Lana Smith-Hale

Lana Smith-Hale
Graduate Student Career Counselor



To Schedule Appointments: 805-893-4412

Office Location: SRB 1216


About Lana:

I care deeply about making sure students can find happiness in their work and believe it is well-worth the effort to try and answer “What will make me happy?” It’s not too early or too late to ask yourself that question (and revisit it as often as necessary!). I have a background in counseling (Master’s in Social Work) and using it to help students find their passions and “right fit” puts to use my interest in providing helpful and practical ideas

What are your specialty areas?: 

My specialty areas are working with graduate students. Through a blended partnership with the Graduate Division and Career Services Department, I am able to have an office at SRB. I am available to discuss anything career-related with graduate students, including career exploration, the job search process, CV/resume help, interviewing, and negotiation strategies. I also host different workshops for graduate students such as networking, discussing transferable goals, and how to do a non-academic job search.

What are some of your favorite career-related resources to share with students?: 

There are so many great books and resources, but these are great places to get started!

Information and News:

  • UCSB’s Graduate Student Resource Center (GSRC) Grad Post: The amazing and dedicated staff at the GSRC publish the grad post especially for UCSB graduate students to give you all the information you need to know. Subscribe here.
  • Chronicale of Higher Education

Job Search:


What piece of advice do you have for Ph.Ds? Master’s students?: 

There are a few myths about Ph.D. programs: 1) A Ph.D. prepares you for any job and 2) a Ph.D. prepares you only for an academic job. These myths perpetuate the fear many graduate students have with finding a job. While true that Ph.D. programs prepare you with a special skill set, there are many transferable skills and talents that are gained in graduate programs that can fit a variety of jobs in and outside a universities-setting. Often getting help sorting out or re-adjusting career paths can help alleviate stress and aid students in becoming a competitive applicant.

I think master’s students sometimes believe that their “big career decision” is now behind them since they are in graduate school and that their job prospects are straightforward. More often than not, there are more questions that arise as students see more doors opening. For some, getting help navigating those career decisions (and getting help making job application materials excellent) can help greatly.  

My biggest advice is to not ignore that nagging part of you that is questioning the path you are on or that part of you that is worried about finding a job. It’s never too early (or too late for that matter…) to start thinking about your career and where you want to work. You don’t have to do it alone either- come see me in drop in or schedule an appointment!