Tenure Track to Think Tank and Back: An Unreproducible Path to Success
by Christopher H. Foreman, University of Maryland
As my career heads toward closure 40 years after earning a doctorate in political science, my most gratifying activity remains assisting and advising younger people. On the matter of career advancement, however, I am regularly cautious with aspiring and newly minted academics, painfully aware that one of the most helpful insights I must convey is that they cannot expect to succeed the way I did. However hardworking and deserving they might be, fortune will not favor them as it did me, partly because vital network effects are neither predictable nor controllable and partly because some opportunities from which I benefited no longer exist. I simply came along in an era that would prove supportive and somewhat forgiving—at least for someone like me.