Kay Kimball Gruder

Associate Director, Graduate Student & Postdoc Career Programs and Services | Pronouns: she/her/hers

In my role, I lead and manage career service and programming operations that center on the career development of graduate students (master’s and doctoral), international students (undergraduate and graduate), and postdoc fellows. I enjoy advocating for career needs in and beyond academic departments, supporting career diversity exploration, and contributing toward greater transparency in career outcomes. I frequently consult with faculty and departments that seek to integrate career milestones within degree programs and curricula, addressing barriers to career success. I also enjoy one-on-one career coaching appointments, providing an attentive space for individuals to pause, reflect, wonder, discover, design, and move forward toward career options and opportunities.


Hometown: Altamont, New York

Things I enjoy: Being in community with others, engaging in all sorts of outdoor pursuits (camping, skiing, hiking, gardening, etc.), learning about educational technology, family-time focused on cooking, games, and conversations about societal trends and issues, serving in community organizations, and traveling without a plan.

Advice to students:

Consider career exploration and preparation as a daily practice. This can include reading job postings to understand what employers seek, following the career journey of someone of interest to you, meeting new people, staying curious about career paths and outcomes, gaining skills not acquired in your degree program but essential to being a strong job candidate, and exploring and engaging in opportunities.

Think of career in the plural, as in “…my future careers…” With so many skills and competencies being transferable to different roles you are rarely limited to a single career!

Build bridges and networks to options and opportunities, be both intentional and open to the unexpected.

Recognize that there are usually many (right) approaches to reaching and REVISING your career goals and desired outcomes.

Remember that you are more than your degree!


Lesley University, Cambridge, MA M. Ed. 

Favorite Project: An internship in the Office of Student Affairs at Boston College that focused on gathering and writing a report on strategic initiatives for the future of the institution

Bennington College, Bennington, VT B.A. Social Science and Music

Favorite Project: Senior thesis on the role of subliminal psychology/persuasion in advertising.

Previous Roles

  • Career Consultant – UConn Center for Career Development, Storrs, CT
  • Admissions Representative – New England Institute of Technology, East Greenwich, RI
  • Owner – Successful College Parenting (online platform)
  • Associate Director, Filene Center for Work & Learning, Wheaton College, Norton, MA


(860) 486-6927 Storrs, CT |
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