Penn Career Services is excited to announce the launch of Doctoral Career Development Camp (DCDC): a multi-week program that centers the career and professional development of doctoral students. It is open to doctoral students and postdocs from all disciplines. This year the program will consist of all virtual sessions.

Throughout the program, attendees will have access to a variety of resources, including workshops, panels, and information sessions. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and explore a wide range of career paths. Whether you are just beginning your doctoral journey or are nearing completion, DCDC is a valuable opportunity to invest in your future and gain the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve your career goals. 

Schedule of Events

Monday, June 5 // Design Your Career Roadmap | PhD Career Training Platform | Careers in Private Schools
Wednesday, June 7 // Maximizing Your Time | The Road to Consulting [Alumni Panel]
Thursday, June 8 // Fostering Impactful Communication | Breaking into UX [Alumni Panel]
Monday, June 12 // Resumes & Cover Letters | Pitch Perfect: Strategies for Marketing Your Ideas
Tuesday, June 13 // Navigating Interviews [Recruiter Panel] | How to Manage Difficult Conversations
Wednesday, June 14 // Prioritizing Self-Care | Assessing Company Culture & Fit [Recruiter Panel]

The Team

Design Your Career Roadmap: Strategies for Career Exploration | Virtual
12:30-1:30 p.m.

As a doctoral student, you have unique skills and knowledge that can open doors to a variety of career paths. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why we’re offering a session where you’ll learn strategies to explore different career options, identify your strengths and interests, and create a personalized plan to achieve your career goals. Join us for an interactive workshop where you’ll get practical advice, useful resources, and a chance to connect with other doctoral students who are also navigating their career paths. 

This workshop will be presented by Dr. Tithi Basu Mallik.

Making the Most of the PhD Career Training Platform: A Program for Doctoral Students Seeking Direction | Virtual
2:00-2:45 p.m.

Are you a doctoral student looking to explore different career pathways? The PhD Career Training Platform can help you navigate your options and achieve your professional goals. In this session, Harry Thomas, PhD, will show you how to make the most of this comprehensive resource by providing you with practical tips and strategies to utilize this tool effectively. You will learn how to access and utilize the tools and modules provided, and gain insights on how to apply these to your career search. He will walk you through the program’s features and offer you strategies to make it work for you. Join us to discover how to leverage the platform your advantage and discover the exciting career possibilities that await you. 

  • Harry Thomas, PhD | Learner Engagement Strategies at Beyond the Professoriate
    Harry earned his PhD in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where his work focused on twenty-century American Literature and masculinity. After earning his PhD, Harry taught high school English for ten years in Durham, North Carolina, and also published a book based on his dissertation research (Sissy!, University of Alabama Press, 2017). Excited to help others navigate the transition out of grad school that he himself found so challenging at times, Harry joined Beyond the Professoriate in July 2022.

Exploring Careers in Private Schools: Insights and Advice from Experts [Alumni Panel & Carney Sandoe] | Virtual
3:00-4:00 p.m. 

Whether you’re considering a career in private schools or simply curious about the field, this panel discussion is a great opportunity to learn from those who have paved the way. This panel discussion will feature experts in the field who will share their insights and advice on how to navigate this exciting career path. Our panelists come from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives who have worked in private schools or are familiar with that landscape. They will share their experiences and offer practical tips on how to succeed in this dynamic and rewarding field. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with our experts. Join us to gain valuable insights and advice that can help you chart your course to success in the world of private schools. 

  • Monica Palmer, Ed.D | Upper School Principal at Milton Academy
    Dr. Palmer has 19 years of independent school experience, and her passion for working with upper school students results from a desire to connect with and guide students in their formative years. Monica earned her Doctorate in Education and Organizational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, where she focused her dissertation on the financial sustainability of Midwestern boarding schools.
  • Beth McArdle, Esq. | Managing Associate; Director of Professional Development and Training; Placement Associate, Mathematics at Carney Sandoe & Associates
    Beth joined CS&A in 2006 and currently serves as Director of Professional Development and Training of the Placement Group. She also conducts teacher placement for the mathematics field. Beth graduated from Miami University with a B.A. in political science and from California Western School of Law with a J.D.
  • Jeffrey Rodgers, PhD | Director of the Medical Institute at Perkiomen School
    As Director of the Medical Institute, Dr. Rodgers encourages students interested in STEM careers to pursue interest-driven inquiry-based research projects. Dr. Rodgers has a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Dickinson College.
  • Andrew Fenton, PhD | Upper School Latin Teacher at The Haverford School
    Having received a PhD in Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures and Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Fenton teaches Latin for the Upper School at Haverford School, where he also serves as the Head Coach for the Ultimate Frisbee team.

Maximizing Your Time for Effective Career Development with the Weingarten Center | Virtual
12:30-1:30 p.m.

In this session, doctoral students will learn how to effectively manage their time to support their career development. Through interactive discussions and activities, students will explore practical strategies for prioritizing tasks, managing their schedules, and avoiding common time-wasters. Participants will also learn how to set achievable goals and create action plans to make progress towards their career aspirations. 

This will be an interactive, discussion-based session. It will address common challenges such as procrastination and burnout, and offer tips and tools for maintaining motivation and resilience. By the end of the session, participants will have a solid foundation in time management techniques that will enable them to maximize their productivity and achieve their professional goals. 

  • Ryan Miller, Ed.D | Director of Academic Support at Weingarten Center
    Ryan Miller, Ed.D., is the Director of Academic Support at Weingarten Center. He supports a talented team of learning specialists who meet with students through workshops and individual consultations to discuss strategies and resources to support their academic success at Penn. Ryan earned his Ed.D. in Reading/Writing/Literacy at Penn GSE in 2016, conducting research on the benefits of group inquiry for students and staff within postsecondary learning centers.
  • Chenelle Boatswain, Ed.D | Learning Specialist at Weingarten Center
    Chenelle Boatswain, Ed.D., is a Learning Specialist with the Weingarten Center. She supports students across all 12 schools with writing and study strategies to make progress toward their academic goals Chenelle earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Penn GSE in 2022, conducting research on the resilience practices of Black women leaders in higher education and the opportunities afforded by professional counterspaces.

The Road to Consulting: Perspectives from Doctoral Alumni [Alumni Panel] | Virtual
3:00-4:00 p.m. 

Consulting is a rapidly growing field that offers a wide range of opportunities for doctoral students. In this session, you’ll hear from experienced professionals who have successfully transitioned from academia to consulting. The panelists will share their career stories, discussing how they found a path into consulting, what helped them in forging this path, and what advice they have for others considering a career in consulting. 

Fostering Impactful Communication in Your Doctoral Journey with the Grad Center | Virtual
12:30-1:30 p.m.

Effective communication is a key skill for success in any career field. It is especially important for PhD students for navigating their career pathways because they may need to communicate their research to a variety of audiences from hiring managers to HR personnel. In this session, we will explore the importance of impactful communication in your doctoral career journey, and provide strategies for developing and improving your communication skills. We will discuss strategies for crafting clear and engaging message and tips on how to structure your writing and oral communication for maximum impact and tailoring your message to the audience.  

  • JoEllen McBride, PhD | Associate Director at The Grad Center
    JoEllen earned a Bachelor’s in Physics from Dickinson College, a Master’s in Physics from San Francisco State University, and a PhD in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She comes to the Grad Center from Penn Medicine Development and Alumni Relations, where she served as a Communications and Stewardship Writer. As the Associate Director of the Graduate Student Center, JoEllen manages the Navigating the Academy programs and the Center’s publicity and communications. JoEllen is passionate about science communication and remains active in the science community through her advocacy work, serving as Advocacy Director of the 500 Women Scientists Philly Pod, a past member of the AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy, and the chair of the Education Committee at the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester.

Breaking into UX: Lessons from PhDs Who Have Done It [Alumni Panel] | Virtual
3:00-4:00 p.m.

If you’re a doctoral student considering a career in UX, it can be challenging to know where to start or how to navigate the transition from academia to industry. In this panel, you’ll hear from PhDs who have successfully made the leap and built rewarding careers in user experience design, research, and strategy. 

The panelists will share their personal stories and insights, discussing how their academic background prepared them for a career in UX, what challenges they faced along the way, and what advice they have for others considering this path. Topics may include building a portfolio, networking, finding the right job opportunities, and transitioning from a research-focused to a practice-focused mindset. Whether you’re just starting to explore the field of UX or are preparing to make the transition from academia, this panel will offer valuable insights and inspiration to help you achieve your career goals. 

  • Andrew Crocco, PhD | Head of Research (User Experience & Consumer Insights) at Wealthfront
  • Rebecca Nappa, PhD | Senior Data Scientist at Amazon
  • Meltem Burcu Gürçay-Morris, PhD| User Experience Researcher at Microsoft
  • Nina Gallagher, PhD  | Senior User Experience Researcher at Google
  • Will Hampton, PhD

Crafting an Impactful Resume and Cover Letter for Doctoral Students | Virtual
12:30-1:30 p.m.

A strong resume and cover letter are critical components of any successful job search. In this session, we will discuss strategies for crafting a resume and cover letter that effectively showcase your skills and experience to help you stand out as a strong candidate. 

This workshop will be presented by Dr. Tithi Basu Mallik.

Pitch Perfect: Strategies for Marketing Your Ideas as a Doctoral Student & Beyond with Penn Center for Innovation | Virtual
2:00-2:45 p.m.

New ideas and insights are an asset in any career. The ability to pitch your ideas effectively is a crucial skill for success in diverse careers – in academia and beyond. In this session, we will explore strategies for crafting and delivering persuasive pitches that grab attention, generate interest, and build support for your ideas. 

  • Yi-Yen Chen, PhD | Associate Director at Penn Center for Innovation
    Dr. Yi-Yen Chen has over 10 years of healthcare-related experience. Prior to joining PCI Ventures, she oversaw the life sciences investment and portfolio management at Echo Investment Capital. She also worked in business development and drug licensing at Microbio Group in Taiwan. Dr. Chen was the R&D project head and led the development of the world’s biggest antibody portfolio for the zebrafish research community at GeneTex. She completed her PhD in developmental biology from Nobel Laureate Professor Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard’s lab at the Max-Planck Institute in Germany. Her postdoctoral training was in molecular biology at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Mainz, Germany, and in cancer immunotherapy at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam.

Insider Insights: Navigating Interviewing with Recruiters and Hiring Managers [Recruiter Panel] | Virtual
12:30-1:30 p.m.

In this session, you will have the opportunity to hear from a panel of professionals who have experience with the hiring process, and gain valuable insights on how to navigate interviews successfully. During the panel, you will have the opportunity to learn about the interview process from the employer’s perspective. You will gain insights into what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for in candidates, and learn strategies for showcasing your skills and experience effectively. 

  • Ruth Shoemaker Wood, PhD | Managing Director at Storbeck Search
    Ruth Shoemaker Wood brings scholarly training and hands-on experience to her understanding of the higher education landscape. She is a Managing Director at Storbeck Search where she has conducted searches for senior-level administrative positions within colleges, universities, and independent schools. Prior to entering the executive search sector, she served as Assistant Dean of Students at NYU’s College of Arts and Science, as a Career Counselor at Penn, and as a consultant to educational institutions experiencing organizational change and strategic planning challenges. Ruth’s book, Transforming Campus Culture: Frank Aydelotte’s Honors Experiment at Swarthmore College, was published in 2012 by the University of Delaware Press. Ruth has enjoyed teaching in the Higher Education graduate programs at NYU, Penn, CUNY, and Rider University.
  • Allen Reed, MBA | Consultant & Recruiter at Heidirick and Struggles
    Allen Reed is a consultant in Heidrick & Struggles’ Washington DC office and a member of the Healthcare & Life Sciences and CEO & Board Practices. With nearly 25 years of executive search experience, his clients benefit from his judgment, knowledge and efficiency to help achieve great outcomes. Allen has deep executive search experience in both healthcare services and product-driven healthcare companies, including innovative, high-growth companies. His clients include private equity and venture capital backed companies as well as high-growth publicly listed companies with global operations.
  • Allison Viverette, M.S.Ed. | Technical Talent Acquisition Manager at StubHub
    Allison Viverette leads engineering recruitment for StubHub, the live entertainment company, hiring for a wide range of positions from new graduate software engineers to Directors of Engineering. Prior to this role, she was a recruitment consultant at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, helping their graduate student population prepare for their recruitment processes and long-term careers. Allison received her Master’s from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, and her Bachelor’s degree from Boston College, where she was also the captain of the varsity swim team. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, and is currently based in New York City.
  • Rachel Brown Levan, M.S.Ed. | Senior Recruiter in Technology at Comcast
    Rachel (Brown) Levan, M.S.Ed. has served as a Sr. Technical Recruiter at Comcast for 2 years. In 2019, she successfully completed her Master of Science in Education degree with a specialization in Higher Education from Penn GSE. Prior to her recruitment role, she dedicated nearly 8 years to the field of higher education. Her most recent position was as a Recruiting Relationship Manager in the MBA Career Management Office at Wharton. Rachel currently resides in Philadelphia with her husband and dog.

How to Manage Difficult Conversations with Penn Ombuds | Virtual
3:00-4:00 p.m.

Whether it’s negotiating a salary, resolving a conflict with a colleague, or giving difficult feedback to a supervisor, difficult conversations are an inevitable part of any career. In this session, we will discuss strategies for managing difficult conversations effectively and with confidence. 

We will offer practical strategies and insights to help you navigate difficult conversations in your career with confidence and success. We will also delve into specific strategies for managing difficult conversations, including how to prepare effectively, how to communicate clearly and assertively, and how to manage emotions during the conversation. 

  • Waged Jafer, PhD | Ombudsman at Penn Ombuds
    Dr. Jafer earned a bachelor’s degree from Carleton University and a Master’s degree in Conflict Studies from the University of Ottawa-Saint Paul and a PhD from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Jafer joined the Ombuds office on December 1, 2022 as the Deputy Ombuds. Prior to her arrival at Penn, Dr. Jafer established the inaugural Ombuds office for Williams College in 2021. Prior to that she served as the Regional Ombudsperson for Near and Middle East with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. Her extensive experience in conflict resolution has been mainly in higher education in Canada.

Prioritizing Self-Care and Resilience During the Job Search with Wellness at Penn | Virtual
12:30-1:30 p.m.

The job search process can be a challenging and stressful time, with many demands on your time and energy. In this session, we will discuss the importance of prioritizing self-care and resilience during the job search, and provide practical tips and strategies for maintaining your well-being. 

  • Jackie Recktenwald, M.S.Ed. | Director of Wellbeing Initiatives, Wellness at Penn
    Jackie Recktenwald (she/her) is the University’s inaugural Director of Wellbeing Initiatives within Wellness at Penn’s Public Health and Wellbeing division. She is also pursuing a doctorate (EdD) in higher education at Penn’s Graduate School of Education, and is studying the institutional response to abortion access on college campuses. Prior to coming to Penn, she worked as a staff assistant and scheduler for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in Washington, DC. She received a bachelor’s degree in political science from University of California at San Diego, and a master’s degree in higher education from Penn’s Graduate School of Education. She lives in South Philadelphia with her husband, Kyle, and son, Walter.

Will this Organization be a Good Fit? – Assessing Culture and Values [Recruiter Panel] | Virtual
3:00-4:00 p.m.

When considering potential job opportunities, it’s important to not only evaluate the job responsibilities and salary but also the organization’s culture and values. In this session, you will have the opportunity to hear from a panel of recruiters and HR professionals who will provide insights and strategies on how to assess organizational culture during the job search process. 

The panelists will share their experiences and perspectives on what to look for in an organization including how to assess cultural fit, how to identify a company’s values and mission, and how to evaluate the diversity and inclusion initiatives. They’ll also provide tips on how to approach conversations with recruiters and hiring managers about on these topics and ask effective questions to gain a deeper understanding of an organization’s culture and values with your own needs.