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Alumni: Giving U of T more reasons to be proud


Next Steps Conference 2016 Schedule

Friday April 29, 2016

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm    Conference Check-in
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm     Panels & Workshops
4:45 pm – 5:45 pm      Panels & Workshops
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm     Opening Keynote Address by Rahul Bhardwaj (BA 1987 A&S Innis)
…………………………………..Alumni & Student Networking Reception

More about Rahul Bhardwaj

Rahul K. Bhardwaj (BA 1987 A&S Innis)
President & CEO, Toronto Foundation

In his role as the President & CEO of the Toronto Foundation, Rahul has been working to engage philanthropy to improve the quality of life in Toronto. Formerly a corporate lawyer with a leading Canadian law firm, he was also Vice President of the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid.

As part of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Fiscal review panel in 2008, Rahul was involved in identifying efficiencies for the City of Toronto. A year later the Province of Ontario appointed him to the Board of Metrolinx, an organization developing and implementing an overall transit strategy for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. He is currently a Director of the Rideau Hall Foundation, supporting the office of the Governor General of Canada as it connects, inspires and honours Canadians. Rahul was Chair of the 2012 Ontario Summer Games, the first multi-sport games to be held in Toronto, and was Co-Chair of TO2015 IGNITE, a program of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games. He is the past Chair of Community Foundations of Canada as well as the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, and his past board commitments include Upper Canada College, George Brown College, Stratford Festival of Canada and United Way Toronto, among others. Rahul obtained his ICD.D designation from the Rotman School of Business.

In 2012, Rahul’s commitment to city building was recognized as he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He has been named one of “The 50 Most Influential” people in the city by Toronto Life magazine and was recently named to the Leader Council at the Leadership Institute of the Ivey Business School, the Quadrangle Society at Massey College and The Ultimate List of Social CEOs on Twitter. His vision for Toronto has made him a popular presenter and speaker, particularly on issues relating to the city, community, and leadership as well as Toronto’s Vital Signs®.

Saturday April 30, 2016

9:00 am – 10:00 am   Continental Breakfast
10:00 am – 11:15 am   Industry Panels
11:30 pm – 12:45 pm   Industry Panels
1:00 pm –  2:45 pm     Closing Keynote Address by Zan Chandler (BA 1989 A&S VIC) and Lunch

More about Zan Chandler

Zan Chandler (BA 1989 A&S VIC)
Foresight Analyst, KerrSmith Design

Zan is a foresight/innovation researcher and facilitator. Her unusual mix of training in strategic foresight, innovation, media production and linguistics has enabled her to work in a variety of settings – from innovation consulting, to provincial and federal government, media production and film festivals, and design. Her core skills lie in diving deep into a problem and identifying key insights, facilitating groups in building new skills and knowledge, being sensitive to pockets of the future that exist in the present, and using all this to enable people and organizations to understand the future might look like so that they can make better decisions today.

Since January 2014, Zan has been working with KerrSmith Design, where she has applied her skills and knowledge to foresight and innovation projects touching the arts and cultural, regulatory, post-secondary education and public transport sectors.

Zan is a graduate of the University of Toronto (BA), Ryerson University (BAA), OCAD University (MDes) and the CFC Media Lab.

2016 Topic Legend

Each workshop and panel topic was recommended for one or more of the following:

Graduating Students (GS)
Recent Graduates (RG)
Current Students (CS)
International Students (IS)
Everyone (ALL)

With the following learning themes:

What do I do with my degree? (WD)
Exploring further education (EFE)
Making connections (MC)
Learning more about me and what I have to offer (LWO)



 2016 Panels & Workshops Topics

Entrepreneurship isn’t only about starting your own business. In fact, entrepreneurial thinking can be applied across every career field and industry, regardless of whether you’re building a business or working for someone else. This hands-on workshop will show you how to think like an entrepreneur and develop skills in key areas, such self-direction, adaptability, creative thinking and problem-solving, that will help you take control and be successful no matter what career path you choose.

Attending graduate school is a huge decision. And whether you’ve already made up your mind or are still sitting on the fence, you probably have plenty of questions: Is grad school for me? How can I improve my chances of being accepted? How can I make a smooth transition into grad school? Do I even need to go to grad school? Our panel of MA, MSc and PhD students know what grad school is all about, and they’ll give you the straight answers on what you can expect.

Life throwing a few twists and turns your way? Not sure whether you’re on the right track? You’re not alone. Everyone faces obstacles in their lives and careers, and one bump in the road isn’t the end of the world. Our expert alumni panellists will share how they’ve overcome the challenges they’ve faced on the road to success, from discovering their degree didn’t lead directly to the job they wanted to lacking a professional network to making tough decisions about changing career paths to struggles with mental health issues to overcoming language barriers.

As the title of this session suggests, grad school isn’t for everyone. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of education options after you’ve completed your undergraduate degree. Our alumni panellists will discuss what’s out there, from diploma and certificate programs to professional degrees. And it’s not that one is any better than another. It’s about figuring out which option will lead to the career you want. So bring your questions, because we’ve got answers.

Does the idea of walking into a room full of strangers make you want to run in the opposite direction? Do you have trouble striking up a conversation with people you just met? Our networking expert will teach you the tips and techniques that will make those introductions a lot less awkward and a lot more meaningful. And you’ll have the opportunity to put your newfound networking skills to the test at the Alumni & Student Networking Reception following the workshop.

Internships can be an invaluable opportunity to gain on-the-job experience in your chosen field. But determining which internships to pursue—and which to avoid—can be tricky. Our expert panel, which includes alumni who have taken internships and alumni employers who have hired interns, understand firsthand the positives and negatives of internships: where to find them, how to get them, how you’ll benefit from them (and how you won’t).

You’ve worked hard to earn your degree. Now learn how to make your degree work for you. Based on her extensive research on employer needs, Student Life Coordinator Kim Elias will help you think outside the box and explore the versatility and marketability of your Arts & Science degree.

This workshop from the expert staff at U of T’s Centre for International Experience is designed to help international students navigate the employment, immigration and residency requirements for living and working in Canada. Topics will include: post-graduation work permits, legal rights and obligations, and a review of permanent residency options.

Your relationship with U of T doesn’t have to end at graduation. The University offers a variety of benefits, programs, services and events, to help you at every stage and keep you connected with the alumni community. Find out how U of T can be a lifetime resource of ideas, networks, and support for you.

Just because you can see the finish line of your undergraduate degree doesn’t mean the race is over. The final year of your studies is perhaps your most important, as much because of what you do outside of class as inside. Our panel of graduating students will offer tips and advice on how to make the most of your final year, including student engagement opportunities and co-curricular activities, which can strengthen your personal development, add depth and breadth to your CV, and be a whole lot of fun.

Each year, hundreds of graduating students from U of T broaden their horizons with an international work experience. Our panel of well-travelled alumni will share their experiences working in other countries and answer any questions you might have about applying to work abroad, how to package your work-life experiences to appeal to an international audience, and how to adjust to life overseas.

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 2016 Industry Panel Topics

Medical Sciences and Health Care

Finance / Banking


Communications & Marketing and Public Relations

Not-for-Profit / Social Justice / Social Innovation

Education Field – Teaching and Beyond

Media / Broadcasting / Journalism

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