Life After Grad School (LAGS) Conference

Committee: Professional Development & Networking 

Dates: Monday, March 8, 2021, through Friday, March 12, 2021 

Times: 12:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and/or 5:00 p.m. EST 

All graduate students and professional students at the University of Kentucky (UK) are invited to attend the GSC’s “Life After Graduate School” (LAGS) Conference. The purpose of the LAGS Conference is to help graduate and professional students learn about the skills they may need to acquire to land a job in their field of choice, especially if that position is outside of academia. The GSC understands that the academic job market is strained right now, but there are vast opportunities available for graduate and professional students if they just know where to look. Graduate and professional students who attend this conference will have the opportunity to figure out some of the different kinds of future career opportunities available to them, as well as how to position themselves for success in a career or job outside of their area of specialization. By the end of the conference, attendees should be able to better navigate the job market after graduate, whether they pursue positions inside or outside academia. 

Monday, March 8, 2021 

“General Career Advice & Careers in the Biomedical Engineering Industry” 

12:00 p.m. EST 

“10 Game-Changing Job Search Strategies” by Caroline Francis and Amanda Schagane 

Not sure how or where to begin your job search? This crash course will offer great starting point strategies to help you make a smooth transition to the world of work.

5:00 p.m. EST 

“Many Pathways, One Choice: Starting a Journey in Industry after Your PhD” by Dr. Ritish Patnaik 

Ritish will give a high-level overview of the many career options in industry and how to tackle the decision of what option to pursue for a post-PhD career. He'll relate it back to his own opportunities and choice when he graduated from his PhD less than a year ago.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 

“Careers in Science Policy & English/Humanities” 

12:00 p.m. EST 

“Started as a Pharmacologist, Now I'm a Fed: The Stephanie Davis Story” by Dr. Stephanie Davis 

Have you ever thought about bringing your scientific expertise to a job in the federal government? If so, be sure to tune in to Dr. Stephanie Davis as she shares her career journey and reflects on how her experiences as a graduate student at the University of South Florida and a postdoc at UK prepared her for her current position as a Program Officer at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.  

3:00 p.m. EST 

“TBD” by Jocelyn Gaydos 

5:00 p.m. EST 

“From Sonnets to Software: One Humanities PhD’s Journey to Silicon Valley” by Dr. Anna Bedsole 

Before joining a SaaS (software as a service) company, Anna Bedsole's technical skills extended only so far as formatting her dissertation in Microsoft Word. This talk covers her journey from Humanities PhD to the tech sector and lessons learned along the way, including:  

  • Reasons to leave academia and seek private sector or nonprofit employment 
  • What companies look for in PhD hires 
  • How to position yourself well for a job in tech, and what to do once you get there  
  • Leaving academia: processing the grief and finding your values and gifts outside of the scholar/teacher identity 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 

“Faculty Positions in Academia & Chemistry” 

12:00 p.m. EST 

“How to Optimize Your Success in a Faculty Job Search” by Dr. Morris Grubbs 

Interested in a faculty position? The search and the application are more nuanced and demanding than you may think, in a job market that is more competitive than ever. Attend this session to learn the key differences in the institutional types and how to tailor your application letter and CV to optimize your chances of an invitation to an interview.

5:00 p.m. EST 

Panelists: Dr. Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez, Dr. Mark Crocker, Dr. Joel Bombile 

Thursday, March 11, 2021 

“Postdoc Positions in Academia & Careers in Product Management” 

12:00 p.m. EST 

"What is a postdoc? A panel discussion with current UK postdocs." by Dr. Joseph Lutz

Panelists: Dr. Erome Hankore, Dr. Ketan Shrestha, Dr. Lindsey Conroy, and Dr. Steve McBride 

5:00 p.m. EST 

“Keys To A Successful Career: Agility and Product Mindset” by Kunal Suri 

Friday, March 12, 2021 

“Careers in Entrepreneurship & Data Science/Management” 

12:00 p.m. EST 

“TBD” by Jo Bhakdi 

5:00 p.m. EST 

Panelists: Dr. Robert Tell, Dr. Karen Lai, & Sneha Rajana