Conference Schedule

Keynote Speaker


10:00 AM   |   Moving Beyond the Work-Life Balance: The Intersection of Self-Identity & Self-Advocacy

The phrase ‘work-life balance’ is invoked as a way to reject the toxic culture of overwork in the academy, industry, public sector and beyond. The problem however is that for many early career scholars and professionals, in order to have a life, one must overwork. Instead of proposing unrealistic expectations on ourselves, in this talk, I embrace the notion of self-advocacy as a means through which graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at any stage can be strategic and intentional about structuring a professional path that helps create the life they want. By acknowledging that diverse people have diverse obstacles when it comes to self-advocacy, we can begin to understand how best to stand up for ourselves at different times, in different spaces, as different people. 

  • Manya Whitaker, PhD
    Associate Professor & Associate Chair, Education Department, Colorado College

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

11:00 AM |   Leveraging Your Strengths & Values in Career Planning 

Research demonstrates that using strengths and prioritizing values in one's personal, academic and professional life can have a myriad of positive outcomes, including increased productivity and higher levels of career satisfaction.  Strengths can be leveraged in a variety of areas including research, teaching, leadership, teamwork, communication, job searching and career planning.  In this interactive session, participants will identify their strengths and values and dive deep into self-reflection exercises with peers to map a values based career exploration plan. Participants will leave the session with specific action items for next steps, focusing on goal setting and creating an individual development plan. 

  • Kristy J. Sherrer, M.S.
    Director of Career Services, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

11:00 AM  |   Be Present: Develop a Professional Identity Online Using LinkedIn

If we were to conduct an audit of your professional presence online, what would we discover about you? For some, you may appear non-existent. For others, you are one of many other people with the same name. Is your online presence mostly non-professional? Have you created a LinkedIn profile but allowed it to go dormant? Let’s explore the ways you can use LinkedIn to present yourself in a professional manner that will be attractive to employers. We will cover ways to create a strong profile using exercises from design thinking. No prior experience with design thinking is required. This session will be helpful for attendees new to LinkedIn and those that haven’t really used the platform much.

  • Myron Shaffer
    Assistant Director of Exploratory Advising, Tulane University

11:00 AM  |  Converting Your Academic Humanities and Social Science CV to a Professional Résumé


Due to unforeseen circumstances, this session will no longer be offered at the conference. Instead, we will offer this session later in May for students and postdocs that wanted to attend:

May 23, 2019
YRL West Electronic Classroom
Hosted by: Charles E. Young Research Library (YRL) and UCLA Career Center 

11:00 AM  |  Building Resilience at the Intersection of Academia & the Job Search

Resiliency is a key to building confidence and successfully pursuing goals. During this interactive session, participants will have a space to discuss and learn about cognitive distortions and how they influence resiliency. Participants will gain management strategies for maintaining resilience while pursuing goals. Job searching and career development can make even the most accomplished individuals feel stressed and overwhelmed. This talk also aims to discuss tools for developing and maintaining stress resilience in order to obtain success in your job search. The session will also focus on rejection as a normative process of the job search as well as how to cope with and manage rejection. Additionally, information about when to seek out additional support and resources will be identified and provided.

  • Diana Azurdia, PhD
    Associate Director for Recruitment and Inclusion, UCLA Graduate Programs in Bioscience
  • Lauren Jensen, Psy.D.
    Staff Psychologist, Counseling & Psychological Services, UCLA
  • Carrie Fryzel, PsyD
    Staff Psychologist, Counseling & Psychological Services, UCLA

Roundtable Discussions

12:40 PM  |  Roundables: Intersections of Career and Identity 

Grab lunch and join a table to talk about how one’s identity intersects with a given career. UCLA advanced-degree alumni will be answering questions and guiding conversations about how their identities have – and have not – come into play in their professional lives. The following conversations will be taking place at lunch:

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

2:00 PM  |  Career Starts & Stops: How to take the next step

What can you consider when you're making a career transition? Attend this session to hear Dr. Thi Nguyen share stories about graduate students and postdocs who successfully leaped (or crawled) into new roles, and strategies and timelines for how they did it. You will also learn about InterSECT, a convenient online career exploration tool for PhD-level individuals. These web-based job simulations allow you to start experiencing work in a career before spending the energy and time to building a network of professionals in that field or committing to an internship. 

  • Thi Nguyen, PhD
    Associate Dean for Graduate Career and Professional Development

2:00 PM  |  Common Ground: Finding Strong Connections with Professionals Using LinkedIn

You meet people each day – friends of friends, strangers in line at a store, Bruins at a career conference. How can you turn everyday interactions into strong connections? How can you identify professionals that are doing the thing you want to do? How can you link yourself and your graduate/doctoral program/research to your dream employer? We can use LinkedIn to identify professionals who are knowledgeable of your career target by finding at least one thing in common. We will use exercises from design thinking to focus on using skills and endorsements, recommendations, and the alumni feature on LinkedIn. No prior experience with design thinking is required. Are you looking to connect with recruiters in a particular industry such as biotechnology, the public sector, or beyond? This session intends to be helpful for attendees with varying utilization levels of LinkedIn.

  • Myron Shaffer
    Assistant Director of Exploratory Advising, Tulane University

2:00 PM  |  Converting Your Academic STEM CV to a Professional Résumé 

The STEM cohort who has just left school, or is preparing to soon do so, can vacillate wildly between confidence and fear when it comes to their industry-facing marketability. Some do it well and sail into fabulous positions with ease. (Often those who are as equally gifted in communications as they are in their discipline.) Others struggle with developing a cohesive written career narrative beyond the simple categorized lists found in a traditional CV. Jared Redick has helped many people from the STEM disciplines better understand, distill, and shape their career stories. This training begins with his simple “Purpose, Content, Design” philosophy, moves into analyzing job descriptions (an insufferable but essential step for the truly thoughtful careerist), and finally focuses on truncating an academic body of work into a quantitative professional résumé that resonates beyond the academy. Real-life examples included

  • Jared Redick
    Executive Résumé Writer & Career Coach

2:00 PM  |  Preparing for the Faculty Job Search

Gain insights into the mechanisms of academic hiring, and use the perspective to strengthen your chances for success when you are on the job market. Rosanne Lurie, co-author of the 5th edition of the Academic Job Search Handbook will provide a broad overview: learn about different kinds of institutions (research and teaching focused), and what you might expect from the hiring process. During this workshop, you will hear tips on how to present yourself effectively in your application materials and campus interviews. The first 50 attendees will get a free copy of the Academic Job Search Handbook!

  • Rosanne Lurie, M.S.
    Director, Graduate & Postdoc Career Development, QB3-Berkeley

Roundtable Discussions

3:30 PM  |  Roundtables: Discipline Specific

Advanced-degree alumni in your field will be hosting roundtables to share their experiences in their chosen careers and answer your questions.  Join a table and learn about a wide-range of career paths, both inside and outside of academia, from alumni with an advanced degree or similar training. Alumni will describe what their industries look like and share how graduate students and postdoctoral scholars can position themselves to move into similar careers upon graduation. Alumni will be representing the following disciplines:  Physical Sciences/Engineering, Life Sciences, Health/Psychology, Social Sciences/ Education/ Public Affairs, and Humanities/Arts

Networking Reception

5:00 PM  |  GradBar Alumni/Employer Networking Reception- Sponsored by GSA