Networking Week

Does the idea of networking fill you with dread? Have you heard about “informational interviews,” but you’re not sure where to start? Are you curious about different career paths you might follow?

Open to graduate students and postdocs in the Faculty of Arts, Networking Week is designed to introduce you to one of the most powerful tools for building your professional network and exploring your career options: the informational interview.  Over a couple of days during Reading Week, you will meet virtually with a series of professionals of your choosing, many of whom hold graduate degrees in Arts disciplines and are now working in fields like policy analysis, non-profit leadership, consulting, higher education, or arts and culture. You’ll make some professional connections, find out what different people have done with their graduate training, and hopefully learn something about yourself and your career ambitions in the process.

Our next Networking Week will be held on February 20 & 21, 2024. A mandatory preparatory workshop will be held in-person on Feb. 14, 2024.

Registration is now open and will close on Friday, February 12, at 9am. Spots are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first served basis.

Register for Networking Week here. If you have any questions, please email

Interviewees for February 2024

Joseph Bardsley (he/him)
Coordinator, Music Programs, Creative BC

Joseph joined the Music team at Creative BC in 2022. Prior to this role, he spent five seasons at Music on Main as the company’s inaugural Development Manager, leading all fundraising and grant writing efforts for the organization. Before Music on Main, Joseph spent seven seasons at Vancouver Opera as the company’s grants manager, building on earlier grant writing and fundraising experience at Theatre Calgary and Alberta Theatre Projects. 

Beyond his work at Creative BC, Joseph sits on Vancouver Foundation’s Arts and Culture grants advisory as a volunteer peer assessor, spends additional time as an advisor for the City of Vancouver’s Neighborhood Matching Fund, and is a Board member for the annual Indian Summer Festival. Joseph is also a seasonal presenter on grant writing for undergraduate arts management students at Simon Fraser University, and has provided similar contracted support to the UBC Faculty of Music. He’s served as a music panelist for the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the City of Vancouver, and the Province’s artsVest program. He’s also received recent professional development funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council for self-directed arts management and mentorship projects. 

Joseph is a 2020 alumnus of the Banff Centre’s Cultural Leadership Program. In 2017, he was part of the inaugural Talent 2 Lead national arts management cohort, with support from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Metcalf Foundation. Joseph holds a BA in Journalism (2006) from Mount Royal University, in Calgary. Beyond all things work-related, he's also one of two Trustees for the Bardsley-Heng Family Fund, held at Vancouver Foundation, which provides annual support for local arts, culture, and health-focused charitable projects.

Danielle Barkley (she/her)
Educator, Career & Professional Development, UBC Career Centre

Danielle graduated from McGill University with a PhD in English literature; she subsequently pivoted into working in higher education/student services. She has worked as a career advisor at McGill University and UBC, and also has a small freelance business/side hustle writing and editing online study guides. Danielle is also involved in a professional association (Graduate & Postdoctoral Development Network) that facilitates collaboration amongst higher ed professionals across Canada. 

Mel Carroll (she/they)
Research, development, and chase producer for TV

Mel Carroll (she/they) is a queer writer with a PhD in English and Cultural Studies, specializing in LGBTQ+ loneliness and the politics of queer emotions. They currently work as a researcher, writer, chase producer and developer for TV. They have just completed their first fiction novel and a book proposal based on their thesis and are shopping for management. Their fiction and personal essays have appeared in places including “The New Quarterly,” “The Matador Review” and “The Rumpus.”

John Estabillo (he/him)
Publisher, Nelson Education

As literacy and social studies publisher for Nelson, I research how to best support K-12 teachers across Canada and create business cases for new publications to provide that support in digital and print media. I then work with subject matter experts, authors, educators, editors, and reviewers to launch approved projects.
My education: PhD - English, University of Toronto (2017)
My LinkedIn profile
I am a mixed-race person of colour, but I am not sure if my personal experience meets the criteria for equity-deserving.

Henry John (he/they)
Kaatza Station Museum and Archives; Heritage Branch of the British Columbia Government

Henry John is a British settler currently living and working on unceded Nuu-Chah-Nulth and Coast Salish territories. He completed his doctoral dissertation in 2023, writing on the shifting relationship between Vancouver Island woodworkers and environmental movements during the latter half of the twentieth century.

Henry has spent the last four years working at the Kaatza Station Museum in Lake Cowichan, originally through the UBC Arts PhD Co-Op Program and later in a permanent position. His responsibilities have included managing and publicizing an enormous archive of forestry labour movement records, fundraising, and facilitating the museum's relationship with the local Ts'uubaa-asatx people.

He begins a new position in the Heritage Branch of the British Columbia Government in March, and would be delighted to discuss the hiring process for BC Public Service Jobs.

Jacky Leung (he/him)
Program Director, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. FOUNDATION

A UBC Arts graduate with major in Economics and minor in philosophy, Jacky joined the non-profit industry by chance as a result of his participation in student clubs. He applied many transferable skills learned throughout his undergraduate years in supporting newcomers and immigrant seniors from settlement support to health education. Currently he is a program director at S.U.C.C.E.S.S., supporting a wide range of programs and services from volunteer management to digital literacy education.

Erica Machulak (she/her)
Founder, Hikma Consulting

Erica Machulak (she/her), PhD, is the Founder and Lead Facilitator of Hikma, a social impact startup with a mission to mobilize scholarship for the public good through consulting, capacity building, and storytelling. Over the past two years, Hikma clients have secured $6M+ in research funding, informed new policies, and published their work in media outlets such as Forbes and the CBC.

As a writer, editor, and facilitator, Erica believes that the world needs to hear more from people who resist easy answers. Since completing her dissertation on Arabic influences in medieval English literature, Erica has written articles for Inside Higher Ed, Intellect Ltd, and Humanities, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (BA), the University of Oxford (MSt.), and the University of Notre Dame (PhD).

Visit the Hikma "About Our Founder" page to learn more about Erica and the Hikma Collective:

Alyssa Martens (she/her)
Poet, Educator, Curator
Writing Workshop Facilitator, DAREarts; Megaphone Magazine; Arts & Health: Healthy Aging Through the Arts

Alyssa Martens (she/her) is a Brazilian-Canadian poet, educator, and curator based between London, UK and Vancouver, Canada. She creates, produces, and curates works with a focus on ecological justice for print publication, performance, and installation.

She has been commissioned by various cultural and education organizations, including the International Centre of Art for Social Change, Sierra Club BC, the University of British Columbia, Culture Days Canada, Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival, Car Free Day Festival, The Only Animal, and the Vancouver Park Board. She is the recipient of two Canada Council for the Arts project grants (2022-23 and 2023-24), which support two current projects, Black Winter (her debut environmental poetry collection) and Que Saudades: From Brazil to Canada (a forthcoming touring literary exhibition showcasing stories of intergenerational immigration).

She regularly facilitates poetry and nonfiction writing workshops, and has taught creative writing through Thrive Youth Development Canada, Megaphone Magazine, Arts & Health: Healthy Aging Through the Arts, Sierra Club BC, the Bolton Academy of Spoken Arts, and the University of British Columbia.

She is a member of the League of Canadian Poets, and has been a writer-in-residence at the Spitsbergen Artists Center (Norway, 2023), Sierra Club BC (Canada, 2020), Gullkistan Center for Creativity (Iceland, 2019), and the Bolton Academy of Spoken Arts (Canada, 2016-2019).

My education: BFA from Concordia University, MEd in Education for Sustainability from UBC
My LinkedIn profile

Annie Moore (she/her)
Research Grand & Education Facilitator, Island Health

Annie Moore lives and works as an uninvited white settler on the homelands of the lək̓ʷəŋən people, now known as Victoria. She has a full-time position as Research Grant and Education Facilitator for Island Health (regional health authority), and run a freelance editing business ( on the side. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine (2011).

Outside of work, she likes to read, knit, walk, bake, and try to keep up with her three-year-old.

Annika Rosanowski (she/her)
Business Development Advisor, Mitacs

Annika (PhD) has nearly 10 years of experience working in academia, supporting research activities and research partnerships. She is currently a Business Development Advisor for Mitacs, and has actively developed long-standing, and innovative partnerships with researchers and communities, municipalities, and not-for-profits. She is currently co-funded by SFU FASS and also works closely with UBC and Emily Carr. She focuses on emergency management, interactive arts, and Indigenous engagement.

Leif Schenstead-Harris (he/him)
Acting Manager/Senior Policy Analyst, Environment and Climate Change Canada - Strategic Policy Branch

Advisor, Environment and Climate Change Canada (Deputy Minister’s Office) Responsible for policy advice related to the mandate of Environment and Climate Change Canada; formerly responsible for strategic policy related to the Federal Sustainable Development Act (ie., Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, progress reporting, etc).

My education: BA (English, Saskatchewan), MA (English, Dalhousie); MPPPA (Concordia), PhD (Western)

Kay Slater (they/them)
Exhibitions Manager, Grunt Gallery

Visual Description:

Kay is a white, middle-aged person with awkwardly growing back-length hair the colour of wet West Coast sand. Their hair is shaved at the sides and back, and they often wear it up and away from their face. They have cow-brown eyes, a triple-pierced nose, double-pierced lip, and large, rosy cheeks. They have a yellowed, tea-stained, teeth-exposing smile that crinkles the corner of their eyes. They are of average to large build and stand 5'6 or 168 cm. Their appearance reads as femme, and their clothing is neutral and casual in colour, fabric and style. Kay's name sign is the letter K in ASL (palm facing out, with index and middle fingers sticking up like the letter 'V', the thumb is tucked at the base of the two extended fingers. The rest of the hand is curled in, touching the palm.) with the middle finger touching just to the side of their mouth at their dimple, and twisted back and forth like the sign for pickles.


Kay Slater is a multidisciplinary artist, accessibility consultant and arts worker. As a consultant, they work directly with artists and organizations to build accessibility in at the planning stage and to incorporate sustainable, grassroots strategies that support evolution in artistic presentation. Their work is rooted in anti-oppression practices, and they employ open-source and community-engaged approaches to support ongoing knowledge transfer with makers and creators at all stages of their careers. They are a proud volunteer and social coordinator at Queer ASL, and have completed the Rick Hansen Foundation’s Accessibility Certification program. Kay is passionate about sharing knowledge with the wider arts community. Kay is queer and hard of hearing. They use They/Their/Theirs pronouns as they fumble and learn as an uninvited “guest” across Coast Salish territory.

Brianna Wells (she/her)
Research Development Officer, UBC-O

Brianna Wells holds a PhD in English from the University of Alberta (2017), where her doctoral research focused on the mediated circulation of opera in early twentieth century North America. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at UAlberta’s Sound Studies Institute, she joined the research development team at UBC Okanagan in 2018. As a Research Development Officer, her work is balanced among 1) offering one-on-one support for Social Sciences and Humanities faculty at any stage of their project development, 2) development and delivery of grant-specific supports for SSHRC research funding opportunities (including writing workshops, offering reviews, and supporting application logistics), and 3) providing high level strategic support for leadership at the Department, Faculty, and central units of UBC regarding initiatives and priorities for advancing research capacity in the humanities and social sciences. One of her favorite parts of the job is being part of the moments where nascent ideas bloom into research projects of all shapes and sizes.


Q: When can I apply?

A: Applications will open on Thursday, February 1, and will close on Friday, February 9, at 9am. Scroll to bottom of this page for the application. 

Q: Will everyone who applies be able to take part?

A: We will do our best to accommodate as many applications as possible; however, because there are a limited number of hosts, we may not be able to accept all who apply. Applications will be accepted on first-come, first-served basis.

Q: What can I do to prepare for networking week?

A: Consider trying out our Building Professional Relationships self-paced training module, available through the Arts Amplifier Training Hub.


You will be assigned at least three 20-minute informational interviews with our list of professional hosts. All interviews will take place on February 20-21. 

As well as the opportunity to connect with professionals working in a broad range of fields, Networking Week includes one mandatory career exploration workshop, which includes about 1-hour of pre-work.

To participate, you must attend the mandatory workshop on Wednesday, February 14, from 12pm to 1pm. This workshop will include tools and tips to help you prepare for your interviews, set up an interesting conversation, and follow up in ways that develop your network and career understanding.

Applications will open on Thursday, February 1, and will close on Friday, February 9, at 9am.

If you have any questions, please email