More and more grad students are looking for ways to gain practical skills and experience to ensure success in their studies and to be more prepared when looking for work.

Up until last year, graduate training at Carleton was geared almost exclusively to TA training. This has changed dramatically. With the introduction of Grad Navigate workshops, all graduate students can take advantage of a wide variety of training topics. And for those who are TAs, all workshops count toward TA hours.

There’s no doubt that grad students are extremely busy – juggling school, research, TAships, family and relationships, not to mention trying to kick start a career. But professional training enhances the grad experience and is not ‘just one more thing do.’ Actually, it’s not terribly time consuming and it’s a great way to connect with grad students outside of your departmental bubble. But there are other questions I’m sure you have:

WHY is Professional Training Important? Graduate programs do a great job of instilling the building blocks of research, critical thinking and analytic skills. Think of professional training as filling in some of the gaps and offering hands-on training that will help you develop a well-rounded skillset. Building a diverse and dynamic skillset is key to being confident and competitive in the job market. Grad Navigate can get you there.

WHAT Training is Available? You can find workshops in the categories of Research & Writing, Professional Skills, Teaching Skills, Career Planning and Wellness. A snapshot of topics include:

  • Project Management
  • Dealing with Emergencies in the Classroom
  • Facilitating a Discussion Group
  • NVivo Qualitative Research Management for Grad Students
  • Media Training
  • Resumé Writing for Grad Students
  • Skills Identification for Grad Students
  • Networking Strategies for Grad Students
  • Interview skills for Grad Students
  • Managing Challenging Teaching Situations
  • Study & Lifestyle Balance
  • Get Motivated, Manage Time & Relax!

WHO is Professional Development for and WHO Provides the Training? Professional development is available to all full-time and part-time graduate students. There is something for everyone! In fact many of the workshop topics were created because grad students requested them.

FGPA is delighted to collaborate with fantastic people from Coop & Career Services, Educational Development Centre, International Student Services Office, Department of University Communications, MacOdrum Library, and Health and Counseling who offer most of the workshops.

WHEN is the Best Time to Start? Right now! Professional development is an ongoing process with no set timeline, but it’s always a good idea to plan ahead. Take a look at the training available and see which workshops you are most interested in and which fit with your schedule. If you can squeeze in one or two workshops per term you are a rock star!

WHERE Can I Find Workshop Options? You can view the Grad Navigate website and click on each category to see upcoming workshops. Be sure to also follow @CUGradStudies on Twitter and look for TheGraduate@Carleton newsletter in your inbox to hear about upcoming workshops and events.

For other questions, or if you have an idea for a workshop, please email Chris Manor, interim Co-ordinator of Graduate Professional Development at:

The above article was written by Leah DeVellis, Former Coordinator of Graduate Student Services & Professional Development, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, and edited by Chris Manor.

Thursday, August 21, 2014 in
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