Jan. 16, 2020

Leading changemakers share their business wisdom at Grow Your Career conference

Sessions for UCalgary alumni Feb. 1 will focus on career transition and professional development

What, exactly, is an intentional future? I’ve created a LinkedIn account, now what? In a wobbly economy such as Calgary’s, how do you remain positive and resilient? Is it possible to embrace networking if you’re an introvert at heart? Can you really effectively reposition your career?

Organized and curated by UCalgary Alumni Association, the third annual Grow Your Career Conference is an intensive and energizing one-day blitz for UCalgary alumni (and staff who are alumni) that will answer these questions and so many more.

Dubbed Vision 2020: Building an Intentional Future, this year’s Saturday conference features more than 10 sessions, led by all-star experts in their respective fields. Divided into two streams — career-transition and professional-development — participants will leave inspired, informed and armed with the latest career-building tools, carefully tailored to a Calgary audience.

Eric Termuende

Keynote speaker Eric Termuende, BComm’14

Considered a globally recognized thought leader and disruptor, keynote speaker Eric Termuende, BComm’14, shares his mantra in advance of the Feb. 1 conference: “Learn, experiment, reflect, repeat.” By making intentional one-degree shifts, Termuende’s career advice typically provokes brain flips, like these: “Instead of thinking about what position you want to fill, consider the problem you want to solve,” he says. “And secondly, don’t look for a title or a company, look for a lifestyle you want to live. Lastly — ensure the resume isn't an entry point to a company and is instead a follow-up document.”

Leading a session in networking and mentorship, Rob Allen, BComm’82, founder and CEO of Aligned Outcomes Corporation, knows all about reinventing yourself. After a 30-year career with IBM, Allen returned to Calgary after several international postings and made a dramatic pivot by launching a tech start-up. But that was after he took time to reframe his perspective on what he feared may be a dated skillset and “began cultivating” his peer network, volunteering, mentoring and building his social media presence.

Rob Allen, BComm’82

Rob Allen, BComm’82

When asked for key takeaways that Allen is aiming to leave with his audience, he supports Termuende’s advice which is to be “intentional and deliberate in your career and,” adds Allen, in “making career decisions that will help you manage the arc of your career.”

The area of finding a good mentor or mentee or assuming one of those roles at any stage of your working life is also critical, adds one of the key players behind the development of the recent Alumni mentorship program, Mentor Link.

Besides an increase in the number of sessions, new at this year’s conference is a fireside chat with three strategic thinkers from TD Insurance, representing corporate culture and a fierce commitment to diversity. And what’s back by popular demand is the speakers’ preferred picks for professional reading. Here’s a sneak-peek at that list:

  • Jamie Parker, BSc’14, co-founder of Calgary Heritage Roasting Company, part of the Becoming an Entrepreneur panel. His recommended read: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight.
  • Leighton Healey, BA’11, co-founder of KnowHow and part of the Becoming an Entrepreneur panel. His top pick: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.
  • Jana Boyko, BComm’16, BA’16, owner of a coaching practice, All Her Business, and part of the Becoming an Entrepreneur panel. Her top book: In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney.
  • Rob Allen, BComm’82, leader of the session, Fostering a Deliberate Career through the Synergy of your Network and Mentorship. His top pick: Lift: The Fundamental State of Leadership by Ryan W. Quinn & Robert E. Quinn.
  • Court Ellingson, BComm’94, economic strategist at Calgary Economic Development is the man behind the session called Calgary in the New Economy. His preferred read: View from Flyover Country by Sarah Kendzior.
  • Marco Iafrate, MA’18, a pro in the wellness and human development fields, will be the voice behind Rising to the Challenge: Building Resilience to Navigate the Ups and Downs of your Career. His top pick is: Change or Die by Alan Deutschman.
  • Gabriela Santamaria, MBA’10, is a marketing and communications strategist and will speak about personal branding. Her favourite book: Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success by Dan Schawbel.
  • Carol Wert, Associate Director, Alumni Career Development, is part of a three-person panel called Career Hits. Her top pick is: Designing your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived Joyful Life, Bill Burnett & Dave Evans.
  • Kelly Gallant, MEd’19, a career specialist at the university, is also part of Career Hits. Her favourite career book is:The Designing Your Life Workbook: A Framework for Building a Life You Can Thrive In by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans .
  • Brian Palmer, BComm’06, is a leadership and career coach, specializing in the consulting and energy industries. He recommends the classic: What Color Is Your Parachute? (2020 Edition) by Richard N. Bolles.
  • Our keynote speaker Eric Termuende, BComm’14, recommends his own book  One Degree Shift: Harnessing the power of micro-decisions to build an intentional future that he co-authored with LL Glencoe as well as Range by David Epstein. He’s also a podcast fan and listens to (1) One Degree Shift, (2) How I Built This, and (3) The Daily.
Court Ellingson

Court Ellingson

As one who studies employment trends and facilitates transitions into tech jobs, Court Ellingson, an economic strategist with the Calgary Economic Development, aptly sums up one of the conference’s themes: “We all know that Calgary’s economy and job market is changing and that we need to be prepared for those new jobs and new economy. One of the truths is that no matter where people go, there will be a need for continuous learning and skills upgrading. The days of getting a degree and building a career on the back of that single degree are gone.”

In a world of information overload, UCalgary’s annual career conference focuses on the issues most relevant to today’s businesspeople, stimulating new thinking and inspiring action. It also provides a unique networking environment to connect with like-minded professionals who share the same alma mater.

Where: UCalgary Downtown Campus, 906 8 Ave. S.W.

When: Saturday, Feb. 1, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Cost: $45

Register today