Beyond the Professoriate conference recap

by Chava Nerenberg, Graduate Programming Assistant
Thursday, June 11, 2020 4:31 PM

On May 2 and 9, 2020 Beyond the Professoriate hosted its 7th annual career conference for PhD students. Th​is annual event brings together panelists and presenters from a wide range of academic backgrounds and careers to share tips and experiences about working in non-faculty roles in a wide variety of careers. UCSB's Individualized Professional Skills (IPS) Program provided grants for both graduate students and postdocs to attend this important conference. Here's a sampling of what the attendees ​shared ​from their experience:

"This conference helped take a lot of the mystery, fear, and stigma out of exploring other career options for me; I feel much more confident about my prospects now!"
-Caragh Barry, PhD Student in Spanish and Portuguese

"Hearing accomplished professionals as they discussed their experiences in non-academic positions and shared their insights to current PhD students opened my eyes to the many possibilities that await PhD graduates in different fields."
-Olga Faccani, PhD Student in Classics

"I really benefited from the conference's workshops, especially on resumes and cover letters. As I am actively applying for jobs, I was able to immediately turn the lessons learned into practice.​.. Many graduate students gradually come to the, somewhat frightening, realization that they want to leave academia. This conference was a wonderful symphony of comforting, inspiring, and actionable. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of what's next."
-Collin Holgate, PhD Student in Materials

​"The presenters and panelists were all PhDs who had chosen to pursue non-academic careers. They candidly shared their own experiences getting a job after their PhD, obstacles they faced, and solutions they found. This conference would be helpful to anyone who is considering including non-academic positions in their job searches."
-Christina Woltz, PhD Student in Earth Science

"I was unable to even stay motivated to work because I was so unsure what I was going to do this year in terms of graduating and transitioning out of school, but attending this conference really helped get me back on track and has inspired me in so many ways!"
-Tiffany Halvorsen, PhD Student in Biomolecular Science and Engineering


"Beyond the Professoriate provided me with a number of resources to learn about career opportunities after grad school and how to market the skills I've obtained during my PhD."
-Evan Janzen, PhD Student in Biomolecular Science and Engineering

"I would recommend this conference to graduate students and postdocs interested in learning more about alternatives to tenure-track. This conference provided an extensive overview of the career options available to graduate students and postdocs, illustrated by personal experiences."
Martin Kurnik, Postdoctoral Scholar in Chemistry

​"The conference prompted me to think about what career opportunities I want to pursue and provided me the tools to do it."
-Chatarin Wangsanuwat, PhD Student in Chemical Engineering

Have you ever wished you had support to take advantage of a professional or career development opportunity that lies outside the scope of your academic research? The UCSB Individualized Professional Skills (IPS) Program provides funding for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to pursue opportunities that support their professional development for a variety of career trajectories. Learn more here.