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Mid-Career Conversations

A new virtual event series, Mid-Career Conversations were created for alumni who have several years experience and are now considering (or have already made) an important transition.

Each event will focus on a specific mid-career transition and feature a fellow alumni speaker sharing their own personal story and experiences. There will be the opportunity to ask questions and then move into virtual breakout rooms to discuss your own unique situations and ambitions.

Both the fall and winter events will be hosted by alumna Zeynep Güler Tuck — a passionate storyteller in the media, PR, telecom, and travel sectors for the past 20 years.

Tickets are complimentary but registration is required. You can register now by using the buttons below for each session. We'll send you a reminder closer to the event date.

Mid-Career Conversations Host

Zeynep Güler Tuck (BA ’02)

Zeynep Güler Tuck has made storytelling the compass for her career. She’s been a storyteller in the media, PR, telecom, and travel sectors for the past 20 years. During that time, Zeynep has produced commercial productions and newsworthy editorial for global audiences with collaborators like Microsoft News, Time Out, Business Insider, NBC, and Lonely Planet. Her content has garnered views, clicks, follows, and over $1M in funds for girls in STEM, climate action, COVID-19 relief, and racial justice 

Mid-Career Conversations: Becoming an author

Storyteller: Kelly Jackson (MA ’06) 

Nov. 4 | 7pm ET | Zoom meeting

In this session Kelly will share her experience of:

  • Idea generation and the creative and research process
  • Writing a book while managing a full-time job
  • Working with an illustrator, other authors, and a publisher
  • Cultivating book sales

Kelly has been associate vice-president of government relations, marketing and communications at Humber College since July 2017 and is currently president of the Empire Club of Canada and a board director at the North York Harvest Food Bank. Kelly is co-author of Our Canada - A Year With Canuck Kids, a book published in January 2021 that follows the lives of nine diverse Canadian kids through the year and celebrates their shared and different experiences.  


Mid-Career Conversations: Becoming a working parent: A father's perspective

Storyteller: Brandon Hay (MES ’16)

Dec. 9 | 7pm ET | Zoom meeting

In this session Brandon will share his experience of:

  • Parenting strategies and challenges
  • Cultivating community support
  • Creating a network support group
  • Balancing career and family
  • Co-parenting
  • Fatherhood

At the age of 24, Brandon Hay, founder of the Black Daddies Club (BDC), discovered he was about to become a dad for the first time. Being raised by a single mother and without the presence of a consistent father figure, he was filled with anxiety and fear about his own ability to be a great father. Knowing of other men in his situation, he believed that a forum where they could share ideas, struggles and victories seemed like it could be an effective network for support. Thus, in 2007, Hay founded BDC in response to the isolation he felt as a new Black father as well as to the lack of forums and spaces for Black men to discuss parenting issues and concerns facing the Black community as a whole. The main goals of the organization are to change the image of the “absent Black father” that is prevalent in the media and to assist young Black men to become better fathers. In so doing, BDC aims to support Black children, families and the larger community.  

Learn more:

Mid-Career Conversations: Becoming an executive

Storyteller: Christa Dickenson (MFA ’93)

Jan. 27 | 7pm ET | Zoom meeting

In this session Christa will share her experience of:

  • Her career journey to becoming a CEO
  • Her leadership style to motivate others
  • Skills and strategies she developed for career success
  • Her perspective as a leader, mover and shaker in Canada's audiovisual sector
  • Challenges encountered and how she's overcome them

Christa Dickenson is the Executive Director & CEO of Telefilm Canada. She has over three decades of experience spanning broadcast television, technology, telecommunications and interactive digital media, having worked at CTV, CPAC, Rogers and Interactive Ontario. Ms. Dickenson possesses an un-paralleled talent for change management coupled with a strong business acumen. With brand advocacy expertise honed over many years, she is a highly effective screen-based industries advocate and spokesperson. In addition to a professional background spanning both the creative and business sides of the broadcast, technology, telecommunications and interactive digital media industries, Ms. Dickenson has a BAH and Masters of Fine Arts in Film Studies.  

Mid-Career Conversations: Becoming a social innovator

Storyteller: Michelle Dagnino (BA '02, MA '03, LLB '06)

Mar. 8 | 7pm ET | Zoom meeting

In this session Michelle will share her experience of:

  • Her career journey to becoming Executive Director of the Jane/Finch Community Centre
  • Tips on how to respond to social problems and engage the community
  • How to measure social impact

Michelle is currently the Executive Director of the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre, a social services agency in West Toronto, dedicated to supporting the local community through service delivery and resident capacity-building. Prior to this, Michelle held positions as the Canada Director for Ashoka’s Youth Venture, Executive Director of Youth Action Network, and was in private practice with one of Canada’s leading labour and human rights law firms. Michelle is the recipient of the YWCA Young Woman of Distinction award, and was named by The Globe and Mail and the Women's Executive Network as one of Canada's Top 100: Most Powerful Women. The Toronto Star called her "a woman to buoy the soul" and Maclean’s magazine named her one of Canada’s top 30 under 30. Michelle works with Lura Consulting as a Senior Engagement Consultant on neighborhood impact and strategic change initiatives.