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ASPIRE to Connect 2014


ASPIRE to Connect: Building Professional Relationships
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
1:00-5:30pm, Student Life Center

Gain practical tips and learn techniques to meet new people and cultivate authentic professional connections.

This event has already occurred.

You will learn:
• Strategies and etiquette for professional communication
• How to confidently describe yourself and what you do
• Ways to maximize your time at professional conferences
• The power of LinkedIn as a career research and networking tool
• Appropriate ways to follow up with new acquaintances

Enjoy a wine and cheese reception with raffle prizes to close out the day!

BRET Office of Career Development
The Graduate School
International Student & Scholar Services
Chemical Biology Association of Students



Time Session Title Location
12:30-1:00pm Registration Student Life Center (SLC), Board of Trust Room
1:00-2:00pm Welcome and Keynote, “Relationship Building Success” by Justin Graham SLC, Board of Trust Room
2:10pm-2:45pm Breakout Session 1 (choose from below) SLC, Room TBD
2:50pm-3:25pm Breakout Session 2 (choose from below) SLC, Room TBD
3:30pm-4:15pm Plenary Session, “Professional Communication for Career Success: How to Say What You Want and Get What You Need” by John English SLC, Board of Trust Room
4:15pm-5:30pm Put It Into Practice: Wine and Cheese Networking Reception SLC, Ballroom C

B R E A K O U T   S E S S I O N S

(Choose two.)

Tell Me About Your Research
with Ruth Schemmer
As a professional, you’ll hear some form of this statement in multiple settings. Phone interviews, in-person interviews, social events, presentations to funding agencies – these are just a few of the places you’ll need to have a 30-second “Elevator Speech” ready to go. This workshop will get you started on the process.
Leveraging LinkedIn
with Kim Petrie 
Come discover why LinkedIn is the social media tool of choice for over 250 million professionals around the world! In this session, you’ll learn how LinkedIn can help you create a professional online presence, build your professional network, explore career paths, research companies and industries, and find job opportunities. 
Etiquette Express
with Kate Stuart
This crash course will explore the how-to’s of entering and exiting conversations, introductions, and follow-up protocol. This light-hearted seminar will make you feel a bit more at ease during otherwise nerve-wracking interactions.
Making the Most of  a Professional Conference – with various faculty depending on discipline Professional conferences offer excellent opportunities to showcase your work AND develop new connections and relationships that can help you in your research, training, and career search. In this panel discussion, VU faculty will share their approach to preparing for professional conferences and provide advice for making the most of conference activities.

 S P E A K E R   B I O S

Keynote Address Grahamheadshot.jpeg

Justin Graham is a Principal with c3/consulting where he has worked clients across Middle Tennessee since 2006.  Prior to working at c3, he worked at Navigant Consulting as a Senior Consultant in the healthcare revenue cycle Practice.  Justin works with clients to improve management processes and to leverage technology to meet strategic business goals.  Specializing in healthcare, he has experience in a variety of other industries, including manufacturing, publishing, and retail.

In addition to his consulting work, Justin serves on the Hands on Nashville Board of Directors and the Advance Nashville board of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

“Tell Me About Your Research” Ruth Schemmer, Ph.D. is the Assistant Dean for Career Development with the Vanderbilt Graduate School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and a master’s and Ph.D. in Sociology from Texas A&M. She has been with the Graduate School since August 2012, having spent the previous 13 years in career services at Texas A&M University.
“Leveraging LinkedIn” Kim Petrie, Ph.D. launched the BRET Office of Career Development for biomedical sciences graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in 2005 and is currently the Director. Dr. Petrie is also an Assistant Professor of Medical Administration with the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Petrie provides individual career advising appointments, develops career and professional development programs and workshops, develops relationships with alumni and employers, and administers exit interviews for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Dr. Petrie received a BA in Biology from Lawrence University and her PhD in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Petrie is a member of the Graduate Career Consortium and the faculty advisor for the Vanderbilt University Advanced Degree Consulting Club.

“Etiquette Express” Kate Stuart is the Program Coordinator for the Office of Career Development. She writes the bi-weekly career newsletter, facilitates PhD Career Connections events as well as the annual Career Symposium, and manages the BRET website.

After completing her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University, she spent time doing corporate communications for a hospital in Athens, GA, and then in 2007, began work for the Vanderbilt Alumni Association. Her role there was to connect undergraduate students to alumni for career advice in the form of small dinners, advice panels, and a resource guide. Kate also provided resources for alumni in career transition, including a webinar series, a job posting site, and career seminars in different cities.

“How to Make the Most of a Professional Conference” for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics disciplines Jonathan Irish, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology
Vanderbilt School of Medicine

Duco Jansen, Ph.D.
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Vanderbilt School of Engineering

Melanie Ohi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Vanderbilt School of Medicine

Gregg Stanwood, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Pharmacology
Vanderbilt School of Medicine

“How to Make the Most of a Professional Conference” for Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, and Religion disciplines Jaco J. Hamman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Religion, Psychology and Culture
Director of the Program in Theology and Practice
Vanderbilt Divinity School/Graduate Department of Religion

Chris Lemons, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Special Education
Peabody College of Education & Human Development

Plenary Address: John English Professor John English is one of the premier communication consultants in the United States. With over twenty five years as a senior faculty member at Vanderbilt University, he has combined his academic background with his business and political savvy, to emerge as one of the most respected executive presentation skills consultants in the country.

His expertise in persuasion and argument has garnered outstanding reviews from his clients in the political realm, the C-level boardroom, and in various business venues from Healthcare to Hollywood. His executive presentation skills training programs are noted for a finely tuned focus on dynamic delivery and carefully constructed content. It’s not only how you say it, it’s what you have to say that counts.



BRET Office of Career Development

The Graduate School

 International Student & Scholar Services

Chemical Biology Student Association