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Urmila Venkatesh

Session | Storytelling Framework for Career Exploration

Ms. Venkatesh aims to help people explore the depths of their past, embrace curiosity about their present lives, and find delight in possible futures. Venkatesh has developed, honed, and trained others in utilizing a storytelling framework for guiding students of diverse backgrounds and disciplines to define their own career narratives. This storytelling framework is now being applied to career exploration, in a model competitively selected to be part of the pd|hub Collection: Foundations of Career Exploration for PhD Scientists. Venkatesh’s 18-year career in higher education began as a labor organizer for graduate teachers, then as an instructional designer, graduate curriculum lead, and later assistant dean serving doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars across disciplines seeking meaningful work. Venkatesh’s leadership positions in higher education have spanned Stanford University, The New School for Social Research, and the University of Michigan. Throughout, Venkatesh has centered her efforts on the needs of marginalized populations, and has tailored programs to the needs of transfer students, first-generation and low-income students, and international students. Venkatesh holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of California Berkeley and a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Michigan. Venkatesh is currently a lecturer and fellow of the Life Design Lab at Stanford University.