Rebecca Chen

Founder at Ilkmade

After getting my PhD in Political Science at U.C. Berkeley, I pursued a traditional academic career in Europe but had always wanted to build a company. I love teaching, public speaking, research and managing complex projects. After turning to a career coach who helped hone these skills, I followed my passion and founded Ilkmade. Our discussions and exercises revealed the importance of being more intentional and thoughtful in my career goals.

Common Areas of Requested Support:

  • Job search strategy
  • CV and cover letter
  • Interviewing prep
  • Graduate school applications
  • Determining the right degree: MA, PhD, Law, MBA
  • Grant and funding applications
  • Job market prep (academia, think tanks and private sector)
  • Non-academic careers after a PhD
  • Networking


  • International job markets
  • Multi-platform publishing
  • Career mapping
  • Entrepreneurship


  • I left our session feeling confident in my new job search strategy when before I felt overwhelmed. Rebecca asked questions about what I was currently doing, and then we brainstormed other strategies based on my strengths, interests, and experience and came up with a great action plan with multiple phases. She helped to simplify the job search process, and I felt more in control of my job search after her help.

    -Patrick G.

    New York University

  • I have never been comfortable with networking, but I knew I needed to learn how so that I could land my next job after extended time away from employment. Rebecca helped me figure out what style of networking would work best for me, and we came up with small, attainable goals that helped me to become more at ease with networking.

    -Jenai M.

  • Rebecca has an uncanny capacity of listening to your story and understanding your issue. I thought that my case was too unique and unusual (in my 40s, international career, foreign policy, etc.) and that it would take months of counseling to get a mentor to understand my issues, but Rebecca managed to get it in a 60-minute session. Impressive. She quickly picked up on the important bits, suggested a path forward that was refreshing and felt right, and connected me with a couple of her experts with relevant, niche experience. I'm incredibly grateful for her help and would highly recommend her.

    -Maximilian B.

Define your goals. Expand your perspective.