Meet Your Professional Development Liaisons Published: October 1, 2021 By: Sophie Major Professional Development Liaisons are here to support your career preparation, planning, and job search Every graduate student has access to Professional Development Liaisons (PDLs), who are trained to assist students as they prepare for and launch their careers. You can sign-up for a one-on-one consultation with a PDL who will connect you with resources, strategies, and services relevant to your particular needs or goals. During a consultation, a PDL might assist you in setting and working toward your personal and professional goals, learning about possible career paths, or developing new skills. You can also interact with the PDLs through other GradPro services posted on the GradPro calendar, including professional development workshops or check-in groups, which will be hosted both remotely and in-person for the Fall 2021 semester. In addition to GradPro consultations with PDLs, all graduate students can also sign up for a consultation with a Writing Consultant at the Graduate Writing Center. This year’s PDLs have varied academic and professional backgrounds, skills, and expertise, and they look forward to assisting you. Jennifer Chung, Law As a first-generation college student and first-generation professional, I’ve recognized some of the challenges that underrepresented and disadvantaged students face in higher education and I hope to serve and support diverse communities. I’m interested in helping students develop their careers through meaningful mentorship, active engagement within their fields, and relationships with university programs and resources. Allison Gleason, Mechanical Engineering Allison Gleason I became interested in taking a Professional Development Liaison position as I got closer to finishing my degree and have started to seriously consider a career beyond academia. This position offers me the ability to learn about the possibilities available to me with my degree outside of the academic setting. I’m interested in helping to make GradPro better known across campus via departmental outreach, encouraging self-care and mental health care through mentorship, and learning how to best use all of the resources available to me to make the experience of every graduate student better. I am especially hopeful to be able to assist fellow disabled graduate students in finding and navigating the multitude of resources that the Graduate Division has available. Sophie Major, Energy and Resources Group Sophie Major As a PDL, my priority is to bring practices of mutual respect, anti-racism, and equity to academia and professional development. My primary objective in this work is to support students, and particularly underprivileged and historically underrepresented students, through one-on-one consultations and outreach. This semester, my goal as a PDL is to contribute to ongoing GradPro efforts to assess and meet students’ needs by expanding outreach and relationship building with student groups. Martha Ortega Mendoza, Education Martha Ortega Mendoza As a first-generation and low-income Latinx college student, I have always sought professional development opportunities that allow me to work alongside students who share a similar background as mine. After completing my undergraduate studies, I worked as the Coordinator for the Undocumented Student Services & Counselor for Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) office at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC). Through my position, I provided students with holistic support that would ensure that they had the necessary academic support to graduate from UCSC. Here at UC Berkeley, I have continued to work with the EOP office and the Undocumented Student Programs to provide in-depth professional development workshops for undergraduate students. I am elated to be joining GradPro’s team because I know that this position will provide me with an opportunity to expand my own line of work in supporting graduate students. Allyson Tang, East Asian Languages and Cultures Allyson Tang As a humanities Ph.D. student at Berkeley, I am very interested in identifying and developing professionalization resources for students coming from diverse backgrounds. I am passionate about helping individual students to discover career opportunities and to recognize their unique strengths and skill sets. In addition, I am particularly interested in advocating for disability awareness and access: I hope to help develop more disability-related professionalization resources in our community as a Professional Development Liaison. Sophie Major is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. candidate researching environmental and Indigenous political thought, and is a first-gen college graduate. They currently serve as a Professional Development Liaison in UC Berkeley’s Graduate Division.