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2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The 4th Annual PhD Career Conference attracts hundreds of graduate students and postdocs

PhD students, professionals from academia and beyond, postdocs and guests filled the UC San Diego’s Price Center East Ballroom to focus on life after graduate school at the annual PhD Career Conference, now in its fourth successful year. Students gathered to hear first-hand accounts from distinguished PhD professionals who have successfully transitioned to various careers, academic and otherwise. Attendance at this unique professional and career development event reached more than 300 for the third consecutive year.

Dr. Seth Lerer, Dean of the Division of Arts & Humanities at UCSD, kicked off the agenda with a tour de force lecture “Why Graduate School? Why Now?, directed at the continued importance of grad school in all disciplines. He stressed that traditional approaches and expectations upon graduating require innovative approaches and fresh perspectives, to meet the changing needs of today’s doctoral students both during their doctoral careers and after, when they confront a shifting, technology-based global economy. The audience was then treated to an inspirational keynote address by Dr. Jane Chin called “How to Change the World with Your PhD”, which advocated focusing on the true value of a PhD and using the knowledge and skills derived from one’s studies to meet the complex needs of our entire society.

Attendees included dozens of industry professionals and distinguished junior faculty, many of whom were UC San Diego alums, representing the sciences, engineering and the humanities. During the day’s panel sessions, these professionals all graciously shared their secrets to career success, while emphasizing why it is essential early in one’s doctoral career to prepare for life beyond graduate school.

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                                          -UCSD PhD student, Bioengineering


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2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Academic & Industry Leaders Gather to Share the True Breadth of Careers for PhDs

La Jolla, CA - PhD students and professionals from academia and beyond, plus postdocs and guests packed the UC San Diego’s Price Center East Ballroom for the 3rd Annual PhD Career Conference bringing with them enthusiasm and high hopes for life after graduation

Attendance surpassed all expectations with over 300 present for this unique professional and career development event, resulting in standing room only during the opening talks.  This year’s attendance doubled last year’s—and more than tripled the inaugural conference held in May of 2009. 

The conference kicked off with three engaging talks by Dr. Penny Rue, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Professor James Fowler, from UCSD’s School of Medicine and Department of Political Science (Realize Your Networking Power), and culminated in an inspirational keynote address by Dr. Peter Fiske.  Dr. Fiske's "Put Your PhD to Work" lecture focused on the true breadth of careers available to PhD-trained scholars, informing them that they possesses many of the traits and skills of highest value in the "real world.”

Attendees included dozens of industry professionals and distinguished junior faculty —many UC San Diego alums—representing the sciences, engineering and the humanities, who, during the day’s panel sessions, shared their secrets to career success, while emphasizing why it’s essential to prepare early on in a doctoral career for life beyond graduate school.


“Your event was FANTASTIC!  You really set a high bar for any major university. The day was extremely well run, professional throughout, and of very high caliber. Really – hats off to you!”

- Dr. Peter Fiske, PhD - 2011 Keynote Speaker

2011 Brochure

2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

UC San Diego PhD Alumni Turned Comedian Brings Down the House at Annual PhD Career Conference

La Jolla, CA - The 2nd annual UC San Diego PhD Career Conference exceeded all expectations with more than 180 UCSD doctoral students in attendance, a 40% increase from last year’s inaugural event. In addition, over thirty PhD panelists, many of them recent UCSD alumni, returned to their alma mater to share their keen insights with students concerning their career transitions. 

Panelists included award-winning academic and industry researchers, teachers, strategic consultants, project managers, bench scientists, postdocs, engineers, industry vice-presidents, and writers representing an impressive breadth of professions including academia, engineering, biotech, consulting, non-profit, education, and policy, among others. 

This year, the conference planning committee was proud to offer current international doctoral students the chance to attend a panel of past international doctoral students who recently made the leap into a rewarding career in the U.S.

Professor Kim Barrett, PhD, Dean of the Graduate School at UC San Diego, welcomed the students to the Price Center’s East Ballroom during a massive continental breakfast. Professor Seth Cohen, PhD, the 2008-09 Roger Revelle Fellow in Global Stewardship, a AAAS Policy Fellow, and Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UC San Diego, gave an experience-based, inspiring talk titled “The Wealth of Opportunities in Your UCSD PhD Degree” that focused on the true breadth of professions and industries that seek and value a PhD education.

An entertaining conference keynote performance by comedian Tim Lee, PhD ended the official agenda in a packed house of approximately 300 PhD, masters, and postdoctoral students in the East Ballroom. 

To end the day, students, panelists, and guests gathered on the East Ballroom Patio to enjoy appetizers, beer, and wine as they continued their lively conversations from earlier in the day.


"The Ph.D. Career Conference greatly broadened the view of career opportunities I have with a Ph.D. degree and encouraged me to continue and complete my degree!”

2010 conference brochure

2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

UC San Diego's Inaugural PhD Career Conference Attracts Large Audience of Doctoral Students, Faculty and PhD Alumni 

La Jolla, CA - The Inaugural UC San Diego PhD Career Conference and was an amazing success with over 130 of the university's top, PhD students and 25 PhD alumni panelist in attendance. 

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Penny Rue, welcomed the students and Sandra Dijkstra (PhD, ’76 Literature) Founder, and President of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency gave a inspiring and practical talk titled “The Wealth of Opportunities in Your UCSD [PhD] Degree.”
                                                                 

Popular PhD cartoonist, of Piled Higher & Deeperfame, Jorge Cham (PhD mechanical engineering, Stanford) concluded the conference with a keynote address attracting an additional 300+ UC San Diego PhD and Master’s students. 

Upon conclusion of the keynote address, all registered students, panelists and guests gathered on the Price Center’s East Ballroom Patio for a networking reception to continue conversations and build upon relationships initiated during the day-long event.


*Overheard

  • “I enjoyed the [So You Want to Become a Professor] and post-doc panels I attended. They gave me a better idea of the process required to follow that route.”
  • “I found the professors' explanations of what search committees are looking for the most useful. It gave me insight into how I should design my application.”
  • “I liked the postdoc panel - good to get info from people who have lived through it. I also liked that I was able to network during the lunch - with one of the postdoc panelists - and ended up sitting with some of the professors, which allowed me to ask a lot of questions.”
  • “I really enjoyed the "So You Want to Be a Professor" panel; I thought the speakers were really candid and helpful. It's the sort of brutal honesty that you usually only get once it's too late to do anything about it.  I feel like I got a secret glimpse into a meeting of a search committee.”
  • “The panel involving professionals from outside academia was particularly useful, as their perspective is generally difficult to come by in the academic environment.”
  • “The panel discussions on career planning/transitioning were very helpful. It is great to hear the perspectives of people who are going through or have already gone through the same process I am considering.”
  • “The ‘Beyond Academia’ discussions on career planning/transitioning were very helpful. It is great to hear the perspectives of people who are going through or have already gone through the same process I am considering.”

 *Administered and compiled through UC San Diego Student Voice, 2010

2009 conference brochure