Are you tired of hearing “publish or perish”? Does the thought of spending your career in a classroom make you want to run for the hills? Fear not, fellow anthropologists! The AAA Mentoring Session hosted by the Society for Economic Anthropology, “Alt-Ac Careers for Economic Anthropologists” is here to show you the vast array of opportunities waiting outside the ivory tower. Join us on Thursday, 10th November 2022, from 12:15 pm-1:45 pm to hear from a group of professionals thriving in applied anthropological careers, including design, UX research, business consulting, and more.

Why Attend

This workshop is designed for graduate students and early career scholars seeking alternative career paths but is open to anyone interested in exploring the realm of economic anthropology outside of academia. Our mentors will share their journeys and offer guidance on job searching, CV and cover letter writing, networking, and how to present research to non-anthropologists. We will also delve into the challenges of navigating graduate school while pursuing a career outside academia.

Session Abstract

This mentorship workshop brings together a group of professionals working outside the academy in applied anthropological careers, including those in design, UX research, business consulting and other domains of economic anthropology. Aimed primarily at graduate students and early career scholars, the workshop is open to anyone interested in exploring careers outside academia as well as alternative careers within academia. We will hear from our mentors about their careers paths and then discuss some concrete questions—how to search for jobs outside academia, how to write CVs and cover letters for such jobs; how to reframe one’s research for non-anthropologists and how to network outside academia. We will also discuss how scholars who are planning for such a career can negotiate unsupportive graduate school environments. The last section of our discussion will be focused on questions and comments from the audience and ensuing discussion.


12.15pm-12.30 pm: Introductions. Brief outline by each mentor about their career path

12.30pm-1.15pm: Focused discussions based on questions from moderator (searching for jobs outside the academy; writing CVs and cover letters; reframing research for non-anthropologist audience; networking; negotiating grad school / professional environment; resources).

1.15pm-1.45pm: Questions from audience and open discussion

Next Steps

The AAA Mentoring Session provides a unique opportunity to gain insights and advice from professionals who have successfully transitioned into alternative careers. Don’t miss out on the chance to broaden your horizons and gain valuable insights into the world of economic anthropology outside the academy. If you’re attending the AAA conference in Seattle, make sure to add this workshop to your schedule!