Shift Conference to help students make the most of graduate education

Some graduate students know exactly what they want to do after grad school: delve deeper into research, enter the world of work or start their own small business. For those that don’t have such a clear idea, the Shift Conference is here to help.

Open to current and incoming graduate students, the 7th annual Shift Conference takes place Tuesday, April 30 in the Plaza Building and Goodman School of Business Atrium.

This year focuses on the themes of explore graduate opportunities and designing a holistic professional learning plan. Participants can choose to attend three of more than 15 workshops on topics such as building a CV and resumé, optimize your LinkedIn profile, prepare a teaching dossier or secure a research internship.

Students will also be treated to a lunch-time keynote address delivered by Lorna MacEachern, Career Counsellor for Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at McGill University. Borrowing from life design principles developed by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (Stanford University design educators), MacEachern will speak on the value of mobilizing the same research and design skills used to build a research project for building a meaningful life for oneself.

New to the conference this year, participants will have the opportunity to gain micro-certificates in Knowledge Mobilization or Intercultural Competency by pairing themed workshops. Alumni Relations will also be providing free LinkedIn headshots.

The conference is co-sponsored by Career, Co-op and Experiential Education, the Brock University Alumni Association, Centre for Pedagogical Innovation, Graduate Students’ Association, Office of Research Services and convenes several campus partners with over 30 campus and community experts.

Karin Perry, Development and Training Co-ordinator in the Faculty of Grad Studies and co-ordinator of the Shift Conference, said the event is a “wonderful opportunity to make meaningful professional connections that will extend well beyond graduation.

“There are many exciting opportunities for students at Shift,” Perry said. “We have an amazing roster of dynamic and passionate speakers that have fresh ideas to help them make the most of their graduate education.”

This year, for the first time ever, Shift will be followed by the Launch Forum, on Wednesday, May 1. Co-hosted by the Office of Research Services and the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the Launch Forum is intended to create a space for faculty, staff and graduate students to share creative ideas, insight and opportunities for supporting personal, scholarly and professional development.

A series of workshops will be offered through which participants can learn about internship opportunities and partnership projects with Mitacs, a non-profit national research organization that operates research and training programs in fields related to industrial and social innovation; professional learning practices to help graduate students prepare for post-degree careers; and tips and strategies for encouraging prospective students to say ‘yes’ to Brock programming.

Registration for the Shift Conference can be done online through the Graduate Studies website by Monday, April 22. More information on the Launch Forum is available on the Vitae Professional Development web page.

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