Wednesday, April 25, 2018 (all day)

A crowd

Please note: Full day registration is now sold out. If you would like to attend, please add your name to the waitlist and tickets will be released as spaces become available. You may register for the keynote only while spaces remain available.

UPDATE: Please note that the venue for this event has changed. The conference is now being held in Hagey Hall (HH). Registration will take place in the Don Craig Atrium near HH 1101. The keynote by Larry Smith will take place in HH 1101.

Full day open to PhDs and postdocs only. Afternoon keynote by Larry Smith is open to all graduate students and postdocs.

Registration required. Full day and keynote only tickets are both available through the Eventbrite registration page, please select the appropriate ticket type upon registration.

Hosted by GRADventure, in partnership with the Centre for Career Action, this full day conference is designed to better prepare PhD students and postdocs for careers outside of academia. This conference will feature interactive workshops, a panel of employers who have hired employees with PhDs, as well as keynotes from Larry Smith and Robin Mazumder.

Please note, this is an all day event and lunch is provided. Full day registrants must plan to attend every session. If you are unable to attend the full day, you are welcome to register for the keynote only.

If you register for this event and do not attend, GRADventure reserves the right to cancel your registration for future GRADventure events.


Time Program Detail
8:30-8:45am Registration
8:50-9:50am Keynote, Robin Mazumder, Putting yourself out there: How to effectively share your story
9:50-10:00am Break

Concurrent sessions:

  • Making Informed Career Decisions
  • Networking as a Work Search Strategy
11:30am-12:00pm Grab lunch
12:00pm-1:30pm Career panel
1:30pm-2:00pm Networking and break

Concurrent sessions:

  • Creating a Stellar Non-Academic Résumé
  • Improve your Interview Skills
3:30-3:40pm Break
3:40-4:40pm Keynote, Larry Smith, Great Problems: Great Careers
4:45-5:30pm Networking, wine and cheese

Program description


Making Informed Career Decisions

Facilitator: Kira Bruschke, Graduate Career Advisor, Centre for Career Action

Understanding yourself is the foundation to identifying satisfying work possibilities. In this workshop, you will engage in a series of self-exploration exercises and reflections to help identify a variety of your skills, interests and values as they relate to the world of work.

Networking as a Work Search Strategy

Facilitator: Jay Michaud, Graduate Career Advisor, Centre for Career Action

In this workshop, you will learn about a more proactive job search strategy than applying for positions online. By discussing the value of making connections, learning tips on how to use social media tools (LinkedIn), and walking through a step-by-step approach to expand your network, you will learn how to apply your research skills to another domain - work search.

Creating a Stellar Non-Academic Résumé

Facilitator: Jay Michaud, Graduate Career Advisor, Centre for Career Action

In this workshop, you will identify key components of a résumé and understand how to tailor it to an employer’s needs. You will learn effective strategies for making your résumé stand out and highlight your valuable skills. In addition, you’ll learn how to interpret job descriptions and identify your most relevant qualifications based on the job posting.

Improve Your Interview Skills

Facilitator: Erica Refling, Graduate Career Advisor, Centre for Career Action

In this interactive workshop, you will practice translating academic language to industry language, apply strategies for answering interview questions and evaluate the effectiveness of responses to interview questions through listening to your peers and providing them with feedback.

Career Panel

In this panel, you will hear from hiring managers/recruiters from several organizations who hire PhD graduates for a range of positions. Our panelists will share tips on how to get your application noticed and how to stand out during an interview. There will be a question and answer period during which the audience can ask the recruiters questions.

Moderator: Kira Bruschke, Graduate Career Advisor, Centre for Career Action


  • Rebecca Bourque, Director of Strategic Accounts and Business Development, Mitacs

  • Michael Szarka, Director, Research Partnerships, Office of Research

  • Albert Hoang Duc, PhD, Director, Advanced Analytics, Manulife

  • Alex Coman, Technical Lead / Manager, Google

Keynote speakers

Robin Mazumder is a PhD candidate in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo, where he is studying the psychological impacts of urban design. Robin has a long track record of community involvement, launching many community building initiatives and serving on numerous boards. Most recently, he was on the University of Waterloo Senate and was asked to be a Guest Librarian with the Kitchener Public Library.

Larry Smith is an adjunct associate professor of economics at the University of Waterloo and director of the Problem Lab. Larry's TEDx Talk, "Why you will fail to have a great career", has been viewed by millions and he has recently published his second book "No fears, no excuses: What you need to do to have a great career".

In his keynote, Great Problems: Great Careers, Larry will provide a discussion of career pathways that lead to high-impact accomplishment in a wide variety of environments. Proven strategies and tactics are presented, together with common mistakes, detours and dead ends.

Additional details

Upon registration, you will be asked to select which concurrent workshops you would like to attend. Please be advised that preferences are not guaranteed.

If registration is full, please add your name to the waitlist, and you will be contacted if a space opens up.

If you are no longer able to attend, please cancel your ticket or email the event organizers so that tickets can be released to those on the waitlist.

A curry lunch will be provided to all full day attendees with salad, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and halal options available.

HH - J.G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities
Don Craig Atrium, outside room 1101
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1

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