VIP Professional Development Symposium

A day to celebrate and advance professional development at Mines

MARCH 31, 2022


VIP Professional Development Symposium

A day to celebrate and advance professional development at Mines

MARCH 31, 2022



The Vallejo-Irvine Program for Professional Development is proud to host our inaugural VIP Professional Development Symposium designed to celebrate and advance professional development efforts at Mines.  Join us for an afternoon of informative workshops and engaging panels with several special guests, Mines alumni and current Mines faculty.

This event is open to all members from the Mines community!  Worried you can’t attend everything?  No problem!  Feel free to sign up for any of the day’s events.

Hosted by the Mines VIP Program, PASCAL Center and Career Center.

Benefits of Attending

In addition to the amazing workshops and panels scheduled for our VIP Professional Development Symposium, attendees will:

  • Learn to hone valuable essentials skills that will pay dividends well beyond one’s first job
  • Walk away from the VIP Professional Development Symposium feeling fired up and filled with useful information and connected to new contacts
  • Become more aware of professional development efforts going on at Mines
  • Get the opportunity to hear one of the world’s leading workplace and career specialists share her expertise

Schedule of Events

Keynote Speaker and Lunch — 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
(Doors Open at 11:30 am) – Friedhoff Center

Lindsey Pollak - Recalculating: Navigating Your Career Through the Changing World of Work

Bestselling author and one of the world’s leading career and workplace experts, Lindsey Pollak, will be sharing thoughts based on her most recent book, Recalculating: Navigating Your Career Through the Changing World of Work. She will also focus on the benefits of having a growth mindset, knowing your values and making thoughtful career decisions.

Breakout Sessions (1:30 pm – 2:20 pm)

Workshop – Your Personal Brand: Secrets of Soft Skills Success and Career Acceleration (Petroleum Hall)

Presented by Lindsey Pollak

In this timely, inspirational and action-oriented presentation, New York Times bestselling author Lindsey Pollak promotes the importance of developing and maintaining a stellar personal brand in today’s multi-faceted, global, ever-changing world of work. Her advice and anecdotes draw on timely research, her own extensive experience and two decades of experience guiding successful professionals across a wide range of industries and experience levels. For maximum impact, Lindsey provides real-world, actionable tips to help you take immediate steps to apply the advice in such areas as communication, networking, managing up, handling conflict and working in hybrid environments.  

The first 50 registrants will receive a copy of Lindsey’s book, Getting from College to Career!


Panel – Transitioning From Mines – A Panel of Recent Graduates (Friedhoff Hall 2)

Hosted by Andrew Flynn, Director of Alumni Engagement (CO School of Mines Foundation)

A panel of recent graduates will reflect on their experiences in professional development within their first five years from graduating. Hear where they went after Mines, how they got there, as well as their successes and lessons learned in their journey from being a student to a professional.  Gain insights into how best to prepare for this transition, what professional competencies are essential for success and how to develop those skills. Participants will have the opportunity to ask their questions of graduates who have recently been in their shoes.

Breakout Sessions (2:30 pm – 3:20 pm)

Workshop – Dream Big! w/ Fran Vallejo ('87) (Metals Hall)

Presented by Fran Vallejo ’87 – Board Member, Coterra Energy and Crestwood Energy GP LLC.

Fran Vallejo’s 35-year career has taken her from geophysicist to retired ConocoPhillips senior executive officer to philanthropist and beyond.  Throughout this time, Fran has also served on several boards including the Mines Board of Trustees. In 2011, she was recognized with Profiles in Diversity Journal’s “Women Worth Watching” award. 

Join us as Fran reflects on lessons learned throughout her career and discusses the value in taking risks, the usefulness of networking, the art of communication and the importance of giving back.


Workshop – Communications in the Workplace (Petroleum Hall)

Presented by President Paul C. Johnson and Jason Hughes, Chief Marketing Officer (Mines)

Employers have spoken, and they want to hear from you!

Several national surveys, and even recent Mines research, reveals that businesses are looking for graduates who can communicate well. It’s an essential skill that can mean the difference between progressing and languishing; rising or falling. In this session, you’ll learn what employers are looking for in candidates and get tips on how to improve and showcase your communication skills in various workplace settings and situations. President Johnson will be on hand to share his own insights on the topic and examples from his career in industry and higher education.


Workshop – Success in Engineering Through Project Management (Friedhoff Hall 2)

Presented by David Culbreth, Professor, Economics & Business

Learn how engineering projects are planned, executed and led through successful project management. We will review the project management techniques of small, medium and large projects, and the skills needed for team building and overcoming challenges


Breakout Sessions (3:30 pm – 4:20 pm)

Workshop – Money Matters: Where to Put My Money (Metals Hall)

Presented by Andrew Pederson, Assoc. Professor (Money Matters Institute @ Mines)

In “Money Matters: Where to Put My Money,”  we will assess where your starting salary typically goes and discuss ways to maximize your finances.  We will review common mistakes, pitfalls with budgeting, types of accounts and many other topics.  Bring your financial questions and start your career off on the right track!


Workshop – Pinwheels to Pathways: A Workshop on Career Self-Management and Decision Making (Petroleum Hall)

Presented by Kristen Tandy, Career and Prof. Dev. Advisor (Mines Career Center)

Selecting a career can feel like a huge decision, and for some can be filled with stress and anxiety.  Join the Career Center for an interactive workshop where participants will be taken on a journey of self-discovery and navigation of career opportunities through using the whimsical magic of pinwheels. By applying tenets from the evidence-based Action Oriented Hope Centered Model of Career Development, participants will deepen their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth.  Through this reflection, students will develop clarity of their career goals, driving pathways thinking and increasing agency towards reaching those goals.  At the end of the workshop, participants will leave with a symbolic souvenir of their career!


MINES VIP Professional Development

Contact Us

Colin Terry, Ph.D
Asst. Vice Pres., Student Life

Wendy Winter-Searcy
Director, Career Center

Luis Sandoval
Director, PASCAL Center


Lindsay Pollack

Keynote Speaker, Lindsey Pollak

Lindsey Pollak is a New York Times bestselling author and one of the world’s leading career and workplace experts. She is passionate about helping individuals and organizations navigate and thrive in the ever-changing world of work.

Lindsey was named to the 2020 Thinkers50 Radar List, which honors the top global management thinkers whose work is shaping the future of how organizations are managed and led.