SHIFT Conference to share future planning tips for grad students

Graduate students finish their studies ready to take on the world, but they often don’t know where to begin.

Future planning is the main focus of the fourth annual SHIFT Professional Development Conference for graduate students, a daylong event on Friday, April 28 that aims to highlight the resources needed to take the next steps after graduation.

Karin Perry, Program Co-ordinator, Development and Training in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, emphasized the importance of a conference like SHIFT for the nearly 100 graduate students who plan to attend.

“This year, we included a range of workshops that address diverse mindsets and approaches to future planning,” she said. “We hope that graduate students will ultimately take a deeper dive into the whole process of personal and professional development, so they can uncover their latent skills and talents, and create opportunities for self-development.”

The event will feature a keynote address from University of Toronto Graduate Professional Development Specialist Liam O’Leary, followed by 30 speakers and 18 workshops focusing on areas of self-discovery, transferable graduate skills and career action.

With workshops on how to prepare for the future, as well as how to take advantage of unexpected situations, the conference aims to provide a wide range of perspectives.

Workshops include:

Kara Renaud, Brock’s Supervisor of Career Education and the presenter of the Resumés and CVs workshop, called it crucial for graduate students to learn from the diverse experiences of alumni.

“I think the value of this event is the opportunity to learn about the career trajectories of former graduate students and how to go about preparing for their next steps — whether that be a career in academia, industry or entrepreneurship,” she said.

Other presenters will include faculty, staff, alumni and industry professionals.

Renaud is part of Brock’s Co-op, Career and Experiential Education team, which works collaboratively with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Brock University Alumni Association, Centre for Pedagogical Innovation and Brock University Graduate Students’ Association to put on the conference.  

More information on the Shift 2017 Professional Development Conference for graduate students can be found at


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