Postdoctoral Career Conference



Watch the conference keynote (email to get the password).

USC Holds Career Conference for PhD’s & Postdoctoral Scholars

By Justin Carter

Over 230 USC PhD. students and Postdoctoral scholars stepped away from their research last Thursday, March 13, and gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center to take part in the 3rd annual “Beyond the PhD: PhD & Postdoctoral Career Conference”. The conference featured industry career panels, workshops focused on interviewing and resume writing skills, and preparing attendees for future careers.

Dr. Mark Todd, Associate Provost of Academic Affairs and Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs explained the reasoning behind the conference for Postdoctoral scholars, “The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is encouraging postdocs to be intentional about their training and their future.  Part of being intentional about the future is attending the Beyond the PhD conference where we invite the best speakers and panelists to inspire and help strategize for careers as future leaders in academia and industry.”

Dr. Ellen Levy was the keynote speaker and is the Founding Managing Director of Silicon Valley Connect, working with organizations and entrepreneurs on opportunities for “networked innovation.” Dr. Levy was referred to as the “Most Connected Woman in Silicon Valley” by Fast Company in 2012 and served as LinkedIn’s Vice President of Strategic Initiatives until she recently left the company. Dr. Levy encouraged attendees to “be discoverable” by making a public profile on career oriented website such as LinkedIn and to highlight the transferable skills they acquired in their PhD programs like “probability and statistics, problem solving and teaching.” Dr. Levy also spoke about the importance of time and the difference of time when referring to business versus academia saying, “Time is a fixed variable in business but time is a dependent variable in academia.”

Dr. Nasir Bhanpuri attended the event and is the Professional Development Chair of thePostdoc Association. Dr. Bhanpuri is a 2nd year Postdoc with the Department of Biomedical Engineering where he is doing research about childhood movement disorders. “This is a great event. I attended last year and this year. Careers and the career marketplace are very dynamic. It was stimulating and exciting hearing the keynote speak about translating your research and academic knowledge to the business and tech world. USC is recognizing that Postdocs have diverse career paths and are giving support through a conference such as this.”

Dr. Gilly Koritzky attended the Social Sciences career panel and said, “I think this event is very helpful. The panelists were able to offer new solutions and insight. They helped us interpret some job postings and understand what the job really entails.”

This is the third year of the conference and was organized by the USC Career Center, the USC Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, USC Graduate Student Government, the Keck Postdoctoral Association and was sponsored by Garnett-Powers & Associates, Inc.

Esther Lee, Senior Career Counselor for the USC Career Center, “This is a great opportunity for PhD & Postdoctoral students to explore opportunities in academic and non-academic fields.”

For more info on the conference, please visit