After the PhD: Interview with
Kate Meyers Emery

Kate Meyers Emery has a PhD in anthropology. She spent about a decade digging up cemeteries and learning about skeletal and funerary practices – in the context of anthropology. She spent her graduate school career thinking about how people build communities – something that now extends to her work as the manager of digital engagement. Currently, she is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York.

Toward the end of her graduate work she began integrating digital tools with her research. She realized that she loved helping people connect to each other online, and loved communicating with the public. She was more passionate about the tools she learned to use in graduate school than the content, and decided to shift gears. As the Manager of Digital Engagement, Kate manages everything where the public might be interacting with the museum in the digital realm. This includes programming the website and the front end of the museum’s online databases to working on the museum’s mobile tour and maintaining the museum’s social media presence. Her position also extends into the realm of onsite engagement – where she helps to develop events that will boost online participation.

What surprises Kate the most about her transition from academia to her current job?

“I think just how many skills from my PhD I’ve been able to use. I think that really surprised me,” she says. “There is so much from doing my PhD that has applied to this position. Anthropology is about communities, social media is about communities. The skills that I learned from being an anthropologist have translated so well into this position. I love that I’m learning something totally new and different.”

Watch the whole interview for Kate’s advice to current graduate students looking beyond the academy. Check back every week for new interviews with PhDs working beyond the professoriate. Career advice for PhDs, from a PhD who’s been there, done that.

Connect with Kate on LinkedIn

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