Master's and PhD Career Development Week

March 27-30, 2017

Whether you've spent years preparing to go on the job market or are just beginning to think about your career now, the Master's and PhD Career Development Week is designed for you! You'll learn how to explore a variety of career options, key techniques for getting your application noticed, the best interviewing strategies, and more. Dedicated exclusively to graduate student and postdoctoral career and professional development, this week will feature workshops, guest speakers, and networking opportunities with employers to help you plan for a successful job search. All events will take place in the Career Center.

Note: Registration to attend Career Development Week events is now closed. Please watch for announcements about future Career Center events for graduate students.


Monday, March 27

Decoding Work: A Values-Based Approach to Understanding Careers for Humanities and Social Science Graduate Students | 10-11:30am

Presented by Annie Maxfield, Associate Director, Graduate Student Relations and Services, UCLA Career Center. This workshop will help humanities and social science graduate students connect their unique strengths and value system to career trajectories by surveying how life values are expressed through work environments, organizations and industries. We will identify concrete PhD career paths, and discuss ways to “decode” jobs and jobs announcements, imagine possibilities, and identify starting points.

Find a Career That Fits You: STEM Edition | 1-2:30pm

For those in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and related fields, come learn how to explore career paths outside of academia that would be a good fit for you.

grAdvantage Career Night Panel: "What Can I Do with a Master's or PhD?" | 5-7pm

Come learn from PhDs who have already made the transition from academia to careers beyond the tenure track about how they successfully navigated such a change. Featuring Kelly Anne Brown, Assistant Director of UC Humanities Research Institute and Humanists@Work; Ken Lau, Technical Marketing Manager at BioLegend; alumna Sara Shen, Associate at Strategic Earth Consulting; and alumnus Tarun Soni, Chief Engineer at Northrop Grumman.

Tuesday, March 28

Preparing Your Resume and Cover Letter | 10-11:30am

Get your resume seen and your cover letter read: come find out the best strategies for hooking the interest of hiring managers.

Resume Lab | 11:30am-12:15pm

Want to tap into expert advice as you craft your resume? This lab provides space for you to work on your application documents along side advisors who can offer guidance as you need it. And, when your resume is ready, experienced reviewers are ready to take a look at it and offer further insights.

Working in the USA: OPT for International Graduate Students | 3-4pm

Presented by Emily Kawahara, International Student Advisor at the International Students and Programs Office. Now more than ever, working in the United States requires due diligence. Come learn what you need to know to succeed. In particular, this workshop will cover OPT and resources offered at the Career Center for F-1 international graduate students.

Wednesday, March 29

Preparing for the Non-Academic Interview, Part 1 | 10-11:30am

Come learn about effective techniques and strategies that will allow you to create a meaningful and comfortable dialogue during the interview. We will focus on concrete tools and examples to help you be successful.

Preparing for the Non-Academic Interview, Part 2: Mock Interviews | 1-2:30pm

Observe a mock interview with Jon Miyake, Senior Manager of Technical Support and hiring manager at Illumina, interviewing candidates and providing feedback on the interviews. You will have the chance to ask probing questions to figure out how you can adopt helpful strategies and avoid interviewing pitfalls.

Thursday, March 30

Managing Your Online Presence | 10-11:30am

Presented by Jered Lish, Advisor at the Career Center, and Shana Slebioda, Student Affairs Coordinator for Professional Development and Retention in the Graduate Division. Social media and your online persona play powerful roles in the candidate search process: learn how to leverage tools including LinkedIn and Portfolium for your benefit.

Networking Your Way to a Job | 2-3pm

Presented by Jesus Sanchez, Volunteer Engagement Manager, UC San Diego Alumni. Networking is the most important part of your job search: we'll discuss and practice strategies for making this more effective and enjoyable.

Networking Mixer with Employers and Alumni | 4-6pm

Come network with alumni and representatives from companies in a variety of industries. Put into practice the things you have learned during the Career Development Week and make the connections you need to successfully start your career. Companies represented will include BioLegend, GNF (Novartis), Illumina, Intel, Ionis, McKinsey, and Northrop Grumman; alumni participants will represent fields ranging from literature to the life sciences and engineering.

*Event details subject to change; please check back for updates and more information

Guest Speaker Bios

Kelly Anne Brown is Assistant Director at the UC-wide Humanities Research Institute. A “hybrid” academic working at UCHRI since 2012, Kelly serves as project director for the MLA-funded Humanists@Work initiative, facilitates the institute’s large grant-making program, and manages other externally-funded grant projects. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, Kelly worked in public policy and program administration for children and family programs at the city, county, and state levels of California government. Kelly lives and breathes systemwide humanities program development while also pursuing her scholarly interests in graduate student professionalization, public humanities, and collaborative research. Kelly holds a PhD in Literature from UC Santa Cruz (2011) where she wrote a dissertation on modernist publicness.

Emily Kawahara is an International Student Advisor at the UC San Diego International Students and Programs Office (ISPO). She is part of ISPO’s employment workgroup and serves as the lead advisor for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Emily also coordinates the Triton Edge Program, a 5-week summer academic jumpstart and cultural transition program for international freshmen students. Emily enjoys the complexities of immigration regulations and strives to ensure that international students feel supported and well-informed.

Ken Lau is the Technical Marketing Manager at BioLegend, a biotech company that produces antibodies, recombinant proteins, ELISAs and more in San Diego. He oversees technical support and uses his scientific background to create marketing material for literature and his company’s website. Ken holds a PhD in Microbiology and Cell Science from the University of Florida.

Annie Maxfield has been helping PhDs prepare for their career of choice for the past 6 years at UCLA and previously at Duke University.  At UCLA she leads campus-wide faculty, employer, graduate student collaborations to develop and prepare graduate students professionally.  She chairs the user experience committee for the ImaginePhD project – a Career Exploration and Planning Tool for the Humanities and Social Sciences.  She also collaborates with Humanists@Work initiatives for the UC-System Humanities Research Institute. In addition to her work with PhDs, she has taught communication, rhetoric and new media courses at USC-Annenberg, UNC-Chapel Hill, Westminster College and the University of Utah.  

Jon Miyake is the Senior Technical Support Manager at Illumina. He received his B.S. in Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder and his Ph.D. from the UC San Diego-San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program in Molecular Biology, and studied cholesterol metabolism and liver-specific gene expression as a postdoctoral scholar at San Diego State. He then joined Bio-Rad as a Field Application Scientist, subsequently becoming a National Field Application Scientist Manager there prior to joining Illumina. He has conducted over 400 interviews and hired for over 90 positions, with most of his hires coming from academic backgrounds.

Jesus Sanchez is a leader in the nonprofit sector, having built partnerships, harnessed his networks and mobilized the community to impact social change. With nearly 10 years of experience in the nonprofit industry, Jesus has developed volunteer programs and been a conduit of change at the organizations he has worked with. In 2012, Jesus founded the San Diego chapter of Future Leaders of our Community (FLOC), which rallied young professionals to give back to their community through service projects. Jesus currently advocates for foster youth at Voices for Children (VFC), and  has logistically organized the San Diego LGBT Pride Parade, as well as served on boards of local organizations, and consulted with nonprofits including the Vista Community Clinic, Feed American San Diego, and the Barrio Logan College Institute. In 2010 and 2011, Jesus led Voices for Children to be a finalist in the national Classy Awards for the category of Best Charity.

Sara Shen holds a B.A. in Marine Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. She joined Strategic Earth as an Associate in 2016, bringing a strong science-based background that adds value and enhances the work of Strategic Earth. Her area of expertise is the effects of climate change, particularly ocean acidification, on marine fish. Sara’s experience and success in strategic planning, project management, information synthesis, and communication stems from her extensive research training and collaboration with national and international scientists, government agencies, and industry. She is passionate about strengthening the linkage between science, policy, and communications to effectively contribute to complex environmental issues and decision-making processes. Sara is the recipient of awards from the National Science Foundation, universities, industries, and private donors as a result of her academic excellence.

Shana Slebioda is the Student Affairs Coordinator for Professional Development and Retention at the UC San Diego Graduate Division. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine and a Master of Education degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Shana has worked with graduate students for over nine years in both academic and student affairs settings.

Tarun Soni is the chief scientist within the resilient networking solutions group at Northrop Grumman, where he focuses on technology strategy and new market discovery. He has a doctorate degree from UC San Diego and an MBA from UCLA. During his tenure at Northrop he also performed as the chief engineer for the avionics and tactical networking group and developed a number of significant innovative solutions for assured communications. Prior to joining Northrop, he was a business area director at Argon ST, responsible for strategy, business development and business growth. In prior positions, Dr. Soni led teams in a wide variety of high-technology organizations such as NASA and startup companies. In addition, he teaches innovation strategy at the Technological Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota and has also taught in the Department of Computer Science at UC San Diego. Dr. Soni is the author of more than 30 publications.

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