Career Symposium

About the Invest in Your Future Career Symposium 2020

Brought to you by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR), in collaboration with the Career Centre, is a week of sessions to inspire, motivate, and give you tools to continue your life goals and career exploration.

Registration for all sessions will be in campusBRIDGE and with the permission of your faculty/department, sessions can be counted towards professional development credit. Events are free and open to anyone on campus.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Session 1: Now What? How to Navigate Your Career | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. (Post-Activity)

Marvin Washington Figuring out “what you want to be when you grow up”, is a question that everyone faces. Marvin has helped high school graduates, millennials, “gen x’ers” as well as newly retired professionals answer this question. To answer this question, he thinks there are four key questions that need to be addressed: Why are you here? Where are you going? Where is your perimeter? and What are you doing? In this session, drawing on examples as diverse as St. Theresa, Charlie Brown, Inigo Montoya (Princess Bride), and Andy Dufresne (Shawshank Redemption) Marvin will provide a framework, and some tips to help you begin to answer the question, “What do I want to do with my life?”

Presenter: Dr. Marvin Washington, Professor, Strategy. Entrepreneurship & Management, University of Alberta School of Business; Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation
Dr. Marvin Washington’s research, consulting, and teaching focus is on the processes of organizational and institutional change. He is an award-winning teacher for courses on strategic management, organizational change, and leadership at the University of Alberta. He has worked with the government leaders of the Country of Botswana since 1999 and the State of Oregon since 2009. He has written three books on leadership and change with his latest titled "Leading self before leading others". Prior to life in academia, Marvin was an operations manager for Procter & Gamble, where he was responsible for Zest Bar Soap.

Session 2: Taking Ownership of Your Career Conversations | 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Deanna Davis Career conversations with your supervisor or mentor are an invaluable opportunity to learn more about yourself, to discuss where you want your career to take you, and how you will tailor your graduate degree to support your goals. But, where do you begin? Your Individual Development Plan (IDP) sets the stage for career conversations by providing you with the foundation to build your capacity to shape your higher learning experiences and to inform the career choices you make. To make the most of your career conversations, it is important to prepare well. In this session you will set a personal mission statement that will serve as the jumping off point for career conversations. Using your mission statement as a starting point, you will develop strategies that will help you start, and take ownership of, your career conversations. You have the agency to build the career you aspire to and this session is designed to set you on the right path.

Dr. Deanna Davis, Senior Lead and Educational Curriculum Developer, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research
Dr. Deanna Davis designs impactful learning opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the areas of professional development/career pathing and academic integrity and ethics training. Responsible for programming related to the Individual Development Plan of the Professional Development Requirement, Deanna facilitates career exploration that helps people find meaning, joy, and purpose in their professional lives in ways that not only allow them to be more effective in their roles, but also positions them to have an impact on their community, Alberta, and beyond. Deanna leads the Graduate Teaching and Learning Program to which she brings fifteen years of teaching experience in the post-secondary environment.

Soni Dasmohapatra, MPA, Career Education Coordinator, Career Centre
Soni Dasmohapatra currently leads the Career Mentoring Program with the responsibility of enabling students to grow professionally. Soni has held a diversity of roles over the years including owning her own consulting business, she worked with the Government of Alberta, Edmonton ShiftLab 1.0, and was the grant coordinator at the Edmonton Heritage Council. When she lived in Toronto, Soni supported social innovation with organizations such as the City of Toronto and the community not for profits United Way, Laidlaw and Maytree Foundations. Soni was a senior project manager with the Government of Ontario and a consultant with the United Nations.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Session 1: Designing a Winning Résumé | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Tyree McCrackin and Noor Al-Zanoon With a much looser format and no restriction on length, the academic CV is much less daunting to prepare than a two-page résumé. This presentation will help you to identify the experiences and attributes gained through your graduate program and postdoctoral fellowship. This is likely the most difficult task of the process. You will also learn how to present these qualities effectively through the creation of a targeted and specific résumé document by considering content, formatting, wording, and presentation. Learning about the technology that filters applications during the online application process will also be covered. Through the process of résumé building, you will better align yourself with a prospective employer, as well as stand out as a unique individual.

Tyree McCrackin, BA, BEd, Graduate Student Career Advisor, Career Centre
Tyree McCrackin works directly with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at the University of Alberta's Career Centre. Before coming to the University of Alberta, Tyree worked in human resources in various oil and gas related industries. His first role was with the University of Alberta's Graduate Student Internship Program (GSIP) Career Advisor responsible for supporting GSIP applicants and interns. He now works as a career advisor, helping current graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and alumni with work search documents, interview preparation, and career management strategies. Tyree has a BA and BEd, and is also enrolled in graduate studies at the U of A.

Noor Al-Zanoon, MSc, Career Peer Educator, Career Centre
In her role at the Career Centre, Noor Al-Zanoon has been trained to advise students on issues related to career management, work search strategies, preparing résumés and writing cover letters. Noor is also part of the executive team with WISER (Women in Science, Engineering and Research) where she holds the positions of Communications Lead, UA-Wise Liaison, and Mentorship Program Co-Lead. As a current PhD student in Rehabilitation Science, Noor has first-hand experience in the challenges of translating the graduate research experience to meet the criteria demanded by employers and job descriptions.

Session 2: "Self-Marketing" Strategies for Successful Job Search and Career Growth | 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Ehtisham Answer and Sehrish Pervez

The field of “Self-Marketing” leverages proven marketing tools and techniques to help individuals effectively market themselves. This session introduces a powerful “Self-Marketing” framework for graduate students to win jobs and ensure career growth in today’s challenging market. Participants can apply this strategic, methodological, and disciplined approach towards job search and career growth for exceptional results. 


Ehtisham Answer
, MBA, Sessional Instructor, Thompson Rivers University
Ehtisham Anwer is a B2B (business-to-business) marketing and branding expert. Ehtisham has over 17 years of experience in senior management positions at several leading global organizations. He is currently working as a General Manager for Cummins Inc., leading operations in interior and northern BC. He is also a sessional faculty at Thompson Rivers University’s School of Business and Economics in Marketing and International Business department. Ehtisham has a Bachelor’s in engineering, Master of Science in Management, MBA and 6 Sigma black belt certification.

Sehrish Pervez, Consultant, Career and Employment Development
Sehrish Pervez is a seasoned career counselor with expertise in full-cycle recruitment and employment/career development. She has worked in key roles with reputable organizations such as Manpower Group, Bredin Center for Learning and Seasons Health Therapies. Sehrish is currently self-employed as a Career and Employment Development Consultant in Kamloops, BC.


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Rapid Résumé/CV/LinkedIn Reviews | 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

You can register for a 15-minute session with the Career Centre for a review of your résumé, CV, or LinkedIn profile. You will be sharing this information through the screen sharing feature in Zoom. Limited space available.

How to register: Use campusBRIDGE navigation bar on the left-hand side and find Career Centre Appointments. Click on Book by Appointment Type to find the relevant appointment. Click Book under the appointment type. All available appointments will show up on the far-right. You may also watch this instructional video on how to book a Rapid Review or check out the Career Centre webpage for instructions on how to prepare for the session.

Session 1: Now What? Developing Your Innovation | 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Luke Butterworth

Part of the Innovation Bridge series, this session takes graduate students and postdoctoral fellows on the journey to explore how a concept can move from a research idea to reality using a business model – whether this is a social enterprise, a service, a policy, or a new way of doing something.  eHub is a campus organization that can help you better understand the steps to make your ideas gain real traction using a series of 5 modules. Using personal anecdotes and case studies, participants will leave the session with greater confidence about their own skillset and possibly viewing their research with a new perspective. You will hopefully see that you have what it takes to make the first steps towards being an innovator and understanding the entrepreneurial process – skills highly desirable by all stakeholders.

Luke Butterworth, Senior Venture Advisor, eHUB; COO and Co-founder of JustCook Kitchens (pictured at right)
Luke Butterworth's role with eHub provides students and postdocs guidance in moving their innovative ideas forward and potentially obtaining financing for their business ventures.  Luke is the co-founder and COO of JustCook Kitchens, a digitally native food hall, former COO of Nuport Robotics, a company building autonomous trucks for short-haul logistics and former founder and CEO of Trioova™, an Albertan telehealth company. Adding to his diverse background and experience, he previously worked for FiatChrysler, Sure Hire, and the Canadian Forces,. His recent roles in entrepreneurial ventures have required him to build partnerships, DevOps cycles, fundraising strategies marketing plans, and business networks. Luke is a recent graduate from the U of A Executive MBA.

Session 2: Seven Common Misconceptions About Procrastination: What They Have to Teach Us About More Successful Goal Pursuit | 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. (Post-Activity)

We all face times when we put things off–whether it’s something simple like taking out the garbage or something with more consequences like getting a paper written. As our days get shorter toward winter and we get even more sequestered into our homes in this time of COVID-19, the challenge of procrastination can increase. Is this a problem with our time management? What if you were told this had more to do with your emotional well-being? Procrastination is deeply rooted in our neural network and there are many ways you can get yourself out of this rut and feeling more in the groove to move. Join this session to gain a better understanding of why you may be putting things off and how you can take steps to be more successful in meeting your goals whether they are academic, career, or life-oriented. This session will be jointly offered for graduate students attending Carleton University.

Dr. Tim Pychyl, Associate Professor, Psychology, Carleton University
Dr. Tim Pychyl (pictured above, at left) is renowned for his work on procrastination – or why we “sabotage our best intentions with needless delay.” His CV reveals numerous journal articles, conference presentations, and books on the topic: Procrastination, Health & Well-Being (2016), Counseling the procrastinator in academic settings (2004), and Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Positive Change (2013). Tim’s talents extend to having a comic strip and podcasts on his website: Recognized as an exemplary and passionate teacher he is a recipient of Canada's prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations’ Teaching Award, the University Medal for Distinguished Teaching, a Graduate Mentoring Award (2012) as well as other university teaching awards.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Session 1: How You Fit Into the Global Job Market | 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Lionel Laroche Culturally different people don’t just look different or speak a different language – they think and communicate differently because they were schooled differently. Most professionals underestimate the extent to which the mental model of how organizations function shapes the way we manage our daily interactions with clients, managers, co-workers and suppliers, as well as the way we manage our careers. In the first part of this session, we will examine how the sense of hierarchy people are taught in high school drives the way they relate to their professors and managers; the expectations they have of themselves, of people who have authority over them, and of people they have authority over; and the way they plan for their professional future. We will also explore the value of learning in university how to work and communicate with people who are different from us from a professional perspective.

Most models of teamwork, project management and leadership assume implicitly or explicitly that these concepts are global. For example, many leadership or team work models look at what makes individuals great leaders or great team players without taking into consideration the kind and cultural background of the people they are trying to lead or work with. In this second part, we will explore the cultural dimension of team work, leadership and project management. This session will apply to anyone who will be working with or leading people who grew up in countries other than their own, which means all of us! You will learn to identify differences in how individuals in research teams or work units respond and how to adapt your own responses.

Please note that this section will build on the hierarchy scores that participants have obtained by completing the Organization and Culture QuestionnaireTM. You must complete the questionnaire a week prior to the session to maximize your experience. In addition, everyone will get more out of the session if all class members have completed the questionnaire. People completing the questionnaires after the one-week deadline are not guaranteed to have their scores returned.

Dr. Lionel Laroche, President, Multicultural Business Solutions, Inc.
Over the past 20+ years, Dr. Lionel Laroche has provided cross-cultural training and coaching services to over 120,000 people in 20 countries. Lionel has presented to students, staff and faculty members at universities across Canada, the US, and overseas. His presentations are informative, thought-provoking and practical; they are built on his own experience as a foreign student who obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, and the shared experiences of people he has coached or trained over the years. Lionel is the author of over 100 publications, examining the impact of cultural differences on organizations.