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Career Conversations: Leveraging Your PhD in Social Science and Humanities Outside of Academia (for PhD Students and Postdocs)

Do you want to learn more about how to navigate the world of post-academic careers as a PhD? During this session, connect with professionals with degrees in social science and humanities working in a wide range of fields. Learn more about hiring practices, employer expectations and how to leverage higher education while exploring available career opportunities.
During this panel, professionals will share examples of the particularities of applying as a PhD and talk about how to translate the skills developed in academia to non-academic careers. The panel will be followed by an open forum where PhD students will have the opportunity to ask the panelists their own questions.
Registration is required.
You may register for this event on Eventbrite.
Participating Panelists:
Mai Nguyen
Senior Consultant, Maple Leaf Strategies
Alumna: PhD Political Science, 2014
While completing my Ph.D. at York, I really began to enjoy consulting. I enjoyed providing advice and finding ways to influence decision-makers to take my advice. After several consulting roles, whether it was as an independent consultant, a policy analyst, or a political advisor to former provincial Ministers, I find my current role as a lobbyist to be the most fulfilling because it utilizes all my skill sets.

Raphael Costa
Manager, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, City of Vaughan
Alumnus: PHD History, 2015
I work as the Manager, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Economic and Cultural Development at the City of Vaughan. We help people start and grow businesses while working to create economic prosperity.
I never imagined that I would be in Economic Development. I didn’t even know it was a field until I started working in it! The best piece of advice I can offer is to stay flexible. Don’t focus on an outcome. Being too focused narrows the possibilities!

Craig Roxborough
Manager of Policy, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
Alumnus: PHD Philosophy, 2016
Part way through my PhD I realized I wasn’t going to get an academic job on my own terms. So I started planning an exit strategy. It took some time and some thinking to re-frame my experience and identity and to fill some gaps, but now I’m managing an incredibly talented team of policy analysts at the largest medical regulator in Canada. Everyday we come to work believing in our public interest mandate and working to (hopefully!) make a positive difference in the lives of Ontarians.

Cathy Barr
Vice-President, Mission Effectiveness, Imagine Canada
Alumna: PHD Political Science, 2000
When I started my doctorate in political science, I had the same goal as most PhD students: to obtain an tenure-track faculty position. By the time I finished, I was less certain about my career choices. A couple of years after completing my degree, a series of events led me to apply for the position of Director of Research at a charitable organization called the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy. I have never looked back. Almost 16 years on, the organization is now called Imagine Canada and I am now Vice-President, Mission Effectiveness, with responsibility not only for research, but also public policy and government relations, communications and engagement, and our peer-review-based standards program. It’s not the future I envisioned but I wouldn’t change a thing!

Julia Lalande
Manager (A), High Hazards Unit, Prevention Office, Ministry of Labour
Alumna: MA at York, PhD in Europe, History, 2001
I have one of those degrees where your grandmother asks you ‘What are you ever going to do with (insert your degree here)?’ Currently, I am an acting manager in the Prevention Office in the Ministry of Labour. Previously I have worked as a Senior Analyst or Analyst in the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Treasury Board, and as a research officer at York University. I am passionate about evidence-based decision making, knowledge mobilization and strategic planning, and find I can apply the skills I acquired in my PhD. The key is to keep building your skills so that you can learn and grow.


Mar 06 2019


2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Scott Library Second Floor Collaboratory
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