Shift Conference

The SHIFT Professional Development Conference for Graduate Students.
Connecting ideas and connecting people.

Conferences are a great place to make meaningful professional connections that can extend beyond your graduate life. Campus staff, faculty, presenters and employers will be onsite, to share their wisdom and career paths during our Concurrent Workshops, Career Stories Session and Networking Lunch.

Whether you are just beginning to think about what comes next, wanting to kick-start or energize some career action, there is something for you at SHIFT! We have a great roster of dynamic and passionate facilitators who have some fresh ideas about graduate.

Learn about how former Brock students have taken their passion and academic training to launch a successful ‘research forward’ businesses. Understanding and articulating your graduate level and broader life skills and experiences can help you make sense of these experiences but also assist you in contextualizing those experiences for an employer.

How will you tell YOUR story?

Shift Conference Schedule

Shift Conference Registration


Career Conversations

Finding meaningful and ethical work congruent with your beliefs and values is a crucial factor for most students seeking employment. Working on the frontlines, a social enterprise structure or for an environmentally conscious employer all entail the artful balance of negotiating the ‘greater good’ and the work ‘at hand’.  We’ll discuss the delicate balance.

A modern cultural worker can thrive in variety of careers in education, media and the arts. The reach and satisfaction of creative practice can be the cusp of personal freedom and a condition for seeking satisfying work.  How do we negotiate and harness creative energies within professions that embrace those creative forces. Join our conversation!

Working as a community volunteer provides valuable leadership experience and credibility to complement your graduate training. In this session, we’ll discuss the various pathways into community leadership roles and the types of graduate competencies transferable to managerial level work across all sectors. Join our conversation!

Learn about our Career Stories and how we support research innovations; the enterprise process of translating your research as a grad student or post doctoral trainee into innovative products and services. Brock’s Innovation team will show you how to access a range of services connected with the process of innovation, the commercialisation of technology and the formation of new ventures. Join our conversation!

Concurrent session one

Knowledge translation or mobilization plans are integral components of most scholarship or funding applications. Learn more about this emerging field and the importance of marketing your research to a variety of audiences. This workshop will allow you to gain an understanding of basic knowledge mobilization principals and review key recommendations around plain language messaging in academia.

Your cover letter is an essential piece of personal writing that crafts your first impression to potential employers. In this session, we will discuss why cover letters are critical to the job search process and how to interpret and dissect a job advertisement. Learn how to employ creative strategies for planning and preparing your letter to help you spark the attention of your audience.

Ever wonder how you could turn your ideas into an entrepreneurial venture? Entrepreneurs are often driven by a ‘passion for a problem’. Whether your field of study is science or the arts, this ‘passion’ is a similar characteristic shared by many graduate students. By the end of the session you will learn and explore your entrepreneurial potential and play with a few of your bright ideas. You will also learn how to access free entrepreneurial development and training programs at Brock University and in Niagara.

In this session you will engage in a dialogue on the role chance plays in your career. Based on the theoretical foundation of planned happenstance (Krumboltz) and chaos theories of career development (Bright & Pryor) you will discover flexible strategies to manage your own professional goals during your transition from graduate studies to the next phase of your career – whether this be academia, career, entrepreneurship or other pathway. Learn how to guide your own future and be in the “right place at the right time” in a time of uncertainty and transition.

Social Media can be a thriving digital habitat for finding your voice, curating your disciplinary interests, track cutting-edge research and seek out trail blazing professionals within your field. Learn practical strategies for management, engagement, reach and impact that just may turn a ‘mild’ interest into a ‘wild’ interest.

Knowing your discipline – and knowing how to teach your discipline – are often different. Join the conversation on strategies for preparing the teaching demonstration and learn how to showcase your pedagogical skills!

Concurrent session two

Your graduate education and other supporting experiences provide you with a rich complement of essential skills that employers seek. Actively discuss, distill, map and articulate your unique skills that help you stand out from the crowd. This conversational workshop will help you identify and illustrate your existing skill stories so you can convey your strengths to an employer with ease.

How do you know when an employer is looking for a ‘resume’ or a ‘curriculum vitae’ (CV), when the terms are often used interchangeably? In this informative session, you will learn how resumes and CV’s are different from one another, when to use each document, and how to tailor your application to the appropriate audience. This session will also address application expectations for government positions and how to modify your documents for applicant tracking systems (ATS).

Interviewing is more than just having the right answers!  Come and hear about tips and tricks to make you stand out in an interview and be the most prepared that you can be. Topics will include Mastering the Interview Questions, The Psychology of Interviewing and How to Make Them Like You. You do not want to miss this session as you prepare for your next great opportunity!

Discover how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile and explore effective strategies for using this tool to develop your network and find job opportunities. Today, 87% of North American companies and 64% of organizations use LinkedIn and social networks to recruit. Managing your online presence effectively and using social networks are becoming critical to finding and landing a job. This workshop will assist you in learning the advanced functions to optimize your profile so that you find meaningful work and work finds you!

Networking is essential to landing that first job! Whether it’s networking one-on-one over coffee with an industry professional or networking in a large group setting, there are do’s and don’ts that can open doors just as quickly as they can close them. Networking 101 will take you through the proper networking techniques as well as answer some more difficult questions like when is the right time to follow up? How to stand out? How to maximize your time at a networking event with each of the professionals? How to keep the conversation engaging?

It is critical to be prepared to talk about yourself and your understanding of an institution during the application and  interview process. Learn how to prepare and convince the hiring committee that you are the best candidate for the position. Join our conversation with Brock faculty members;  Scott Henderson (Social Sciences) and Heather Gordon (Biotechnology).

Keynote Speaker – Kelly Hoey

Kelly’s career story is one transformation, and can only be explained by her unique ability to tap into networks and make valuable connections. Her career started in corporate law, eventually transitioning to the management side of a global law firm. A chance opportunity in 2009 to work with a visionary leader of an international business networking group sparked her transition from earning a paycheck to seeking equity. Co-founding a startup accelerator then an interim CMO role with an emerging tech company are just part of her journey of career reinvention as an author, influencer and investor. Kelly remains active in the startup community as a limited partner in two venture capital funds and an advisor to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Other Speakers

Marisa is a career education professional with a background in career development and a keen interest in incorporating theory into practice. As a certified Career Development Practitioner, she currently leads career education programming and curriculum for Co-op, Career & Experiential Education at Brock University. Marisa completed her Master of Education in Teaching, Learning and Development at Brock University with a research focus on career programming in higher education and employability skills. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and the Career Development Practitioner program at Conestoga College.

As the Career Education Manager at Brock University, Pauline has over 20 years of experience working in the field of career and employment counselling. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of Career Education, Pauline oversees Brock’s co-curricular transcript program, Experience Plus, and has a passion for helping students increase their understanding of how their skills and experience intersect with what employers are looking for. Pauline loves seeing the drive and excitement that students have for the future, and she strongly believes that in order to build an effective career plan they must first take the time to understand their talents and weaknesses.

Ashley is an experienced campus recruitment, human resources, career development and co-op education professional with experience in both private and public sectors. She strives to set students up for success in their job search and beyond by helping them learn important career and life skills. In her current role at Brock, Ashley provides career support to students in all disciplines. She applies her strong recruitment background and further education in career development to help students learn about themselves, explore possibilities and shape their career paths.

Stacia is a facilitator at heart, who enjoys creating unique learning opportunities and encouraging the development of skills though experiential approaches and reflection. She has completed her Masters of Education at Brock with a focus on constructivist learning and has put this theory into practice during her eleven years at Brock with Youth University and the Faculty of Graduate studies. In her most recent role, she has worked closely with students, staff and faculty providing opportunities for skill development to help complement and enhance their university experience.

Dan Lynch is the Manager of Brock University’s BioLinc. Dan brings a strong and career-long commitment to assisting SMEs and academic researchers, facilitating commercialization and has a proven track record in industry liaison. Prior to joining Brock he served as Industry Liaison Manager for Innovation York, York University; Dan was also the Vice President Commercialization and Chief Operating Officer of HTX, Ontario’s Health Technology Exchange, a leading catalyst for accelerating the growth of Ontario’s medical and assistive technologies industry cluster; and for many years he was an Industrial Technology Advisor in the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program across Southern Ontario including more than five years at the University of Western Ontario. He has worked with many innovative Ontario companies to assist in developing new technologies that resulted in the commercialization of new products, processes or markets.

Jayne Morrish is a mobilizer who works to ensure that research is being translated into practice outside of academia. As the Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Brock University’s Centre for Lifespan Development Research Jayne uses her magnetic and decisive personality to engage with various organizations around using Brock’s research in practice and policy. The focus of her work is on co-creating new knowledge and building strong connections with key partners locally, nationally and internationally. Knowledge mobilization is an emerging field that is becoming increasingly important across a variety of sectors and Jayne is incredibly excited to be a part of the group that is leading the charge toward evidence-informed research, policy and programming initiatives across Canada.

Jayne joined Brock University as a staff member in 2014, but has been at Brock since 2009 when she began her SSHRC funded Master’s Degree in Lifespan Development at Brock, where she focused on adolescent risk-taking as related to activity engagement. Prior to this Jayne obtained a Bachelors of Health degree from York University in Psychology and History and also holds the Knowledge Translation Professional Certificate from the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children. Before coming to Brock Jayne worked in the non-profit sector for over 5 years as Research Coordinator at Parachute and SMARTRISK, Canada’s national injury prevention organizations.

Kara has devoted her life’s work to supporting the career development needs of students in higher education. She brings her passion for helping others to grow and succeed into every interaction she has with students and staff. As Supervisor, Career Education, Kara oversees the staffing and service delivery in CareerZone, and coordinates programming and events that help students explore career possibilities, articulate their skills and find meaningful work.  Kara is a recent graduate of Brock’s Master of Education – Administration & Leadership program, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from McMaster University, and a Career Development Practitioner Certificate from Conestoga College.

Dr. Camille Rutherford is an Associate Professor of Education at Brock University. As a former classroom teacher and university administrator, her work with teacher candidates, teachers, adult educators educational leaders and technology companies explores the use of technology to transform leadership and enhance teaching and learning. As a co-founder of the Educational Research and Innovation Hub (iHub) she oversees a number of research projects, supervises the ihub research residents and provides educational insight regarding EdTech product development and efficacy.

Kristen recently joined the Career Education team in the role of Career Consultant for the Goodman School of Business. Her focus is assisting students in their transition from campus to career by providing resume and cover letter assistance, interview preparation, career advising and more. On top of this, she works to create opportunities for professional development by hosting employment-related events for students on campus.

Stephanie is a passionate HR professional, relationship builder and educator.  Her career blends more than a decade of experience in the areas of recruitment, training and career development with her passion for preparing emerging professionals for the world of work.  Through this she has demonstrated success in building advocacy, awareness and engagement at all levels of an organization in relation to career education and campus recruitment and is often called upon for speaking engagements in both the academic and business community.   

As a leader Stephanie believes in empowering her team to make decisions, take risks and challenge the status quo.  In her current role she leads a blended team of 32 professional and student staff in the delivery of career and campus recruitment programming at Brock University.  Her colleagues would tell you she is a collaborative leader and team member who is exceptionally detail-oriented and possibly the most organized person they know!

Outside of work, she can be found engaging in the community, spending time with family and friends, practicing yoga and shopping for shoes.

Stephanie completed her business degree in 2005 and Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation in 2011.   In 2014 she was honored with a Niagara ‘Top 40 Under Forty’ Business Achievement Award. 

Contact us

Contact information

905.688.5550 x4830


MacKenzie Chown
MCC 207


Monday to Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm