Schedule of Events     |     Speaker Bios

***To register for events, please see the below lists of events and sign-up by specific day.***

The Master's and PhD Career Development Week is designed for both people who have only now begun to think about life after graduation and for those who have been preparing to go on the job market since day one. During this week 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.

Listen to what attendees said about the 2017 Career Development Week:

  • "The Career Development Week on the whole was very beneficial."
  • "I liked that the ["What Can I Do with a Master's or PhD?"] panelists had a variety of backgrounds."
  • "The Career Week was a great experience and tremendously helpful to me as well as other grad students."
  • "This event truly is improving the graduate experience here at UC San Diego!"

Pre-Conference: STEM Career Symposium

The Fifth Annual “What Can You Be with a PhD?” STEM Career Symposium is put on by the Postdoctoral Associations of UC San Diego (PDA), Salk, Sanford Burnham Prebys, The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), and their sponsors.

As fellow PhD scientists and engineers, the creators of this Symposium share the same career questions and dilemmas and have worked to address these questions by bringing resources directly to our community. This one-day event, run by current postdoctoral scholars and open to graduate students, will feature a variety of career paths from both public and private sectors. Importantly, in the interactive sessions you will have the opportunity to network with professionals who have successfully transitioned outside of academia.

The Symposium has had great success in the past with over 150 attendees and 50 panelists last year alone. These covered a wide range of career paths including Research and Development, Consulting, Project Management, Entrepreneurship and Science Policy

The STEM Career Symposium is a full day event (with breakfast, lunch, and evening refreshments/appetizers provided) that will take place on March 24th, the Saturday before the Master's and PhD Career Development Week itself.

Early bird discounts are available to the first 100 attendees who register before March 15th. Registration is available via the Eventbrite page: STEM Symposium registration link

If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact the UCSD PDA Career Development Program at

Monday's Events

Please RSVP for Monday's specific events through UC Learning, here.

Explore Career Opportunities With ImaginePhD

Presented By: Jeanelle Horcasitas
Career Center -- Horizon Room

This workshop is designed to help attendees utilize the ImaginePhD career exploration and planning tool. ImaginePhD connects your unique skills, strengths and values to various career trajectories. Through these three assessments, ImaginePhD helps to identify concrete PhD career paths, discuss ways to “decode” jobs and jobs announcements, and create an action plan!

Matching Your Strengths and Values to a Career

Presented by: Michael Stromayer & Tina Gov
Career Center -- Horizon Room

Modern employers are searching for candidates who have both the necessary skills and a high degree of self-awareness. This workshop will help attendees develop that job-winning level of self-awareness through assessments like the Clifton Strengths Finder, which was developed by the Gallup organization through over a decade of research. Attendees will learn to identify how their talents have shaped their lives leading up to this point and how that knowledge can now guide them in not only finding a career that matches their skills, but also their values.

**Attendees must complete the Strengths Assessment prior to attending this workshop. Instructions on how to take this assessment will be sent out a week and a half before the workshop**

Registration Deadline: March 14

Think Tanks: Career Info Session

Presented by: Stephanie Boomhower
Career Center -- Round Room

Non-Profits: Career Info Session

Presented by: Kristen Ryan
Career Center -- Round Room

Transitioning to Management for Engineers: Career Info Session

Presented by: Jakob Heuser
Career Center -- Round Room

If you plan on being a manager or just think you'll occasionally be a team lead, this info session will help you understand just what managers do, how they do it, and why it's critical work. Through this you'll be better prepared to decide if management is the career path for you. This session will be presented by Jakob Heuser, M.A., CEO of Lead SV, former Head of Core Experience at Pinterest, and former Engineering Manager at LinkedIn. Jakob has over a decade of experience with some of the biggest tech companies around, and now is invited by companies across the country to help them train their leaders.

The Academic Route: Career Info Session

Presented by: Nathaniel Wood-Cohan
Career Center -- Round Room

Agenting and Publishing: Career Info Session

Presented by: Seth Fishman
Career Center Round Room

grAdvantage Career Night Panel: "What Can I Do with a Master's or PhD?"

5:00-7:00 pm
Career Center -- Horizon Room

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.

Tuesday's Events

Please RSVP for Tuesday's specific events through UC Learning, here.

Preparing Your Resume and Cover Letter

Presented By: Giulia Hoffmann
Career Center -- Horizon Room

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

Resume Lab

Career Center -- Horizon Room

Want to tap into expert advice as you craft your resume? This lab provides space for you to work on your application documents alongside 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.

Wednesday's Events

Please RSVP for Wednesday's specific events through UC Learning, here.

Preparing for the Non-Academic Interview, Part 1: Strategies and Resources

Presented By: Joel Tolson
Career Center -- Horizon Room

Learn the three strategies that will help you convince interviewers that you are the right candidate for the job. These strategies will be applied to multiple case studies, and attendees will have the opportunities to apply these themselves in a controlled environment. The types and structures of interviews, etiquette, proper behavior, and more will also be covered.

Preparing for the Non-Academic Interview, Part 2: Mock Interview

Presented By: Ali Crawford
Career Center -- Horizon Room

Observe a mock interview with Ali Crawford, Senior Scientist 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.

Job Offer Negotiation & Communication Strategies

Presented By: Ellen Lee & Lisa Eyler
Career Center -- Horizon Room

This workshop will present practical tips to prepare and practice for negotiating a job offer, including gathering information on salaries and analyzing your communication style. We will perform an example role play and then break the group into pairs/smaller groups to practice negotiation skills.

Thursday's Events

Please RSVP for Thursday's specific events through UC Learning, here.

Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch

Presented By: Nicole Hoffner
Career Center -- Horizon Room

Having a well written and rehearsed elevator pitch is an integral part of effective networking. Participants of this workshop will learn the do's and dont's of preparing a pitch, have a chance to write and edit their pitch with a Writing + Critical Expression Hub Graduate Consultant, and will practice their pitch with peers for feedback and revision. This is the perfect opportunity to prepare for the evening's Networking Mixer!

Networking Strategies

Career Center -- Horizon Room

Networking is the most important part of your job search: here we'll discuss strategies for making the networking process a more effective and enjoyable experience.

Networking Mixer with Employers and Alumni

Price Center -- The Loft

This is the capstone event of the week, putting graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in direct contact with business representatives. Put into practice the things you have learned during the Career Development Week and make the connections you need to successfully start your career.

The below is an in-progress list of businesses that will send representatives. Additionaly businesses will be added. Please see the Bio page for more information on each.

Applied Medical EditingWorm
General Atomics Opera Solutions
ServiceNow ZS Associates

**Information subject to change; please check back for updates and additions**

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