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Invest In Your Future: A career exploration symposium for graduate students

Submitted by tloehr on Thu, 10/06/2016 - 9:37am

Your graduate degree means you have a myriad of career options. It’s no longer the norm for graduate students to become career academics. Learn about the skills employers are looking for, the diversity of jobs available to graduate degree holders, and build your network and career-focused skills in this two-day symposium.


Registration is open to all Campus Alberta graduate students. Registration for the symposium includes admittance to all symposium events and workshops at UCalgary. Come and go throughout the day, networking and attending the sessions that you are most interested in. Tell us you plan on coming by clicking the big red button.

Thank you to everyone who attended!
Check your email for a Feedback Survey. Let us know if this is an event we should hold again.

Coming from a different Campus Alberta university? Ask your graduate studies office about travel accommodation.

When and where

Invest in Your Future: A Career Exploration Symposium for Graduate Students

November 9 and 10, 2016
University of Calgary

Check-in and keynote speakers will be in the MacEwan Ballroom (MacEwan Hall, third floor).
Workshops and panels will be in the MacEwan Conference and Event Centre (MacEwan Hall, second floor).

Why attend

Students with Master’s or Doctoral level research education are well equipped to pursue careers in industry, government, and the not-for-profit sector. According to recent research by the Conference Board of Canada, employment outcomes for Canadians who hold advanced degrees are generally very positive (in terms of employment rates and salaries) but individuals holding PhDs tend to experience a challenging transition when they move outside the academic sector.

MyGradSkills can help you identify and hone your transferable skills, and plan your career transition.

After attending the Invest in Your Future symposium at UCalgary, you will

  • be motivated  to reflect upon, and have the skills to plan for a career outside of academia
  • be able to discuss how specific skills acquired during a graduate degree are relevant to employers
  • have a greater awareness of the diversity of career options available those with a graduate degree
  • have an expanded network of other graduate students, graduate student alumni, and possibly even local employers

Keynote speakers

Dr. Alex Bruton 

Alex Bruton (PEng, MBA, PhD) is the founder and president of The Innographer, an open education and innovation design firm, and he is a tenured faculty member at U of C in the Schulich School of Engineering. He has been an inventor (of some exciting stuff); the co-founder and VP of start-ups (both for profit and social business); cofounder of an innovation department (that failed spectacularly); a project and product manager (amazingly fun); and, quite by accident at first, a tenured professor of innovation and entrepreneurship (a role in which he has earned national and international recognition).

Hear Alex speak on innovation and the notion of "Deliberately Designing Your Future" at the Opening Address, November 9, 1 pm to 2 pm in MacEwan Ballroom.

David Wilkin

Social entrepreneur Dave Wilkin is on a mission: to unlock the power of the next generation. He’s the founder of, the world’s largest peer-to-peer mentoring service that connects thousands of leaders with youth for life-changing conversations. Working with cities, schools, and Fortune 500s, Wilkin helps connect, diversify, and modernize the workplace.

Hear David speak on the hidden job market and the importance of networking at the Evening Keynote and Networking event, November 9, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Bios and photos from and

Workshops and panels

The program includes inspiring keynote speakers, networking opportunities, panel discussions, and workshops. Please note, this schedule is subject to change.

Workshops and panels are presented by:

  • Career Services
  • Graduate Students' Association
  •  Leadership and Student Engagement
  • Alumni Relations
  • SU Wellness
  • Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning
  • International Student Services
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies
  • Human Resources
  • Mitacs
  • Career Services (University of Lethbridge)
  • Evan Hu

Other free stuff

Your ticket to this symposium is free and includes all workshops, panels, and keynote sessions.

You'll also receive a welcome package that includes:

  • a reusable bag to carry all your stuff
  • a note book for keeping track of all the things you learn
  • a pen to write those notes with
  • a career toolkit to help guide you in your career planning

Every graduate student who attends will also have the opportunity to:

  • get a free professional headshot
  • meet and chat with campus career service providers
  • network with other graduate students, and alumni
  • drink free coffee and tea

Come meet our PhD, Master's and International Student Career Specialists. 

All three graduate student Career Development Specialists will be facilitating workshops and resume reviews at the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Invest In Your Future: A Career Exploration Symposium For Graduate Students event on Nov. 9 and 10.


Have questions about the symposium? Email

*This project is made possible by funding from the Government of Alberta