plenty of advice on how to navigate the culture of private schools, which differs quite a bit from the academic application process. I can provide tips for finding jobs, fashioning application materials, interviewing, and adjusting to life in a new profession.
*”Real-Ac” is a term coined by Kellee Weinhold and Kelly Zacha Merritt. Read about it here.