At, we create meaningful connections for internships, mentorships and jobs. Our hybrid events allow students and new graduates to explore familiar and unfamiliar career options via storytelling by diverse leaders + experts.


Our unique forum reveals the real story behind the resume. The Internet tells you where someone works, but how did they find their first job? Who was their mentor? How did they build their career?

 humanUPtions presents:
Towards the Future.
Leadership. Kindness. Careers. UPtions.
A VIRTUAL Town Hall event powered by Industry Leaders.
Prove, Facebook, Accenture,
Walmart eCommerce, BlackRock

February 12, 2021 @ 1:00 - 2:30PM EST




Opening Remarks + Introduction:

1:00PM - 1:10PM


Discussion + Open Mic:

1:10PM - 2:20PM


  • Russell Klosk: Managing Director, Strategy, Talent & Organization @ Accenture

  • Melissa Lockhart: Director of People @ Prove

  • Jessica Palacios: Director, U.S. Head of Campus Recruiting @ BlackRock 

  • Karima Popatia: GM @ Walmart Marketplace 

  • Peipei Zhou: Head of Facebook Career Connections @ Facebook


Closing Remarks:

2:20PM - 2:30PM

Why YOU should join us?

 Listen, Learn + Question Industry Leaders 

Since 2017, humanUPtions workshops + conferences have served as a confluence for job seekers and industry leaders. Experts share their stories and priceless advice with individuals looking to commence, pivot or reignite their careers. Events are designed to provide YOU with useful, practical information and networking opportunities to create your career plan. 

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February 12, 2021 SPEAKERS

Russell Klosk
Managing Director, Strategy, Talent & Organization @ Accenture

Karima Popatia

GM @ Walmart Marketplace

Peipei Zhou
Head of Facebook Career Connections @ Facebook
Jessica Palacios
Director, U.S. Head of Campus Recruiting @ BlackRock
Melissa Lockhart
Director of People @ Prove

Present + Past SPEAKERS


Russell Klosk

Managing  Director (Partner) Strategy, Talent & Organization / Human Potential, Accenture


Russell is a trusted partner, globally recognized thought leader and senior consulting executive at Accenture. His work includes helping clients through Workforce Transformations, driving Data Driven Talent Strategy and Strategic Workforce Planning. Over the past 25 years his career has included executive roles leading internal functions in the Fortune 500 and over 15 years of consulting experience. Additionally he is a key author of 3 ISO HR standards. He has worked with clients on 6 continents and done expat assignments in Europe and Asia.


Currently Russell leads Accenture’s  global product offerings for Strategic Workforce Planning HR Intelligent Operating Model and Organizational Effectiveness. His cross industry experience and though leadership drives client differentiation and has included work on 6 continents and expatriate assignments in Europe and Asia. He focuses in the areas of Corporate and Human Capital Strategy,  Strategic Workforce Planning, Talent Strategy, HR Operating Model Design, Performance Management, Learning Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, HR Process & Policy design and creation, HR Strategy, and HR Technology Enablement


Russell has a BA from the University of Southern California and an MBA from New York University (Stern). He lives in Fairfax, Virginia with his family. 


Jessica Palacios

Director, US Head of Campus Recruiting, BlackRock

Jessica Palacios is the US Head of Campus Recruiting at BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world with over 6 trillion assets under management. In this role, Jessica is responsible for the team that attracts the best and most diverse talent to the summer analyst and program analyst programs. This includes oversight over the campus recruitment strategy, process, and development programming. BlackRock employs a virtual-first, school-agnostic, major-agnostic recruiting philosophy to attract thousands of applications to our US Campus Programs each year. BlackRock also offers an accelerated application process for internship candidates identifying as Black, Latinx, Native American, LGBTQ+ and/or Disabled where 10-12 students are selected for a merit award of $17,500. Jessica’s team partners with business leaders and candidates to ensure a positive experience across all US programs.

In addition, Jessica serves on the Operating Committee for the SOMOS Latinx Network at BlackRock. In this role, Jessica works closely with senior sponsors to deliver professional development programs and opportunities to Latinx employees at BlackRock and their allies.

Jessica joined BlackRock in 2016 as the HR Business Partner for the Aladdin Product Group. Previously, Jessica served as an HR Business Partner for JPMorgan Chase & Co. where she supported Corporate Compliance and Commercial Banking. Prior to JPMC, Jessica was in an operational management training program for a privately held distribution company in New Jersey called McMaster-Carr.


In addition to her professional responsibilities, Jessica serves on the volunteer board for the New York Chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) where she works closely with Latinx professionals and first-
generation college students. Jessica also serves on the New York Advisory Council for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF),
the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization supporting Hispanic American higher education. As an advocate for Latinx
advancement, Jessica has served as a panelist and moderator for various organizations including Bloomberg, JPMorgan, and Proud to be Latina. In 2019, Jessica was recognized by Negocios Now magazine as one of NYC’s 40 under 40.

Jessica holds a B.A. degree from Duke University and an M.S. in Human Resources Management from New York University.

On a personal note, Jessica enjoys cooking, travel, sports, and quality time with family. As a first-generation Colombian-American, Jessica is also a native Spanish speaker. She lives in Westchester, NY with her spouse and son.

Karima Popatia

GM, Walmart Marketplace

Karima Popatia is a General Manager at Walmart eCommerce. She has over two decades of Retail Merchandise Planning experience with a successful track record of leading teams and building compelling merchandise strategies to deliver top and bottom line growth.

Prior to Walmart, Karima worked at Saks Fifth Avenue where she served as the Senior Vice President of Omni-Channel Merchandising Planning leading a team of over 100 associates while closely partnering with the Buying, Marketing, and Finance teams. Karima has a deep expertise across all areas of fashion planning from a channel to category to a product perspective. She also worked at Bloomingdales and Lord & Taylor and ran a start-up retail venture from 2004-2008. 

Peipei Zhou

Head of Career Connections @ Facebook

Peipei is a Program Lead on the Education Modernization team at Facebook. The core focus of her work is to provide upward mobility for underrepresented students through tech career pathways. Before this, Peipei led the North America Global Solutions Partners team at Facebook, helping Facebook’s top global clients maximize their business potential on world’s largest advertising platform. Prior to Facebook, Peipei spent 10 years at Procter & Gamble, leading customer business development for various distribution partners. Peipei
received a BA in Management Information Systems from the University of Texas at Austin. She was born in Shanghai, China and is fluent in both Mandarin and Shanghainese. 


Outside of work, Peipei devotes her time helping those around her with the goal of leaving the world a bit better than she found it. She sits on boards, serves meals to the homeless, mentors immigrant students and drives volunteer efforts for Facebook. She is also a
photographer and writer, whose works can be found in the NYTimes and NPR.

Mita Mallick

Head of Diversity & Inclusion and Cross Cultural Marketing, Unilever

Mita Mallick is a corporate change maker who believes corporations have a responsibility to make a social impact.  She is a disruptive business leader who has brought her experience in managing P&Ls, brand innovation, and strategic planning into leading cultural transformation.  Mita is a passionate storyteller who believes in the power of diversity to transform business and brands.

As the Head of Diversity & Inclusion and Cross Cultural Marketing at Unilever, Mita's efforts to build an inclusive culture are being celebrated.  Under her leadership, Unilever was named the #1 Company for Working Mothers by Working Mother Media in 2018.  She also co-created the first of its kind Cultural Immersions series to increase the cultural competency of marketers training over 3000 marketers to date. 

Prior to leading Diversity & Inclusion, Mita has had an extensive career in the beauty and consumer products goods space.  She was one of the chief lieutenants in launching The Vaseline Healing Project in the U.S., signing award-winning actress & activist Viola Davis as the brand's ambassador.

Mita has been recognized by Leading Women Entrepreneurs in 2018.  She received the Inaugural Diversity Innovator Award from the National Association for Female Executives in 2017, and was on the "50 People Under 40 Shakin Up Beauty" Youthquake List by Women's Wear Daily.

Mita has a B.A. from Columbia University and a M.B.A. from Duke University.

Daron K. Roberts

Former NFL Coach + Founding Director, Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation, University of Texas


Daron is a former NFL coach and author of, “Call an Audible”(Greenleaf 2017). “Call an Audible” was named a #1 New Release and Best Seller by Amazon and Sports Illustrated selected the book as one of its “Best Sports Business Books of 2017.”


Currently, Roberts serves as founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation (CSLi) at the University of Texas. He created CSLi in the fall of 2014. The Center is the first university-based institute dedicated to developing leadership and character curricula for high school, collegiate and professional athletes. Through the Center, Roberts teaches a course – A Gameplan for Winning at Life– to incoming freshmen student-athletes. In January of 2018, the Center received the commitment and financial support of NBA All-Star, Kevin Durant.


Roberts holds a faculty appointment in the Liberal Arts Honors Program. He has received the Silver Spurs Centennial Teaching Award, Creative Engagement Award and was named a distinguished faculty member by the School of Undergraduate Studies in 2015. His research revolves around issues of rejection, failure management and leadership.


After graduating from Harvard Law School (2007), Roberts served coaching stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, West Virginia Mountaineers and Cleveland Browns. He holds a B.A. in Plan II Honors and Government from the University of Texas (2001) and an M.P.P. from Harvard’s Kennedy School (2004).


In 2010, Daron launched a nonprofit football camp – 4th and 1, Inc. 4th and 1 provides free SAT prep, life skills development and football training to at-risk youth in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The camp has served nearly 500 student-athletes since 2010.


The Presidential Leadership Foundation – a joint venture between Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush – tabbed Roberts as a Presidential Leadership Scholar for 2015. He was one of 60 members in the inaugural class.


Roberts has been featured in ESPN the Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek and Sports Illustrated. His articles have appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Fortune, Houston Chronicle, and Time. Roberts is the host of an industry-leading podcast – A Tribe Called Yes (available on iTunes and Stitcher).

Katerina Zacharia

Executive Director of Executive + Team Development with the Leadership Edge team, JPMorgan Chase & Co.


Katerina Zacharia is responsible for solution design, facilitation and coaching for development initiatives that support senior executives at the firm. Prior to joining JP Morgan, Katerina worked at Korn Ferry Hay Group, where she was a Client Partner, helping global clients in Healthcare, Financial Services, Media and Entertainment, Technology and Non-Profit with leadership and organizational development. She is a social cultural anthropologist who brings 25 years of experience in driving change and innovation, transforming organizational cultures, fostering creativity and innovation, and delivering upon diversity, equity and inclusion priorities in the United States and internationally. She embeds storytelling in everything she does. Katerina holds an M.B.A from Tulane University and Master of Arts, in Social Anthropology from York University in Toronto. She earned her BA in Cultural Anthropology from Stony Brook
University in New York. Katerina is a New Yorker born and raised, now living in New Jersey with her husband and two children. She has been an advocate and volunteer for youth education programs and organizations throughout her career. She loves to cook, read, travel and is feeding an emerging love for gardening and improv.

Alex Klein

Vice President of Recruiting and Experience, VaynerMedia


Alex Klein is VaynerMedia's Vice President of Recruiting and Experience, bringing years of staffing recruitment and retention experience to the agency. A member of VaynerMedia's People and Experience Team, Alex ensures that each and every role — from the entry-level to senior executive — at the agency is filled by the perfect individual, and that they are given the space and attention they need to truly thrive in their career.


Alex is a major New York sports fan — Go Jets! — and studied Sports Management at Ithaca College. He currently resides in Westchester with his wife, Sandy, and his two children.

Anshu Prasad

Co- Founder & CEO of Leaf Logistics + former Partner, A.T. Kearney


Anshu Prasad is the Co-Founder and CEO of Leaf Logistics, a data and analytics platform helping to bring cost and service predictability to the transportation industry. With funding from Floodgate and other leading institutional VCs, Leaf is poised to transform B2B how logistics are bought and sold. Prior to forming Leaf (fka LogisticsExchange), Prasad built and led A.T. Kearney's global Analytics practice, working with clients to utilize technology and data to empower business transformation. He also helped start and grow analytics businesses in the US, Europe and Asia, working at the intersection of supply chain and technology. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in BioChemistry and from Oxford University with and MBA.


Sheri Collins

Brand Stylist, Sales Manager for the speaking division, The Shark Group founded by Daymond John, star of Shark Tank on ABC


Armed with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, Sheri built a career in marketing communications and sales training in corporate America for more than 15 years.  Sheri speaks about personal branding with style, how to use personal style to create an unforgettable brand that is authentic and purpose-driven.  She often shares stories of a being a plus size woman moving up the corporate ladder to inspire others to go confidently into the direction of their dreams.  Sheri has spoken at Daymond John’s Inner Circle Entrepreneur Training; the National Association of Administrative Professionals; Ashley Stewart Stores; New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce; Oakland University in Michigan, Hampton University in Virginia, Rutgers Business School in New Jersey, and Marymount College in New York City.  Connect with Sheri @TheCurvyStylist


Ana Ludemann

Client Associate at Merrill Lynch, Bank of America and TSH Wealth Management Group, New York  


Ana graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Finance from Adelphi University in May 2019. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors and was the recipient of the Flynn Zito Capital Management Scholarship. Ana also has a Bachelor's degree in Marketing Management from Megatrend, John Naisbitt University, Serbia. During her time at Adelphi, she was the Vice President of Finance for Beta Gamma Sigma. In 2018, she was selected to represent Adelphi at the prestigious Beta Gamma Sigma Business Summit in Chicago. Ana was born and raised in Europe and migrated to the US in 2008. She is an avid traveler and speaks five languages: Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Russian.

Will Zeng

Macaulay Honors College at Baruch; Class of 2020


Will Zeng currently is a senior in the Macaulay Honors Program at Baruch College studying data analytics. From starting his career consulting for a small Argentinian media NGO to his most recent experience interning as a Business Analyst at Amazon Web Services working on improving billing automation, he has always been naturally curious and passionate about solving problems. 

He has been active within the Human Uptions community since attending his first event in Nov 2018. In his spare time, Will enjoys outdoor bouldering and listening to true crime podcasts.


Get that interview. Land that job. 
Be the next generation of leaders!
Top 10 Reasons to Join Us:
  • Learn how to UPsell yourself in a crowded market
  • Boost your personal brand
  • UP your motivation + confidence
  • Be empowered by stories of success from industry leaders
  • Recognize how to avoid pitfalls and overcome job market fears 
  • Clarify your vision + explore new opportunities
  • Meet likeminded people
  • Gain job search insight from employers
  • Hone your soft skills + elevator pitch
  • Have fun!  

Interested in speaking or sponsoring an event, or have another question?  Please send us an email.

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