Planning for Success at UBC and Beyond: Establishing Your Individual Development Plan (Part of the Career Building: Your Ladder to Success Pilot Program)

Date & Time

Thursday, 26 May 2016 - 9:00am to 11:00am


Graduate Student Centre, 6371 Crescent Road, UBC, Point Grey campus


Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO)



How can I make my resumé/CV stand out from the rest? How do I negotiate a salary? How can I make meaningful connections with people who I’d like to work with?

Transitioning from a postdoctoral fellowship to a post-fellowship career can be daunting. In a competitive job market, it is vital to cultivate your brand and develop a strong professional portfolio in order to move into the professional workforce. With non-linear career paths intersecting and leading to changes to your career path, establishing a solid professional portfolio can arm you with transferrable skills that are applicable not just to industry but to multiple careers in a lifetime. The Postdoctoral Fellows Office is pleased to introduce Career Building: Your Ladder to Success, a professional development pilot program designed to assist senior postdocs as they transition to post-fellowship careers by providing support, resources, and networking opportunities. The program leads a small select cohort through a series of professional development workshops and interactive panels, which culminates into individualized one-on-one career coaching with a certified career management specialist. By the end of the pilot program, participants will have learned how to design an independent development plan, put together a professional portfolio, and navigate the interview and negotiation process.

Application is required, and space in the Career Building pilot program is limited. Preference will be given to senior postdocs, and to those postdocs nearing the end of their UBC appointments. Participants must be prepared and able to attend all sessions in full in order to be eligible to participate in the pilot program, and some pre-work will be required. As part of the pilot program, participants will be asked to complete a feedback assessment after each session, as well as a larger assessment of the program upon completion.

Program Curriculum

There will be four mandatory sessions held over a 4 -6 week period as part of the Career Building program. There will also be two annual events that PDFs are encouraged to attend as part of the search process. Unless otherwise noted, all sessions will be held at Thea Koerner House (6371 Crescent Road) on the UBC Point Grey campus. Click on a workshop title for detailed information about each session.


  • All participants must be available to attend all mandatory sessions in full. Participants who do not attend all mandatory sessions in full will not be eligible for the individualized coaching session.   
  • All applicants must hold a current UBC postdoctoral fellowship appointment at the time of application and for the entire duration of the Career Building pilot program.
  • Space is limited in this Career Building pilot program. Preference will be given to senior postdoctoral fellows, or to postdoctoral fellows nearing the end of their UBC appointments.
  • Postdocs who have repeatedly missed PDFO workshops without notice/cancellation may be considered ineligible to attend.


Applications for this session of the Career Building: Your Ladder to Success pilot program are now closed.


Please direct any questions to the Postdoctoral Fellows Office by email at

Workshop Description and Facilitator Biography

Session #2: Planning for Success at UBC and Beyond: Establishing Your Individual Development Plan

What are you going to be doing 5 years from now? 10 years from now? Next year? One of the first steps in assessing your career options is taking stock of your strengths, identifying your challenges, your likes and dislikes, and finding what motivates you. What career(s) best suit you? How do you get there from here? This presentation will focus on getting you started on establishing and implementing your individual development plan.

Dr. Rachel Fernandez, Associate Dean, Student Professional Development and Postdoctoral Fellows Office and Professor, Microbiology & Immunology, UBC

Rachel Fernandez

Dr. Rachel Fernandez is an Associate Dean in Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies – responsible for the Postdoctoral Fellows Office and graduate student professional development, and a Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology.

Dr. Fernandez received her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Dalhousie University. She arrived at UBC after being a postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University and at the University of Cincinnati.