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Connect with Us

Connect with staff to receive support for the career and professional development of Northwestern's doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. Through a collaboration between Northwestern Career Advancement and The Graduate School, we are here to help you be successful during your time here and in the endeavors you pursue beyond your training.

Appointments for Postdoctoral Fellows

Email or reach out to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs to connect with a staff member.

Appointments and Drop-in Advising for PhD Students

Connect with us through appointments or drop-in hours virtually, in-person, or over the phone. PhD students are eligible to schedule appointments with a member of our advanced degree team through Handshake.

Visit the Alumni Resources page on the NCA website for more information about career services and resources for alumni more than six months beyond graduation.

For additional questions, please email and we will respond quickly.

Schedule an Appointment

NCA career advisers and career counselors are here to help you navigate all of your career concerns. Appointments with our team are scheduled through Handshake and are available for the following topics:

  • Researching and exploring career paths
  • Taking career assessments
  • Navigating the decision-making process
  • Developing academic and non-academic job search strategies
  • Researching industries
  • Understanding professional networking and affiliated resources
  • Developing application documents
  • Preparing for interviews and conducting mock interviews
  • Negotiating job offers and salary

Appointments with NCA staff can be virtually via Zoom, in-person, or by phone. Login to Handshake Career Center > Appointments to view your scheduling options.

Drop-In Hours (Virtual and In-Person)

During the academic year, NCA advisers offer daily virtual and in-person drop-in hours to connect with our team for quick career-related questions and guidance. Currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students can utilize these hours.

NCA Live Chat Instructions

NCA Live Chat* is offered through Microsoft Teams, a platform accessible to all Northwestern students, staff, and faculty. Check current drop-in hours before opening Live Chat.

  1. When prompted, enter your Northwestern email address.
  2. You will be redirected to Online Passport.
  3. Sign in with your NetID and NetID password. If you are already signed into Online Passport, you will go directly to Microsoft Teams.

*Note: Download the app to make it easier to use Teams.


What Questions can I ask during Drop-in Hours?

You will have 15-20 minutes for your drop-in session. For longer questions or more detailed feedback, you may be referred to schedule an appointment with a member of the NCA team or to use one of our online resources. During drop-in advising you can ask a member of our team quick questions, tips and for resources related to:

  • Navigating NCA services
  • Job/internship searching
  • Networking
  • Negotiating offers
  • Writing résumés and cover letters
NCA Live Chat is an open forum, so please do not share confidential information in the main thread. Our team member will move you to a private chat to answer sensitive questions or provide document reviews.

Additional Career Offices at Northwestern

In addition to NCA, several other offices at Northwestern provide career support to students, postdocs, and alumni. Visit the websites below to learn more about available services:

Handshake Tips

student at laptop

Using Handshake Effectively

Handshake is NCA’s primary resource for connecting students with professional opportunities, advising appointments, and events specifically for PhDs.

Learn More



NCA PhD Summer Series: Foundations of Interviewing

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Let’s put those hard-earned research skills to good use! Attendees will learn how to prepare for behavioral interviews b...

NCA PhD Summer Series: Salary Negotiation

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