2019 Ph.D Connections




Ph.D. Connections is a one-day career conference designed to support doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in their exploration of career paths beyond academe. Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows will learn about non-faculty career opportunities through interactive sessions with Ph.D.s working in diverse fields and workshops focused on career exploration and job search preparation. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from the keynote presenter, L. Maren Wood, Ph.D. (Co-Founder of Beyond the Professoriate) who will kick-off the day’s events. Co-sponsored by the University Career Center, Rackham Graduate School, and the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.






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Lobby, 1st Floor, Rackham Building and Assembly Hall, 4th Floor, Rackham Building

Checkin and visit with your colleagues.

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Amphitheatre, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
L. Maren Wood, Ph.D.

L. Maren Wood, PhD (history, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), is the co-founder of Beyond the Professoriate, a mission-driven organization that provides career education and professional development for graduate students and PhDs. Beyond Professoriate provide services to individuals, and partners with institutions to support their efforts in empowering students and postdocs to leverage their education wherever smart people are needed. 

Maren has been a lead researcher on several important studies on the academic and non-academic job market for humanities and social science PhDs, working for the American Historical Association and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Her writing has appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and University Affairs. Her essay, “How to Move Beyond the Professoriate” is part of the edited collection, Succeeding Outside the Academy, published this fall by the University of Kansas Press.

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West Conference Room, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
John Anagli, Henry Ford Medical Group; Aaron Koch, Cayman Chemical; Julie Rumble, Cayman Chemical; Sukhinder Sandhu, Swift BioSciences

The combined impact of the biotech, pharma, and healthcare industries on the future of human health outcomes is huge. Ph.D. degree holders have several career options in these industries in areas that are related, but not limited to, scientific research. This panel represents STEM Ph.D. degree holders from diverse personal backgrounds spanning many career stages. They will discuss with the audience lessons from their career trajectories, describe their daily professional lives in the above career sectors, and will provide tips and tools to best prepare for launching new careers in these industries.

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Amphitheatre, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Panelists from TD Ameritrade and Akuna Capital

Panelists from Akuna Capital (trading firm) and TD Ameritrade (brokerage and investment services) will share their individual career paths since obtaining their Ph.D.s, describe “a day-in-the-life” in their roles, and provide examples of their work that taps into the transferable skills gained through their doctoral programs. This session will provide excellent insights into how you can apply your Ph.D. in science, math, engineering, technology, humanities or the social sciences to the fast-paced industry of finance.

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East Conference Room, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Deborah Willis, Ph.D., Rackham Professional and Academic Development; Gina Shereda, Ph.D., Rackham Professional and Academic Development

This session will coach you on how to effectively discuss career goals with academic and professional mentors. After a brief presentation, you will converse with faculty and career professionals who will respond to questions and offer strategies on what has worked best in their experiences with doctoral students.

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Assembly Hall, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
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West Conference Room, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Elyse Aurbach, Academic Innovation (University of Michigan); Lumas Helaire, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (University of Michigan); Richard Pierre, Newnan Academic Advising Center (University of Michigan)

There are numerous exciting career opportunities in Academic Administration. These panelists, from diverse academic backgrounds (STEM, Social Sciences and Humanities) represent a small sample of positions available in Higher Education. They will share their individual career paths since obtaining their Ph.D.s, describe “a day-in-the-life” in their roles, and provide examples of their work that taps into the transferable skills gained through their doctoral programs. This session will provide excellent insights into how you can apply your Ph.D. from any field in Academic Administration. 

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Amphitheatre, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Gilad Pagi, Google; Suby Raman, Duo Security; Cordelia Ziraldo, Advaita

Panelists from the technology industry - from biotech to security technology - will share their individual career paths since obtaining their Ph.D.'s, describe “a day-in-the-life” in their roles and provide examples of their work that taps into the transferable skills gained through their doctoral programs. This session will provide excellent insights into how you can apply your Ph.D. in both STEM and Humanities fields to the technology industry.


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East Conference Room, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Joelle Fundaro Randall, University Career Center; Maggie Evans, Ph.D., Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, University of Michigan Medical School

Do you struggle with identifying the skills and the strengths that you have gained through academic and professional experiences? Articulating transferable skills and strengths is a key part of the career development process. Come and learn from the University Career Center and the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Career and Professional Development Team about how to effectively identify transferable skill-sets by participating in reflective exercises.

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West Conference Room, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Diane Bouis, Office of Technology Transfer (University of Michigan); Muhammad Faisal, Movellus, Inc; Vishalakshi Krishnan, Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI)

Panelists from Electrical Engineering, Medical Science, and Chemical Biology will share their individual career paths since obtaining their Ph.D.s, describe “a day-in-the-life” in their roles and provide examples of their work that taps into the transferable skills gained through their doctoral programs. This session will provide excellent insights into how you can apply your Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, Engineering and more to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

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Assembly Hall, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Presenters from Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

This interactive session will offer the opportunity to participate in an analytic simulation that will provide insight into ways in which your skills may be transferable to a federal agency setting. You will evaluate the information given and provide your objective assessment within a small group. Groups will then have the opportunity to present their finding to the CIA representatives at the end of the session.

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East Conference Room, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Laura Schram, Ph.D., Rackham Professional and Academic Development

You will engage in interactive design activities and discussion with peers to learn practical tools from "Designing Your Life", the #1 NY Times bestselling book and Stanford University curriculum. You will close out the conference by designing actionable plans to explore several of your career interests and conduct informational interviews. The goal is to end the day with ideas for how to design a life and career in which you will thrive!

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West Conference Room, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Suzanne Fischer, Michigan Historical Center; Mike Shriberg, National Wildlife Federation ; Malcolm Tariq, The Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services

Panelists from the non-profit field working on issues such as conservation, alternatives to incarceration and public history will share their individual career paths since obtaining their Ph.D.'s, describe “a day-in-the-life” in their roles and provide examples of their work that taps into the transferable skills gained through their doctoral programs. This session will provide excellent insights into how you can apply your Ph.D. in both STEM and Humanities fields to the non-profit field.


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Assembly Hall, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Presenters from CVS Health, Boston Consulting Group and, McKinsey & Company

This interactive session offers the opportunity to participate in a mini-case study led by consultants from The Boston Consulting Group, CVS Health, and McKinsey & Company. This simulation of a consultant’s typical business challenge will give you insight into what is required to uncover solutions for clients. You'll learn how advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, medicine, humanities, the law, and social sciences may be applied to work in the consulting field.

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East Conference Room, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Chelsea Moore, University Career Center

Negotiating salary and benefits is a key part of the job search process that can sometimes be filled with anxiety and confusion. This session will focus on the art of negotiating salary and benefits, based on individual preferences, location, and ways to analyze one's market value.

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