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UCLA Career Development Conference for Master's, PhDs, and Postdocs

UCLA Career Development Conference for Master's, PhDs, and Postdocs

Thursday, May 4, 2017 (All day)
Ackerman Student Union Los Angeles , CA
California US
Event Contact 


Kristy J. Sherrer, MS

Director of Career Services

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health


UCLA Career Development Conference for Master's, PhDs, and Postdocs

Connecting UCLA graduate students and postdocs to over 100 alumni and employers to explore careers, develop professional skills and prepare for the future. 


Conference Schedule

9:30-10am      Light Breakfast and Informational Interview Sign Up

10am       Welcome | Monroe Gordon, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor

10:10am       Keynote Presentation | Eric Barker, MBA, MFA

How to build your career without losing your mind 
Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars face a number of challenges in the transition from the academic world to the working world. This talk will offer actionable strategies gleaned from psychology and neuroscience research to help them be confident and keep smiling while resiliently navigating the path to a fulfilling career. (These insights will be illustrated with stories from Batman, Buddhism, and Toronto raccoons because, frankly, nobody likes boring lectures.)

Eric Barker’s humorous, practical blog, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, presents science-based answers and expert insight on how to be awesome at life. Over 285,000 people subscribe to his weekly newsletter and his content is syndicated by Time Magazine, The Week, and Business Insider. He has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, and the Financial Times. With a writing career spanning over 20 years, Eric is also a sought-after speaker and interview subject, and has been invited to speak at MIT, Yale, West Point, the University of Pennsylvania, NPR affiliates, and on morning television. His first book, Barking Up The Wrong Tree, will be released by HarperCollins on May 16th. You can find his work here:

11am-12:30pm       Informational Interviews: Sign up from 9:30-10am, first come, first served

11:15am-12:30pm       Concurrent Sessions

Strengths-Based Leadership and Resilience | Neda Moayedi, MA 
The ability to lead others is a quality frequently sought in the workplace, but rarely understood or defined during advanced degree training. In this interactive session, participants will have the opportunity to self-assess and translate their experiences into a leadership framework.  We will discuss the importance of a growth mindset, resilience, and how to use a strengths-based approach to continue to build leadership over time.

The Academic Job Search: Taking Aim at a Moving Target | Rosanne Lurie, MA 
Gain insights into the mechanisms of academic hiring, and use the perspective to strengthen your chances for success while you are on the job market.  Rosanne Lurie, co-author of the new edition of the "Academic Job Search Handbook" will lead an interactive session focused on helping you prepare for your job search. Know what to expect and how to present yourself effectively in preliminary and campus interviews. You will also learn what to do when you receive an offer for a faculty position.

Navigating the Path to Industry | Melanie Nelson, PhD 
Transitioning into a career in industry can be intimidating in part because the norms and expectations of a job search are different outside academia, but also because there are a wide range of options for your next steps, and no clear path forward. During this session, we will discuss how to approach the job search with a productive mindset, and strategies to best survey your options and make decisions about your own path. We will explore tactics to find and apply for the first job on your new path including effective networking, converting your CV into a resume, and writing a cover letter.

The Academy without Borders: A Scholarly Career in Public and Private Sectors | Lizbet Simmons, PhD 
When talking about working beyond the university walls, academics tend to use terms of separation. Work in the private sector is rendered as a transition, departure, or even a point of no return. Many academics sense that in stepping beyond campus for work, they will be leaving something significant behind. The impulse to rationalize the decision has inspired “Quit Lit” essays in journals like the Chronicle of Higher Education, with quite a few centering on feelings of loss and shame. In this talk, I will consider a more expansive view of the academic life and explore various strategies for crossing over the borders.

12:30-2:00pm       Lunch & Roundtable Discussions

Sign up for afternoon Mock/Informational Interviews with Alumni and Employers

Roundtable Industries: 
Academic Research and Teaching | Biotech and Pharma | Data Science and Analytics | Aerospace and Defense | Technology | Intellectual Property | Energy and Environmental Engineering | Research Outside Academia | Startups and Entrepreneurship | Business and Finance | Policy and Public Affairs | Consulting | Government and Nonprofit | Sustainability | Entertainment | Publishing | Higher Education | Administration and Management | Education, Teaching, and Training | Healthcare

12:30-2:30pm       LinkedIn Photo Booth

2-2:20pm       GradSlam Finalists

2:30-4:00pm       Informational & Mock Interviews

2:30-4:00pm       Concurrent Sessions

Persuading Other People | Jean-Luc Doumont, PhD 
Being able to persuade others is a critical skill for any career. We must convince an employer to hire us, persuade our boss to let us start a project, or get our coworkers to help us out. This talk offers a rational approach to persuasion: it covers how to use personal or organizational power, deploy tactics on four different planes, and harness basic social influences so as to have other people accede more easily to our requests.

The Side Hustle: Navigating Ad Hoc Work Experiences | Daren Brabham, PhD 
Finances are often tight for graduate students and postdocs, and engaging in part-time or occasional work can be a way to both earn income and build a suite of skills and professional experiences to set one up for success after graduation. Many new opportunities, particularly online platforms, allow graduate students to showcase and earn compensation for their expertise, whether through consulting, tutoring, or competing in crowdsourced scientific and artistic competitions. This talk will explore some of the ways graduate students can develop a robust "side hustle" and frame these experiences as complementary to the core training received in a PhD program, all while steering clear of some of the ethical and legal pitfalls that sometimes accompany this kind of work.

Life at a Liberal Arts College: Exploring Careers in Academia 
This workshop offers graduate students and postdocs the opportunity to learn about academic careers from faculty and administrators representing a consortium of 24 liberal arts colleges and universities.  In early fall the LADO consortium will provide our institution with a list of faculty searches at the 24 consortium schools that we can distribute to graduate students and postdocs who are on the market. This event is taking place at an opportune time when graduate students in all disciplines are considering a wider range of career choices than in the past.

Take Control of Your Time: Running a Job Search and Getting Your Work Done | Melanie Nelson, PhD 
The job search is time intensive, especially when it converges with critical research and degree completion deadlines, teaching responsibilities and life commitments. Managing these competing demands can feel overwhelming, leaving you feeling out out of control and struggling to get everything done. During this session, we will discuss the competing demands on your time, how to prioritize those demands, and tools and techniques to best take control of your time. Participants will leave the session with new ideas for how to get organized and get things done, and with concrete next steps for implementing the ideas that best fit their needs.

4-6pm     Gradbar Alumni Reception | Hosted by GSA


View full details as well as particpating alumni and employers, here: