Session 2: 11:00AM to 12:15PM, choose one to attend

Seminar: Putting Your PhD to Work
Workshop: The Language of LinkedIn
Panel: Intellectual Property Professions
Panel: Entrepreneurship

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Seminar: Putting Your PhD to Work

In this workshop, Peter presents a thorough and practical overview to the process of career planning and job hunting in today’s job market, from the perspective of a young Ph.D. He covers specific steps that young PhDs can take to broaden their horizons, strengthen their skills, and present their best face to potential employers. An important part of this is the realization that most PhDs possess a range of valuable “transferable skills” that are highly sought after by employers outside of academia. He also covers all the specifics of job hunting, including informational interviewing, building your network, developing a compelling CV and resume, cover letters, interviewing, and more. With each topic he discusses the particular challenges and opportunities faced by those with an advanced degree in sciences, social sciences and the humanities.
Peter Fiske
PAX Water Technologies, Inc. CEO
Dr. Peter S. Fiske is the Director of the Water-Energy Resilience Research Institute (WERRI) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. WERRI’s goal is to orient and align the water-related research programs at LBNL to address critical gaps in the reliability, efficiency and sustainability of water-energy systems in California and the nation. Fiske was the Chief Executive Officer of PAX Water Technologies, Inc. from 2008 until January, 2017 when it was acquired by UGSI Inc. in an all-cash transaction. PAX Water pioneered the use of biomimicry to develop innovative and energy efficient technologies for the water industry. He is also a frequent writer and lecturer on the subject of career strategy, entrepreneurship and leadership for scientists and engineers. He has been a keynote speaker or guest lecturer at some of the leading research universities in the United States including MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, Princeton and the University of California at Berkeley (where he teaches at the Haas School of Business). He is a founding faculty member of the Department of Energy’s I-Corps Program. He is the author of Put Your Science to WORK!, numerous articles for the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s career website, and presently writes an occasional column in the journal Nature. Prior to joining PAX Water, Fiske was co-founder of RAPT Industries, Inc., a pioneer in the field of plasma processing of optics and semiconductors. Fiske led negotiations to license a portion of the technology to a major semiconductor equipment manufacturer, and led the first sales of products. Fiske was CEO of the Company from May, 2001 to April, 2004. Fiske spun the company out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he was a staff scientist. Prior to starting RAPT, Fiske led a research team in condensed matter physics at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with applications to materials science, energy storage and weapons. He is the author of 24 technical articles, most in international peer-reviewed journals including SCIENCE. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1994 and an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley in 2002. In 1996, Fiske was one of 18 young professionals selected nationally for the White House Fellowship. He served his fellowship year as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special Projects where he led a major personnel policy reform initiative for the Pentagon.

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Workshop: The Language of LinkedIn

Description LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and one of the most important ways to connect with employers, partners, mentors, former colleagues, employees, subject matter experts and clients.  Thus, the communication which takes place here (or which could) is tremendously valuable for any professional.  In this interactive workshop, I bring my expert perspective as a linguist to help you make the most of this interactional context by considering the how, what, and why of the language used therein. Using tools like metaphor and story, I examine the social meaning produced through language practices on the site such as connecting, referring, endorsing and discussing. Then using actual illustrative examples, I share a three-part model for interacting on the site, derived from observed patterns of practice:
  • Insight into professional self-presentation – being more aware of how others are doing so will enable you to design a profile that communicates everything that you want it to communicate about you (and not communicate what you don’t)
  • LinkedIn as a research tool - how (and why) to DO things to best take advantage of the affordances of the platform (finding and being found, giving and giving off information etc.)
  • Building meaningful connections –in-depth knowledge of how interactions work, drawn from my academic background in interactional sociolinguistics, can inform how you engage in this essential practice
Ultimately, these insights and strategies are intended to help you be better equipped to participate more purposefully and “join the conversation” with increased awareness of opportunity.
Anna Marie Trester Adjunct Instructor at San Francisco State University, Manager at FrameWorks Institute, Career Linguist - PhD in Linguistics Anna Marie Trester is a linguist and storyteller. She finds expression for her passion for language through her avocation as a storyteller and her vocation as a trainer at the FrameWorks Institute, a social change communications firm. Before working at FrameWorks, she was the director of the Master’s program in Language and Communication (MLC) at Georgetown University’s linguistics department. She is committed to helping linguists find professional expression of their work and helping the “world of work” realize just how much it is that they need linguists! An applied sociolinguist, her research interests include language and the performance of identity, professional self-presentation, uses of social media, and the language of business, all of which come together in her recent research on the language of LinkedIn. She has been published in journals such as Text and Talk, Language and Society, the Journal of Sociolinguistics and is the co-editor (with Deborah Tannen) of Discourse 2.0: Language and New Media, published in 2013 and the author of Bringing Linguistics to Work, published in 2017. She received her MA in linguistics from New York University in 2002 and her PhD from Georgetown in 2008. She has taught at the graduate and undergraduate level at San Francisco State University, Georgetown University, Howard University, the University of Alberta and the University of Maryland, University College (UMUC) including such courses as: framing for social change, cross-cultural communication, language and social media, and the ethnography of communication.

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Panel: Intellectual Property Professions

Intellectual Property is probably the hottest field in law. In today’s economy, much of an institution’s worth comes from ownership of intellectual property. Examples of intellectual property are music, books, technology inventions that qualify for patent protection and secret information. Come learn about the different paths you can pursue to start a career in intellectual property with a PhD!
Shikha Sharma Licence Officer - PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences Shikha Sharma is a licensing professional at UCSF Innovation Ventures. She holds a B.S. in Life Sciences (with Honors), M.S. in Molecular Genetics (with Distinction) and Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Sciences (2011). She did her doctoral work on Angiopoietin ligands at University of Leicester, UK, where she studied the molecular basis of Angiopoietin-Tie binding interaction using a combination of rational design and directed evolution. In her current role, Shikha manages a diverse and exciting intellectual property portfolio of over 200 technologies developed by the UCSF community and catalyzes the transfer of their scientific developments to the public through licensing and partnerships.
Zachary Newman Patent Agent at Fenwick & West - PhD in Immunology Zachary (Zach) Newman is a Patent Agent at Fenwick & West LLP in San Francisco. He assists in the drafting of U.S. and foreign patent applications, as well as diligence matters, for clients in the technology and life sciences industries, with technical expertise in the fields of molecular biology and immunology. Prior to his career as a Patent Agent, Zach performed graduate research at UC Berkeley in the lab of Greg Barton exploring novel regulatory mechanisms of the innate immune system with a focus on mechanisms that prevent autoimmune diseases such as lupus. His research took advantage of the wide range of state-of-the-art tools available at Berkeley, including CRISPR and ribosome-profiling. Before graduate school, Zach investigated the biology of tuberculosis as a research technician in the lab of Jeff Cox at UCSF, and also explored improvements of HIV therapies as an intern in the lab of John Rossi at City of Hope Beckmann Research Institute.
Katherine de Vos Devine Founder of Cauldron - PhD in Art History Katherine de Vos Devine is the founder of Cauldron, an arts incubator dedicated to helping artists develop the business skills needed for successful careers. Katherine is the former executive director of Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville, North Carolina. She previously worked at Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft LLP, where she assisted more than one hundred public charities and private foundations with the processes of organization, incorporation, and tax exemption. While pursuing her doctorate, she worked with the Nasher Museum of Art on traditional and digital curatorial projects for temporary exhibitions and the permanent collection. She has spoken widely about intellectual property, artists’ rights, art institutions, and art markets at venues including Harvard’s metaLab, the North Carolina Museum of Art, Art Basel, and Art Papers Salon. Katherine earned her Ph.D. in Art History and Visual Culture at Duke University. She received her M.A. and B.A. in Art History from Duke and J.D. from the Duke University School of Law.
Lynn Nichols CEO/Principal X Intellectual Property - PhD in Linguistics Lynn Nichols is founder and principal at X Intellectual Property (2011), a name development and brand strategy consultancy in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay area. She works with clients in a wide range of B2B and B2C tech industries in Silicon Valley and globally. She serves as an advisor at Stanford's Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Alchemist Accelerator, and The Silicon Valley Institute, and is a frequent invited speaker on naming and branding strategy. Formerly a professor of linguistics at Harvard University and UC Berkeley for 14 years (Ph.D. Linguistics, Harvard University),Lynn’s innovative work as faculty was recognized by awards from Harvard’s Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative and the University of California’s Hellman Family Fellows Fund.
Greg Demirchyan Managing Partner at Emergent, LLP - PhD in Political Philosophy, JD Greg advises technology startups and other early-stage companies. His expertise spans an array of corporate issues, including finance, venture capital, asset valuation, securities regulation, and intellectual property. Greg regularly writes and teaches on topics relating to venture finance, corporate responsibility, crowdfunding, and the law of the European Union. Before joining Emergent, Greg worked internationally as an expert on anti-corruption and rule of law, including with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. In that capacity, he collaborated with entrepreneurs, government officials, and non-governmental organizations to create a better environment for new businesses. Greg also spent time researching corruption and economic development as a visiting scholar at the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Berkeley. Greg completed a J.D. at Berkeley and received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cornell University. At Cornell, he specialized in political philosophy and wrote his dissertation on the economics of globalization.
Susan Hepp PhD Candidate in Microbiology Susan is a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley in Matthew Welch's lab. She studies how baculoviruses interact with and rearrange the host cytoskeleton in order to efficiently replicate. Currently, she is a Scientific Analyst Intern at the law firm Morrison & Foerster, LLP in San Francisco. Susan has also served as a student ambassador for the US Patent and Trademark Office during the 2015-2016 academic year, and has taken classes at the UC Berkeley School of Law. Her other interests include evidence-based activism and communicating science with the public

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Panel: Entrepreneurship: Launching a startup

Do you have the next big idea? Attend this panel showcasing young entrepreneurs and learn more from their start-up journey. They will discuss how they set up their innovative businesses, used campus resources available to them and made the right connections to succeed.
Timothy Day
CSO at DNAlite Therapeutics - PhD in Neurosciences
Tim Day received his PhD from the Helen Wills Neuroscience Program at UC Berkeley. His thesis focused on the development of treatments for inherited eye diseases both by understanding underlying disease mechanisms and by engineering viral vectors for gene therapy. He has received multiple awards including the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Fellowship and the Marian Diamond Neuroscience Fellowship. While in graduate school, he focused on mentorship through both teaching and participating as a graduate student adviser for the Amgen Scholars Program. During his PhD, he co-founded DNALite Therapeutics Inc., a preclinical biotech company focused on the development of gene therapies for genetic diseases and cancer in the gastrointestinal tract, which participated in the CITRIS Foundry, the Berkeley LAUNCH, and IndieBio accelerator programs. Outside of work he enjoys traveling, technology, and burritos.
Chaeyoung Shin
CTO & Co-Founder at Sugarlogix - PhD in Chemical Engineering
Chaeyoung is a co-founder and CTO at Sugarlogix. She received her PhD in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley, and her BS in chemical and biological engineering at Seoul National University. During her PhD, she worked on developing in situ product separation methods to allow for continuous operation mode of fermentation. This is directly related to her roles at Sugarlogix where she develops continuous fermentation operations, builds scaled-up processes, and designs separation schemes. Her passion in transferring scientific knowledge gathered in lab to an industrial setting where the science is applied to real-life applications is what drives her at Sugarlogix. Additionally, she has been a life-long musician and is a passionate coffee drinker.
Els van der Helm
Founder of Shleep - PhD in Psychology
Els van der Helm was the founder and lead organizer of the Beyond Academia 2013 conference and now serves a member of the Beyond Academia advisory board. Els hopes Beyond Academia will continue to help fellow-PhD students and post-docs find their way in the non-academic world. She is a sleep expert who founded Shleep - the sleep company, a start-up focused on coaching large organizations and leaders on how to improve effectiveness, health and engagement through better sleep management. Shleep provides in-person support (e.g., sleep workshops) and a sleep coaching app (Shleep). For over 2.5 years she worked as a management consultant at McKinsey where she combined her passion for leadership development and sleep. As a Fulbright scholar she studied the effects of sleep on the brain during her PhD in Psychology (University of California Berkeley) resulting in peer-reviewed articles in Current Biology, PLoS One, Psychological Bulletin, SLEEP, PNAS and several book chapters. For more information, email at or visit
Sahar Yousef
PhD Researcher at UC Berkeley - PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience/Vision Science
Sahar Yousef is a cognitive neuroscientist at UC Berkeley who specializes in cognitive training and enhancement—making the brain better, faster, and stronger. She creates training programs to help individuals and teams improve their focus, motivation, energy levels, and productivity. Sahar has also worked as an executive coach, a product manager, and a strategy and growth consultant for startups. She is currently launching a startup called Productivity House ( which is a high performance club, delivering a unique blend of scientific training, accountability, and community for ambitious professionals. Sahar completed her undergraduate education at UC Berkeley and conducted research on the psychopharmacology of acetylcholine and dopamine in the brain, as well as memory and attention using fMRI and psychophysics. She has directed and co-founded three international conferences, including Beyond Academia, served as president and advisor to multiple organizations and been granted several awards for leadership excellence. At 17, she served as the youngest elected member of the Board of Trustees for Ohlone College and the Alameda County School Board of Education, from which she received numerous awards for her contributions. Her goal in life is to create superhumans at scale."
Cécile Fortuny
PhD Candidate in Vision Science, UC Berkeley, 2018-2017 Beyond Academia Co-Director

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