Career Conversations Panels

With support from York Community and Alumni Relations.

Career Conversations panels let students explore a variety of careers within a specific field, connect with York alumni and individuals working in their field of interest, and get inside tips on securing employment in a specific industry from professionals who do the hiring. Throughout the year, panels are held with two areas of focus:

Career Conversations with Alumni Career Conversations with Hiring Managers
Alumni and other professionals share:

  • Their personal career paths;
  • how their university education is relevant to their particular position;
  • the realities of sectors they work in;
  • strategies for entering the sector;
  • opportunities within their fields;
  • resources for connecting with professionals in that field.
Hiring managers share:

  • Where to find and secure a position within the industry;
  • How to make connections within the field;
  • What is involved in the application process, e.g. specific hiring dates, materials required;
  • How to write effective resumés and cover letters;
  • What to expect during the interview; and
  • How to succeed on the job.

Upcoming Career Conversations Panels 2015-16

Career Conversations: Alternative Career Options in Health Care @ 101 Stong College (Master's Dining Room)
Feb 23 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

In partnership with the Stong and Calumet College Offices of the Master as part of the Create Your Future Program. Sponsored by York University Community and Alumni Relations.

Interested in learning about more career options in health? Want to meet professionals and alumni enjoying careers in a variety of roles in the health sector?

Connect with York grads and other professionals and get the inside scoop on what their jobs are really like. During this panel, professionals will share their personal career stories about breaking into the field, how their career paths took them from graduation to where they are now, what knowledge, skills and experience helped them succeed in their jobs and what types of opportunities are available in the field. The panel will be moderated by one of the Career Centre’s team members and followed by an open forum where students will have an opportunity to ask the panelists their own questions.

Registration is required. You may register for this event on the Career Centre’s online system (you must sign up for an account before you will be able to register for any events on the system).

Participating Panelists:

Nicole Daniels
Naturopathic Doctor, College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO)
Alumna: MSc Biology, 2009

For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to have a career in Medicine (ie. a Doctor). At the time I had no idea what a Naturopathic Doctor was, and now I can’t see myself doing anything else. As a Naturopath I treat people, not symptoms, which is the true meaning of medicine. Part of my job is to educate people on their own health. When they have that “aha” moment and start to see the connections between their mental, emotional and physical health, that’s when the true healing begins. I am so fortunate and grateful to be doing what I love – supporting people in their own healing naturally.

Shirah Itskovich
Alumna: BSc Kinesiology, 2011

I never thought that I would end up working as a Pedorthist. If you asked me 5 years ago what a Pedorthist does I also probably wouldn’t have been able to answer that question. I believe there are so many career options available to us that undergraduate students are unfamiliar with. Today I own my own pedorthic lab and love my job. I look forward to educating students on my profession and I hope I get to teach them something new.

Lynn Yawney
Medical Laboratory Technologist

When I was in high school, I wondered what profession I could pursue in health care that wasn’t “a Doctor or a Nurse”. The answer came in Medical Laboratory Technology. I worked in a Pathology Laboratory, taught for 21 years, then moved onto a position in the regulatory environment, then proficiency testing. All of these positions were in the laboratory field. A wonderful career indeed!

Career Conversations: Leveraging your STEM PhD Outside of Academia (for York PhD students and postdocs only) @ 519 Kaneff Tower
Feb 25 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

In partnership with the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Sponsored by York University Community and Alumni Relations.

Are you interested in a career outside of the academy? 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 in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions and 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 range of opportunities available within their fields, 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 the Career Centre’s online system (you must sign up for an account before you will be able to register for any events on the system).

Participating Panelists:

Janna Anichina
Application Scientist, SCIEX
Alumna: PhD Chemistry, 2009

Scientific research was always my dream. I graduated with a BSc in Chemistry from Moldova State University in 1993, completed my first PhD in 1996 and spent the following 7 years in academic research at Moldova State University. After my family immigrated to Canada in 2003, I joined the Centre for Research in Mass Spectrometry (CRMS) at York University for a PhD program in Chemistry. After completing my PhD and two post-doctoral positions I joined SCIEX as an Application Chemist. Having no previous industrial experience, I have discovered this amazing world of industrial research and development, learnt what it is to be a part of an industry-leading team and contribute to the development of products enabling scientists and laboratory analysts to find answers to the complex analytical challenges they face.

Bob Cheung
Dr. (Retired Senior Scientist), Defence Research
Alumnus: BSc & PhD Vestibular Physiology and Psychophysics, 1990

Recently retired as Senior Scientist from Defence Research, my interest lies in translating basic human scientific research findings in physiology/psychophysics to applied, operational environments.

Jillian Hatnean
Business Development Specialist, Mitacs Inc.
BSc Honours Biochemistry with Thesis (University of Windsor, 2006)
PhD Chemistry (University of Windsor, 2011)
PDF Chemistry (University of Toronto, 2011-2013)

I always thought I’d be the mad scientist making ground-breaking discoveries at the bench. Eventually I fell out of love with the dream, but didn’t want to leave research entirely. Today, I’m like a professional matchmaker – helping bridge the gap between academia and industry. At Mitacs, I help fund collaborative research projects that provide our interns with real-world experience in a non-academic setting – work I find incredibly rewarding!

Terry Sachlos
Associate Director, BEST Program – Lassonde School of Engineering

Degree: PhD, Oxford University, 2004
Postdoc: MIT, Harvard and McMaster

A serial entrepreneur having co-founded several start-up companies, Terry’s current endeavour is as the CSO of Bikanta Corp – a company developing fluorescent nanodiamonds as next-generation medical imaging probes. Terry completed his doctorate in bone tissue engineering at the University of Oxford. His research resulted in the development of a novel 3D ink-jet printing technology for bone tissue engineering at which point he co-founded Tissue Engineering Oxford (TEOX) Ltd, a university spin-out company to commercialize novel customisable bone grafts for maxillofacial restoration. During his postdoctoral tenure, he specialized in stem cells with Prof Bob Langer at MIT, Prof Debra Auguste at Harvard University and more recently with Prof Mick Bhatia at McMaster University. Working with Prof Bhatia and as part of a $26M stem cell screening initiative, Terry spearheaded the development of a novel stem cell screening platform which culminated in a 2012 first-authored pub! lication in the top-tier journal, Cell. This paper identified thioridazine, a drug used for decades to treat schizophrenia, as an agent able to selectively target cancer stem cells present in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. These promising findings have led to the initiation of a clinical trial to repurpose thioridazine for relapsed AML patients. To date, Terry has first-authored or co-authored 14 peer-reviewed articles and filed 8 patents applications, all in the area of regenerative medicine. He is an Editorial Board Member of the Regenerative Medicine journal. Terry recently returned to Toronto from a visiting scholar post at the UC Berkeley Stem Cell Center to help develop the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology program at the Lassonde School of Engineering, York University.

Elissa Strome
Executive Director, SOSCIP (University of Toronto)

Elissa was appointed Executive Director of SOSCIP in June 2015. Elissa completed her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia in 2006. Following a post-doc at Lund University, in Sweden, she decided to pursue a career in research administration. Her first role was at York University, where she was the Faculty of Science and Engineering’s primary research administrator from 2007-8. In November 2008, she joined the University of Toronto’s Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation and was Director of Strategic Initiatives from January 2011 to June 2015. In that role, she led a small team dedicated to advancing the University’s strategic research priorities, including international institutional research partnerships, the institutional strategy for prestigious national and international research awards, and other strategic initiatives, including establishing the SOSCIP research consortium in 2012.

Scott Tanner
Adjunct Professor, York University
Former President, CEO of Fluidigm (formerly DVS Sciences) (retired)
Alumnus: BSc Science, 1976 & PhD Chemistry, 1980

Scott D. Tanner retired in 2015 from his last position as Chief Technology Officer of Fluidigm Corp (South San Francisco CA and Markham ON). He was the founding President and CEO of DVS Sciences and saw the company through the development and commercial launch of its first products, securing of Series A financing, and the subsequent establishment of its facilities both in Markham Ontario (R&D and instrument production) and it’s headquarters (commercial and reagents production) in Sunnyvale California. Dr. Tanner assumed the CTO position following the merger of DVS Sciences with Fluidigm in 2014.

The products that DVS Sciences has brought to the global market were originally developed at the University of Toronto where Dr. Tanner was a Professor in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and then in Chemistry. Dr. Tanner received the 2011 University of Toronto Inventor of the Year Award for Biomedical and Life Sciences, the 2011 ThermoFisher Scientific Spectroscopy Award, the 2003 W.A.E. McBryde medal from the Canadian Chemical Society, and the 2001 Manning Innovation Foundation Award of Distinction. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Register for these panels on the Career Centre’s online system using Passport York (you must sign up for an account on the system before you will be able to register for any events).