Introducing The Post-Ac Experts: Karen Cardozo and Allessandria Polizzi

Today I introduce two of my team of Post-Ac Experts, Karen Cardozo and Allessandria Polizzi.  The team as a whole includes experts in all of the following (see the full bios here [still in progress]):

  • Alt-ac positions in advising (Cardozo)
  • Corporate positions (Polizzi, Day)
  • K-12 teaching (Tebbe)
  • Consulting (Langer, Jackson)
  • Entrepreneurship (Langer, Jackson, Kelsky)
  • Government jobs (Fanetti)
  • Freelance writing (TBA)
  • Freeland editing (TBA)

Each writer will contribute a series of blog posts, and you can track the posts by the authors in whose expertise you are most interested, by searching under their names.

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 (

Karen will be contributing a set of 8 posts charting the post-ac transition with special attention to the alt-ac trajectory.

  1. Beyond TenureCentrism

Discussing the problems of language in a “tenurecentric” academic universe.  I suggest that a new metaphor is needed: not a track but a roundabout, not a single, linear path but a Windows operating system – a model of multiplicity from the start.

  1. To Leave or Not to Leave? Freeing the Academic Elephant

Acknowledging the difficulty of “stepping off the track” for well-disciplined academics.

  1. The Career Counselor is In!

Reviewing my background and credentials

  1. Full Frontal Liberation

Drawing analogies to feminism, considering the importance of shaking off the tenurecentric values that keep a good academic down.

  1. Taking Inventory

Recapturing a fuller sense of interests, experiences and skills beyond the narrowly academic. Discussion of MBTI and other instruments; exercises to stimulate ideas and possibilities.

  1. The Art of Translation

Packaging and translating an academic background for non-faculty roles; discussion of CV-to-Resume conversion and cover letters

  1. Spinning Your New Web

Conveying the critical importance of networking not simply to actual job hunting but to the broader process of career exploration; clarifying what the process actually entails

  1. No Regrets:  Making Good Decisions

Referencing “regret theory” and “Buddhist economics,” I end the series with a discussion of how decisions are always made in real time within a particular set of constraints and options. Self- knowledge and taking one’s own inventory carefully in the present is the best defense against future regrets.

 Dr. Allessandria Polizzi

Allessandria Polizzi 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 Learning 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 Food Service Forum. She has a PhD in English with a specialization in 20th century literature from the University of North Texas (2001).  She lives outside of Dallas with her husband, son, daughter and rescued pug. You can learn more about her specific experience by visiting her LinkedIn profile.

Allessandria Polizzi will be contributing a series of fourteen blog posts

1. So you want to come to the dark side (see below)
2. Granite countertops (or how I left academia)
3. Why I became a corporate shill and other ruminations
4. What to expect when your expected (an outline of how corporate jobs are different than academia and what to expect)
5. A little me time (Discuss the self assessment folks should do to determine what area they would like to go into)
6. Beef up! ( get the experiences and stories you will need to apply to the role you want)
7. Let’s do lunch… (Meeting people in your area of interest and learning as much as you can)
8. Get out there (job hunting 101… Resumes, LinkedIn, Glassdoor and more)
9. Lost in Translation (how academic work translates in a corporate environment)
10.  Let’s Talk! (Interview tactics and connecting your experience to what they are looking for)
11. I got an offer…. Now what? (Walk through the art of negotiation… )
12.  Is this the one? (How to pick your best first employer… And beyond)
13. What in the heck did I do? (Understanding corporate culture: what it is, what to expect and how to adapt)
14. It only stings a little (letting go of your old life and starting your new one… And how to keep yourself intellectually fed in the meantime)

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Introducing The Post-Ac Experts: Karen Cardozo and Allessandria Polizzi — 4 Comments

  1. Hey-this is really exciting work you folks are doing! As an academic apostate, I was always the boy noticing the emperor’s clothes were looking pretty tattered. I left after some years of neglect and abuse, and am trying to find a way to offer my unique, creative, courageous gifts to an environment that will welcome them. I’m happy to be in conversation with you!

    • Hi Michael, I am glad to be able to have a forum to share my experience and recommendations with others who are interested in making the transition. I am confident that there are many companies who would greatly value the intelligent, creative, and curious folks who fill up our academic halls.

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