What’s next for your career? Let’s make a plan. 

The Johns Hopkins Alumni Association  and  Integrative Learning & Life Design  are working together  to bring you the clarity and confidence you need to create a fulfilling career. We are thrilled to be on this journey with you and will support you every step of the way as you design the next chapters of your career and life. 

The Alumni Life Design Experience supports members of our Hopkins community at a time in their lives when they are looking to make a change. Regardless of your age, background or current life situation, the Alumni Life Design Experience will give you tools and clarity to take that next step toward fulfillment in your career.  

Learn what you can expect from the ALDE program from lead instructor Heather Braun and Michael Gonzalez, ALDE Teaching Assistant 

Join the Summer 2024 Alumni Life Design Experience (ALDE)

Registration is now closed for the Summer 2024 course beginning June 11thand ending July 11th. The course runs four weeks with virtual instruction on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30PM – 8:00PM (ET). 

Note: There will be no classes the week of July 4th in observance of the holiday. 

Week 1: Tuesday, June 11 and Thursday, June 13

Be Curious and Reflect on Your Values

We believe that life is all about growth. Growth can lead to new and different paths, experiences and chapters. To discover our next chapter or path, we must first reflect on who we are and what we value. This curiosity may just allow you to learn something new about yourself! Identifying what we value acts like a “North Star” guiding us on our quest. This Alumni Life Design Experience is an investment in yourself and encourages you to be BOLD, FEARLESS, CURIOUS and CREATIVE as you design your next life. This is just the beginning of an incredible process toward designing a life you love. Let’s go! 

Week 2: Tuesday, June 18 and Thursday, June 20

Imagine Three Impossible Lives

As individuals, we are all interesting and unique in our own ways. Because there are many facets to us, we want to challenge you to imagine multiple ways you could launch the next chapter of your life. We encourage you to design THREE lives with reckless abandon! Dream BIG or create a slight variation – and everything in between.  This exercise will build off of your curiosity and the values you hold dear. It will allow you to consider alternative ways to live, grow and thrive. Remember, you are not alone. Tap into your friends, family, and fellow Life Designers for inspiration, motivation and support. 

Week 3: Tuesday, June 25 and Thursday, June 27

Build Connections

Now it is time to involve others! Move the needle in your quest for a more fulfilling life and allow others to uplift, inspire and encourage you. This part of the experience is ACTION oriented. We encourage you to spark conversations with people in your field of interest, spend the day with someone you would like to emulate, set up a small in-house experience to allow you to better understand a possible next life. Identify your Stakeholders.

Week of July 4 (Holiday Break) – No Classes

Participant Reflection/Assignment

Week 4: Tuesday, July 8 and Thursday, July 11

Craft and Tell Your Story and Celebrate the Alumni Life Design Experience

It’s time to do a little bragging! Well, it’s actually time to create meaningful resumes for the three lives you have designed. These documents will serve as your calling cards – snapshots into who you are and the value you bring. Each version of your resume can spark excitement and inspire action as you look toward that more fulfilling life.

Alumni Life Design Experience course fees:

  • $199 for all alumni

Financial assistance is available – please contact [email protected].

Registration is closed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is this experience right for me? 

We’ve designed the Alumni Life Design Experience to help you figure out exactly what you want next from your life regardless of your age, background, or industry.

The Alumni Life Design Experience will NOT be a good fit for you if: 

  • You already know exactly what you want and just need help landing a job ASAP 
  • You want 1-on-1 expert career coaching  
  • You’re not able to commit to completing the assigned work (about 5-7 hrs/wk) 
  • You’re looking for specialized career advice for a unique position

It’s a perfect fit if you:

  • Want more balance, growth, or impact from your career 
  • Feel bored, burned out, under-appreciated, or not using your strengths at work 
  • Wonder how your skills and experience translate to other career paths 
  • Will transition to a new phase of life and want to reinvent your career 

What sort of outcomes can I expect?

So long as you put in the work, you can expect to achieve the following: 

  • Develop a better understanding of yourself; strengths, skills, values, interests, and more 
  • Clearly define what you want from the next chapter of your career 
  • Identify several exciting potential career paths that you could pursue next 
  • Learn an effective process to thoughtfully design your career and pick your next move 
  • Build lasting relationships with peers who will support you through your journey 
  • Learn how to use effective career resources to help you achieve your goals 

How much time will this take? When do I need to be available? 

We’ve designed the Alumni Life Design Experience to take 5 to 7 hours of work per week including required course time and personal reflection/assignments. You’ll meet with your cohort and instructor two times each week, on Monday and Wednesday, for 90 minutes. There is an optional 30-minute open discussion following each meeting for registrants to dig deeper, reflect, ask more questions, and work with fellow alums. You will get the best results when you keep up with the suggested deadlines and attend all your weekly meetings. 

While we really want you to participate as fully as possible in the Alumni Life Design Experience, we understand that you may occasionally have a conflict. If you need to miss one of the weekly meetings, give your instructor advanced warning and make up the work later. However, if you need to miss more than one, we suggest you wait for the next cohort of the Alumni Life Design Experience. 

With the course, you will:

  • Have assignments that fit your schedule 
  • Spend about 3 hours per week learning career design principles, exploring career resources, and completing insightful exercises
  • Participate in weekly team working sessions 
  • Gain new perspectives and actionable feedback from fellow alumni
  • Activate and grow your network 
  • Crowdsource ideas, resources, and connections from your supporters, fellow alumni, and the broader Alumni Life Design Experience network.

What do you mean by Career Design?

Career Design is the act of intentionally crafting your career to make it fit you, whether you want to make the most of your current career path or make a bigger career change to something entirely different. Career Design is all about understanding yourself, your goals, and your options, then making a plan and taking thoughtful steps towards more fulfillment. 

The Alumni Life Design Experience curriculum is inspired by Design Thinking, this process breaks down the overwhelming challenge of “figuring out what you want next” into simple steps that thousands of people like you have used to create careers they love. 

Who is leading the experience?

Heather Braun, PhD, (Instructor) Assistant Director of Integrated Learning and Life Design  

Prior to joining the Life Design Team at Johns Hopkins, Heather Braun received a PhD in English at Boston College, was awarded tenure at two universities, and taught literature, writing, and experiential learning courses for over a decade. Her interest in human-centered design began at Stanford’s d. school as a research fellow, where she applied design thinking principles to tackle complex problems such as building an escape room for a tenth grade English class; investigating social isolation alongside colleagues in Palo Alto and Trinidad; and assisting doctoral students to foster supportive communities and creativity in their research. Upon returning to the University of Akron, she created and led learning experiences for populations on and off campus, from “Design Your Life” courses for underclassmen to a pilot program for incoming freshmen to design thinking workshops for local women leaders, graduate students, and Brazilian business professionals. 

Michael Gonzales, (Teaching Assistant) Associate Director of Integrated Learning and Life Design

Michael has been part of JHU’s Office of Integrated Learning and Life Design (ILLD) since Fall 2019, supporting students in exploring how their major may align with their industries/fields of interest through curriculum design scaffolding, teaching courses, and tailored advising. Before joining the ILLD, Michael was an administrator and faculty at Bennington College and Hampshire College respectively, Michael’s academic background is in urban and architectural theory having completed graduate coursework at University of California Berkeley and plans on completing his PhD dissertation in summer 2023. Michael has a BA in architectural studies from University of California Riverside. 

In his spare time, he loves working on his Olympic lifting form and kettlebell routines. He is thrilled to be supporting JHU alumni in exploring their life and career interests and is committed to redesigning integrated learning and design thinking in ways that take into account the diverse lives of JHU students and alumni. If Mike could tell his college-self anything, he would say to consider reframing the exploration of aspirations and challenges, not as an individualistic and isolating experience, but as one that can be meaningfully supported through a community centered approach, leaning on alumni mentoring resources as one example. 

Laura Fajin-Riveiro (Instructor)

Laura hails from Santiago de Compostela, a quaint town nestled in Galicia, Spain. She pursued her passion for language and literature, earning a BA in English Linguistics and Literature from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. Her academic journey took her across borders, spending 5 transformative years in Gothenburg, Sweden.

In 2021, Laura achieved a milestone by obtaining an M.F.A. in Illustration Practice from The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Her professional path has been as diverse as her educational pursuits. In Sweden, she imparted her linguistic skills as a Teacher of Spanish as a Second Language while also thriving as a freelancer. Upon her move to the United States, Laura delved into the realm of art education, serving as both an Art Educator and an Art Studio Manager.

Reflecting on her academic endeavors, Laura would advise her younger self with a message of reassurance and excitement. “You’re destined to traverse numerous landscapes, encounter diverse souls, and navigate moments of uncertainty. Embrace the journey—it’s bound to be exhilarating.”

And here’s a fascinating tidbit about Laura: she can speak four languages—Galician, Spanish, English, and Swedish!

Keira Wilson, (Instructor) Sr. Assistant Director of Life Design

Keira is a full-time celebration enthusiast focusing on what makes us revel and how communities come together to thrive. She is the Sr. Assistant Director of Life Design at Johns Hopkins leveraging creative spaces futurist and feminist lens, host for The Dinner Party, navigating conversations on grief, and performer in Philadelphia’s Vaudevillian New Year Brigade.  

Bringing more than 14 years of experience in non-profits and higher education as a facilitator, career coach, and civic boundary spanner, she believes we learn who we are through a tenacious pursuit of self-knowledge, and the letting go of fear to offer our unique form of generosity. In the past she has worked for Grinnell College in service and social Innovation, Princeton University’s civic engagement, and with Friends General Conference expanding welcoming communities.

What is your refund policy?

  • 100% refund – Prior to the start of the course. 
  • 50% refund – During the first week of the course. 
  • No refunds will be given after the first week.

Hear from Alumni who have taken ALDE:

ALDE Testimonial: Alex Wright, SAIS ’20

ALDE helped expand my thinking and gave me a design framework to use in planning the next steps on my life path.  Connecting with other alumni facing similar questions about what we want to do with our lives, while exploring questions about ourselves as individuals was the highlight of this course for me, making it an unforgettable experience.

Amara Jade Mitchell, A&S ’12 (MA)

When I signed up, I had no idea what to expect. The course was ultimately immensely beneficial and enjoyable. It is so easy to go through life “accidentally.” Inevitably, life will take us to unexpected places. Even though my life will not end up like my life boards, having a vision, any vision – planned in pencil – ensures that dreams won’t completely disappear. When the options inevitably slim out, I’ll at least know that I was in the driver’s seat. Immense gratitude for your ears, facilitation, and motivation!  

Michael Ronald Korn, A&S ’17

Whether you have a fresh Hopkins degree or whether you would like to refresh your thinking about the design of your life … the Alumni Life Design Experience (ALDE) is right on time. The ALDE course is a chance to arrive as your authentic self, engage in experiential activities with your cohort, and set up the conditions that once again widen your field of vision about what your life path can include. I feel like I have new tools in my life kit and rich new connections as I keep designing my life – and following my curiosity.

Regina Cronin, SAIS ’99