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From PhD to Life

Check out the lineup for the 4th annual Beyond the Professoriate

This year's online career conference for PhDs promises lots of helpful information for both the academic and non-academic job search.


The online career conference I co-produce with Maren Wood is coming up in May! Registration is open for individuals and groups. Our returning conference partner is Mitacs.

Over 750 people have attended the conference since the first annual event in 2014. About half our sales are to institutions purchasing on behalf of their students and postdocs; we’ve had groups join us from the University of Calgary, McGill University, Duke University, UCLA, University of Wisconsin, Rice University, and others. We consistently get great feedback from participants and speakers.

I love producing this conference every year. It’s wonderful to hear from so many speakers who’ve turned what’s often seen as a failure (to work as a tenure-track professor) into professional success and fulfillment. I hope you’ll consider joining us!

2017 Quick Facts

    • Saturday, May 6, and Saturday, May 13, 2017, starting at 11 a.m. EDT
    • Two days, 10 sessions (four career panels, six presentations), 11+ hours of live interactive video content
    • 21-day on-demand video replay of all sessions
    • 16 panelists (Day 1: Career Day) and six invited speakers (Day 2: Professional Development Day)
    • Hosted entirely online via webconference
    • Produced by and for PhDs from a wide variety of disciplines
    • More than 750 tickets sold for the 2014-16 conferences, combined
    • 2016 attendees: 39 percent STEM, 26 percent humanities, 18 percent social sciences, six percent health, five percent education, seven percent other
    • *New* All conference attendees will receive free access to the Beyond the Professoriate online community during May 2017!
    • Price: Early bird (ends April 15) $49 USD + Eventbrite fee | Regular $59 USD + Eventbrite fee. Group discounts available for purchases of 10 of more tickets
    • Registration link:


Schedule – Career Day – Saturday, 6 May 2017 (all times are EDT)

11:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.:  Careers in higher education

  • Doreen Badheka, PhD program director for special projects, graduate school of biomedical sciences, Rutgers University – Newark
  • Emily Bell, PhD manager, Desjardins Centre for Advanced Training of the Research Institute of the McGill University health centre
  • Tania Munz, PhD vice president for research and scholarship, Linda Hall Library
  • Beth Seltzer, PhD educational technologyspecialist, Bryn Mawr College

12:30 – 1:50 p.m.: Careers in government

  • Mylynka Kilgore Cardona, PhD map curator, Texas General Land Office
  • Jessica Hartshorn, PhD forest health specialist, Minnesota department of natural resources
  • Chandra Moffat, PhD research scientist – Entomology, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Dragos Popa, PhD senior analyst – Strategic planning, performance measurement, and corporate reporting, Health Canada

2:00 – 3:20 p.m.: Careers in nonprofits

  • Lisa Bélanger, PhD founder & scientific director, Knight’s Cabin Cancer Retreats
  • Trina Filan, PhD community impact coordinator, United Way of Lewis & Clark
  • Michelle Seiler-Godfrey, PhD grant writer, High Desert Museum
  • Synatra Smith, PhD education coordinator, Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center

3:30 – 4:50 p.m.: Careers in industry or business

  • Erin Arizzi, PhD communications specialist, SAS
  • Megan Brown, PhD senior talent analytics manager and data scientist, Amazon
  • Simon Landry, PhD head of user experience, TACTAI Inc.
  • Darek Moreau, PhD senior aquatic scientist, Stantec

Professional Development Day – Saturday, 13 May 2017

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.:  Leveraging your PhD: identifying career paths to suit you and your goals

  • Catherine Maybrey, PhD owner, CM Coaching Services

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.: Stages of the job search process

  • Rachel Leventhal-Weiner, PhD data engagement specialist, Connecticut Data Collaborative

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.: Your resume & cover letter

  • Kristine Funch Lodge, PhD career coach and founder, IncipitCareer; recruiting specialist, Alvord Taylor

2:45 – 3:45 p.m.: Build your brand & your network

  • Jared Wesley, PhD director of learning and development policy, Alberta Public Service Commission

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.: How to articulate your transition story in a non-academic interview

  • Heidi Scott Giusto, PhD owner and operator, Career Path Writing Solutions

5:15 – 6:15 p.m.: The hiring process

  • Josh Magsam, PhD director of community success, Discogs

Check out the full program and read all the speaker bios, available on our website.

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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