Graduate and Professional Student Senate

GPSS Career Symposium



Join us virtually on May 8th from 9-5pm! Facebook event:

Today's job market is rapidly changing in the face of COVID-19. Students graduating this spring and in the near future should prepare themselves to be more active and competitive candidates, though we realize that this takes a tremendous amount of resilience, emotional labor, time, and dedication. Our career symposium will help you assess where you are in the search and application process and provide guidance on how to hack today's difficult market. We encourage all graduate and professional students across all three campuses to plan ahead and engage with a slate of workshops, panels, and lectures that we have prepared for you.

Did you miss this event? No worries! We have recordings and materials for about 75% of the sessions linked below, and please check out the resources as well!


Schedule of Events:

9:00-10:00 Resources

This hour we encourage you to prepare any resumes, cover letters, job descriptions, or plans you may have for yourself which you may go through during many of the programmed presentations, workshops, and panels. Below are some resources which may prove useful


Top Ten Tips: Finding a job as a International Grad Student     

Description: As an international grad student, finding a job or internship in the US can be tough, mysterious, and lonely.  What are acceptable ways of navigating the US job market?  How do I "network" with professors, alumni, and on Linkedin without feeling awkward?  Is there really automated software that recruiters use to filter out resumes?  If you feel discouraged and overwhelmed by the job search process, we understand, because we've been there too.  Join us for our Top Ten Tips that have helped other UW international grad students get full-time positions here in Seattle!

Presented by: Bo Zheng, Senior Communication Systems Engineer at Impinj and Kuan Zheng, R&D Engineer at Novo Nordisk


Create Your Brand Essence Workshop   

There is no recording for this session

Description: In this workshop, you will be introduced to Brand Essence, a personal branding exercise developed at the UW Foster School of Business by Naomi Sanchez and Jean Gekler.  They will guide you in this session  through an individual process that will help you identify your unique brand attributes  and the value you bring to a group or employer.  You will learn how to develop brand statements and a tagline that will set you apart from other candidates, give you input on introducing and marketing  yourself in a memorable way.  Have a copy of your resume accessible. (For your use only)

Presented by: Naomi Sanchez, Assistant Dean MBA Career Management and Jean Gekler, Senior Associate Director of MBA Career Management in the Michael G. Foster School of Business


Success in Graduate School (And Beyond!)   

Description: Graduate school prepares you to ask and answer ‘big questions’; to perform intensive research and to present your findings to a room of highly qualified (and similarly trained) peers. However, little attention is given to preparation for careers outside of academia. In this session, we will explore ways to highlight how your graduate school experiences have actually prepared you for a wide array of careers, both inside and outside of academia. Furthermore, our success and sense of belonging relies on our relationships. Therefore, in the second half of the workshop, we will share some tips for making the most of your mentor-mentee relationship. While you feel like you’re constantly seeking mentorship towards completing your graduate degree, you are likely a mentor to someone looking to follow in your footsteps – whether you realize it or not. It’s our job to guide and support others.

Presented by Bill Mahoney in the Graduate School

Federal Careers: Hiring Pathways and Stories from the Field in Seattle   

Description: Hear Seattle-based federal employees from five different agencies share about their motivations for choosing public service, highlights of working in their agencies, and tips for navigating hiring paths and USAJobs.

Presented by Seattle Federal Executive Board Associates, panel members will be:

    • Paul Carlson from the Seattle Federal Executive Board
    • Martin Merz from the Environmental Protection Agency
    • Alana Zautner from the Federal Aviation Administration
    • Erika Oberle from the Department of Labor
    • Shannon De Jong from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


Introductions by Giuliana Conti, GPSS President   Zoom: 93705124996

Keynote Speaker: UW President Ana Mari Cauce

There is no recording for this session

President Cauce will join us to talk briefly about the importance of attention to non-academic career options and support for graduate and professional students as they transition into the workforce. Many of our colleagues have been on the frontlines already, while others are facing challenges obtaining licenses and certifications, or figuring out where to pivot now that their industry has frozen hiring or laid people off. Looking for jobs and navigating into a long-term career path takes nuance, dedication, and determination, especially with current obstacles. Our hope is to help you make your next steps in this process.


General Workshops, Panels, and Presentations

Salary Negotiation 101 

Description: This session will review steps for successfully negotiating salary when receiving a job offer. Career professionals will explore how to prepare for the salary offer, appropriate timing for negotiation, and strategies for how to navigate the salary conversation with great confidence.

Presentation by: Kim Wilson and Rafael Delgado from UW Bothell Career Services

Public Sector Job Searching in the Era of COVID19 

Description: Government can provide a very stable career path during economically uncertain times. However, landing a job in the public sector can be challenging in the face of potential hiring freezes and budget impacts following COVID19 responses by public agencies. Join for an interactive presentation and discussion outlining how to think about your public sector job search, including tips on leveraging your graduate school and academic experiences effectively in government applications.

Presented by: Shannon Merchant, Director of Career Development at the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

Transitioning from Academia to the Industry Job Market, and Why You Should Consider This Option 

Description: Some of you may relate to the existential crisis which bubbles up when considering a career change, especially for those who have been shaped for academic jobs. I had no idea how much work was ahead of me when I made this choice to switch careers last year. Between LinkedIn tricks, networking discomforts, job hunt burnout, and wilting as I convert my CV to a resume, I am exasperated and eager to share my lessons learned. Furthermore, as someone who interacts with grad students regularly within my job, I know I am very much not alone. So, if you are in the arts, humanities or social sciences, considering a job outside of academia, let's talk through this challenge and get you to your next steps.

Presented by: Giuliana Conti, GPSS President, Music Education PhD Candidate

Discipline-Specific Workshops, Panels, and Presentations

Public Health Career and Job Search Strategies during Uncertain Times

There is no recording for this session but an upcoming event is copied below

Description: Even in this virtual environment, public health students can continue to build their careers in the field. This session will explore general strategies to best build your network and pursue public health internships and jobs. We will consider the impact of COVID-19 on traditional job search methods and explore options to integrate online and alternative resources.

Presented by: Daren Wade, Global Health; Hayley Leventhal, DEOHS

Due to popular demand, Hayley Leventhal (DEOHS) and Daren Wade (DGH) will repeat their virtual career session they provided to the GPSS Symposium earlier this month:

Public Health Career and Job Search Strategies during Uncertain Times

Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 3 – 4 p.m.

Presented by: Daren Wade, Global Health; Hayley Leventhal, DEOHS

Even in this virtual environment, public health students can continue to build their careers in the field. This session will explore general strategies to best build your network and pursue public health internships and jobs. We will consider the impact of COVID-19 on traditional job search methods and explore options to integrate online and alternative resources.

Open to all students and alumni interested in public health job search and careers. Pre-registration required.

To register:

Finding a Job in Tech During a Pandemic  

Description: The ongoing pandemic crisis has led to a number of changes in the how tech employers approach hiring. While some tech companies have instituted hiring freezes and paused recruitment, a number of big companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Tableau continue to hire globally. Join Caitlin Goldbaum, iSchool Assistant Director for Career Services, to learn how to network effectively, tailor your materials, and polish your online interview skills in order to successfully navigate this challenging landscape and propel yourself towards a job in the tech industry.

Presented by: Caitlin Goldbaum, Assistant Director for Career Services at the Information School

Navigating Careers and Career Planning in International Studies

This session will be interactive and focus on real world student needs, challenges and questions concerning careers in international affairs, including government, nonprofit, academia, and foundations.  Students will have an opportunity to have their own issues workshopped or observe the advice provided to other students with similar challenges.

Presentation by Lara Iglitzin from the Jackson School

What now after graduation? Options to practicing dentistry  

There is no recording for this session

Description: The presentation will focus on three areas for dental graduates: the different residencies available in dentistry; discussion of entering into a private/corporate practice; academia and government service.  In each areas I will discuss costs, time commitment and loan forgiveness programs.

Presented by Dr. Phil Anderson from the Dental School

Panel Discussion with Professionals from Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Real Estate, and Construction Management

Description: Join the College of Built Environments for an interdisciplinary panel discussion with alumni professionals and affiliates! How are you seeing COVID-19 impact and change your field?  How is your firm adapting to these changes?  In what ways do you see 2020 graduates bringing value to employers during this time?  These are some of the questions that we'll explore together.  The panel will conclude with an audience Q&A to allow for further exchange of job search tips, ideas, and perspectives.


Danielle Devier (UW MLA '09), ecological restoration landscape architect at Natural Systems Design / Light Table Collective

Tak Stewart (UW MArch '13, UW MSRE '17), Design Staff at Kengo Kuma & Associates, Tokyo

Jamie Miller, (UW BS Civil ‘00),  Director of Project Engineering at Sellen Construction

Mandi Roberts (U Idaho BLA ‘85), VP + Principal at Otak


Living our gifts: Tools to address and overcome internal and structural barriers for URM and marginalized graduate students (Previously titled: Overcoming Barriers for Marginalized Students and Students of Color)

Description: This presentation identifies strengths graduate students bring to the academy and engages participants to reflect upon tools and strategies to address barriers such as isolation and microaggressions in the classroom and mentoring relationships. As the next generation of scholars and leaders, your growth and success are paramount.

Presented By Gino Aisenberg in the Graduate School

Pathways to Becoming a Postdoctoral Fellow  

Description: We are often asked for advice on becoming a postdoc. In this session, we will guide you through the process of deciding whether a postdoc fellowship is right for you. We will also hear from UW postdocs as they reflect on their specific journey, how and why they chose to pursue a postdoc, and how they hope to leverage their UW postdoc experience for their next career step.

Presented by Bill Mahoney and Ziyan Bai from the Graduate School and CORE Programs

Resumes & Cover Letters Workshop

Presented by CJ Sanchez from the Career and Internship Center

Interviewing in a Virtual World

Description: Get tips for navigating interviews in virtual environments and how to avoid interview don’ts. Learn strategies for the interview questions that often derail candidates.

Presented by Dawn Williams, Assistant Director of Career Development and Education at UW Tacoma


US Work Visa Options for International Students pswrd: 1N@7*vX@

Description: This session will go through your US work visa (and green card) options as an international student and provide tips on positioning yourself as an international hire. Talking about your visa needs as an international student can feel uncomfortable, and often times employers don't know how to navigate the system themselves! This session will provide clarity on what to look for in a prospective employer and how to build your immigration plan for the future.

Presented by: Sara Itucas, COO and cofounder of Legalpad (Techstars '18)

Career Diversity for Graduate Students

There is no recording for this session but relevant resources are copied below

Description: Graduate students in all fields of study must consider possible career opportunities within and beyond research institutions. In many disciplines, research-focused tenure-track positions have become more scarce. At the same time, there is a growing awareness within graduate programs of the many promising and highly impactful career paths for students within and beyond the higher education sector. In this presentation and discussion, the focus will be on positions in community colleges, institutions in which nearly half of all undergraduates in the United States are enrolled.

Presented by: Rachel Arteaga from the Simpson Center for the Humanities

May 22 Webinar: Community College Job Materials

Event information and registration link here:

Reimagining the PhD Blog

Read reflections on community colleges by our doctoral student fellows here:

Be in touch with us directly to connect with our networks:

Career Exploration Strategies for Master's and Doctoral Students  

Description: All UW graduate students are invited to join Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs for a virtual workshop to start your career exploration. At the end of this workshop, you’ll be able to:

    • Understand the career exploration process
    • Utilize career self-assessment resources
    • Familiarize yourself with networking strategies
    • Identify short or long term career goals
    • Learn how to keep yourself motivated with self-care practices

Presented by Jaye Sablan and Ziyan Bai from CORE Programs

Job Searching in an Uncertain Economy    

Description: As we face many uncertainties during COVID-19, one uncertainty is the economy and how that will impact the job market and job search process for students. Learn 8 strategies like building your digital presence, networking, and using your LinkedIn from a Career Coach on how to stay active and prepared during these uncertain times.

Presented by Dawn Cheung from the Career and Internship Center


These sessions are open for students who want to go in and talk with or workshop with other students who are interested in similar discussions

These sessions are no longer available

Resume and Cover Letter Feedback Swap

PhD Commiseration & Troubleshooting

Master's Students Troubleshooting the Job Market

Networking and Interview Best Practices


Happy Hour! Grab a drink, a snack, and let's chat! This is an optional opportunity to just sit back and relax, connecting with others who attended today's sessions. The conversations will depend on the group and maybe there can be some pictionary or games.

Thank you for attending today's Symposium!

Please take a moment to provide feedback



The University of Washington acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations.

We acknowledge the people – past, present, and future – of the Dkhw’Duw’Absh, the Duwamish Tribe, the Muckleshoot Tribe, and other tribes on whose traditional lands we study and work.