Networking Skills and Community Engagement for PhD Students

Interviewer: Mary Dinh

Interviewee: Khem Sedhai

Networking for PhD students is an absolutely essential skill, both in academia and beyond. Academic networking opens opportunities for publishing, collaboration, building your CV, and even exploring post-ac career opportunities. Additionally, serving on a committee or being otherwise engaged in campus projects provide exposure to career development information and networking opportunities, as well as evidence of practical experience for developing the thesis topic for some students. However, PhD students tend to shy away from those opportunities due to overwhelming schedules or fear of rejection.

Hence, when and where should Ph.D. students start allocating and joining the professional communities that benefit their intellectual and professional growth? What should they do to maintain a good connection with (senior) colleagues and scholars? How do they manage their life with research, teaching, and service engagement?

Our guest speaker for this topic is Khem Sedhai from the School of Education, pursuing his Ph.D. in Educational Policy & Leadership – the University at Albany – SUNY. Khem has been working as a Graduate Assistant in the International Education Management and Leadership (IEML) program and Treasurer of the UAlbany Graduate Student Association. He is a recipient of the President’s Award for Leadership 2022 and the Arvid J. Burke Scholarship 2022.


As Khem suggested everyone can raise their voice and link their professional development with service engagement, starting from stepping forward to join student-led organizations and their activities. ETAP DocS can be a great opportunity for you to develop your leadership and management skills. You can join our activities at Our upcoming events can be found at . ETAP DocS also look for great leaders to join executive board members for 2023-2024 cohort to continue our dedication to PhD student services.

A full episode of our interview – “Networking Skills and Community Engagement for PhD Students” can be found at:

Written by Mary Dinh (

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