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Oregon State Grow Your Career Series:

Grad School - To Go or Not Go


On Demand

A graduate program can be a great stepping stone to your next career move, but is it the right choice for you?

And if it's a good fit - how do you go about picking a program and applying?

We will be joined by Karen Hanson, the Director of Graduate Success at Oregon State, and Jessica Barker, an OSU alumna with a graduate degree and successful career, to learn about how to approach the graduate school decision.

Webinar Highlights:

By the end of the webinar, you will:

  1. Assess whether pursuing graduate studies is right for you and explore ideas such as necessary skills set, master’s versus PhD, work experience, financing, and other relevant topics

  2. Identify the grad school selection and application process

  3. Plan the next steps you can take if you decide to explore graduate programs

OSU Alumni Association Alumni Career Services and OSU Professional and Continuing Education are excited to partner in creating webinars that give you the tools to conquer every transition on your professional path.

Webinar Hosts:


Karen Hanson

karen-hansonKaren Hanson is the Director of Graduate Success with Oregon State University’s Graduate School and works to help students succeed in graduate school. Her projects include onboarding and orienting new graduate students, coordinating professional development and academic support activities with university partners, and organizing events that celebrate graduate student accomplishments. Karen serves as a resource for students and faculty by assisting with policy interpretation, monitoring progress toward degree completion, and connecting students with university resources for healthy, productive graduate lives. Karen earned a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University, and a master’s degree from Colorado State University. When she’s not working, Karen enjoys outdoor adventures and traveling with her family.


Jessica Barker

Jess Barker photoJessica Barker is passionate about the use of public health programming to build and sustain health equity within communities. She is currently the Program Manager of Healthy Families Linn and Benton County. Jessica has an undergraduate degree from University of Nevada Reno in Community Health Science and a Master of Public Health from Oregon State University. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and a certified Gerontologist.

Jessica lived in Reno Nevada for 27 years until moving to Oregon 3 years ago. Healthy living has always been part of her life from a very young age. She began dancing at the age of 3 and continues to this day. She taught dance professionally and ran her own dance company for 2 years prior to returning to college in her late 20’s. Once she decided to attend college, she fully immersed herself in the public health field. Her professional experience is working with low-income and vulnerable populations. She has worked as a Health Program Assistant at a skilled nursing facility, Health Educator for Washoe County Health District, Program Manager for Senior and Disability Services and now in her current role she is working with families in Linn and Benton County to improve health outcomes for children 0-3 years of age. She lives in Corvallis with her husband, Matthew and their black lab Chipper. When she isn’t working, she is hiking, traveling, dancing with a local performance group and enjoying all that the beautiful state of Oregon has to offer.



Yuliya Dennis

YuliyaDennisYuliya Dennis is the director of alumni career services at Oregon State University (OSU) Alumni Association and manages and oversees career programs for over 200,000 OSU alumni. OSU alumni career programs offers a diverse suite of programs to support alumni career success.

Yuliya also serves as the Assistant Vice President of Mentor Programs for Alumni Career Services Network (ACSN).  She was the recipient of the 2019 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Rising Star award for her work in alumni relations. Yuliya received her BA in History, and her M.Ed in College Student Services Administration from OSU. She is eager to share her knowledge of what it takes to career transition successfully. 

Her motto is: Engage in what matters and support others in engaging in what matters to them.



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This webinar is brought to you by Oregon State University's Alumni Association and Professional and Continuing Education.

The Alumni Association provides alumni with a variety of career development resources. WorkSpace offers Oregon State short courses and certificates nationally and internationally, which can help in obtaining a promotion or starting in a new field. 

Learn If Grad School Makes Sense For You