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From PhD to Life

3rd annual Beyond the Professoriate, the online career conference for PhDs

Seeking employment outside academic faculty positions? Then this conference is for you.


This is the third year I’ll co-produce an online conference — a series of interactive, live webinars. Beyond the Professoriate is aimed at graduate students and PhDs who are curious about or actively seeking employment outside academic faculty positions. It’s happening on two consecutive Saturdays: May 7 and 14 2016, with recordings of sessions available for attendees who can’t make it live. The conference is produced in partnership with Mitacs.

This year Maren Wood and I have a great group of panelists and speakers who will share with attendees their career stories (on Day 1) and provide PhD-specific advice for job seekers (Day 2).  Registration is now open; head over to our Eventbrite page to purchase tickets, or get in touch with us to arrange a group rate, a great option for institutions.

Beyond the Professoriate is a highlight of my year. I find the concentrated focus of the conference a great immersion into the world of PhD employment beyond the tenure-track. In the past, attendees have learned about a wide variety of individual career journeys, plus heard useful advice.

Maren and I originally met when we were both Master’s students in the history department at Carleton University. This was 2002-04. Then, I went to do my PhD at U of T, and she started hers at UNC Chapel Hill. Fast-forward almost a decade to Maren launching her own consulting business and writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education, and me beginning a coaching business and blogging for University Affairs. We reconnected, she wrote a Transition Q & A, and then pitched an idea she had for an online conference. Did I want to collaborate with her? The first Beyond the Professoriate happened a few months later, in May 2014. It was a success! And we decided to do it again, and now again, for the third time.

Is attending Beyond the Professoriate right for you (or your students)?  So far more than 300 graduate students and PhDs have registered to attend, nearly half of whom come from STEM and healthy fields.

Learn about PhD Jobs... and How to Get Them! (1)

Jennifer Polk
Jennifer Polk is a career coach and entrepreneur. She earned her PhD in history from the University of Toronto in 2012. For more information and resources, check out her website:
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