Carnegie Mellon University
October 28, 2021

Graduate Student Professional Development Series Launches

By Kirsten Heuring

Stacy W. Kish
  • Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 412-268-9309

This academic year, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences is beginning to offer a professional development series specifically for graduate students.

Planned workshops cover a variety of topics including how to navigate conflict with collaborators, manage time, cope with stress and interview for jobs. Experts from the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC), Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS), the Student Academic Success Center, Student Affairs Wellness Initiatives and the Tepper School of Business are hosting the events.

Sharon Carver, Dietrich College’s associate dean for educational initiatives, noticed there was a need to bring graduate students across the college together for these workshops.

“The graduate program coordinators from Dietrich collaborated to develop the list of workshop topics that would be most useful to students across the college,” said Carver.  “We aim to provide master’s and doctoral students opportunities to build professional skills and network with peers.”

Trent Cash, who is pursuing a joint Ph.D. in social and decision sciences and psychology, attended “Sustaining Healthy Habits in Graduate School.” 

“This workshop was a great reminder that, in order to get the most out of graduate school, it’s important to step back, take a deep breath and be grateful for the good things in life,” said Cash. “While school can get overwhelming at times, there’s always something to smile about.”

Among the CPDC’s offerings are sessions for graduate students interested in exploring a broad array of career options. One workshop, “Translating Your Skills for Industry Job Applications,” which has already occurred, explored the skills that are in demand for industries and how to showcase skills developed during the graduate experience. 

Roderick Seow, a graduate student in psychology who attended the session said, “I think my biggest takeaway from the workshop was that a good resume should quantify the impact of my work instead of merely listing what I did.”

On Nov.11, the CPDC will present “Beyond Academia: Exploring Career Paths and Networking Strategies,” which will help students explore ways to leverage the CMU network to find career opportunities.

“I think there's a bit of a misconception that if you've been in academia your entire career, there's no way you can make the leap to industry, and that's definitely not true,” said Kristin Staunton, CPDC assistant director and career consultant for the Dietrich College. “Employers are really keen on hiring graduate students. I think knowledge is power in this case. If you're not aware of all the possibilities, you may miss out on something that would bring you happiness and professional satisfaction, in addition to being very lucrative.” 

The CPDC also offers tailored appointments for graduate students on topics from interview practice and resume help to how to navigate job boards.

Carver assures graduate students that there is plenty of time to register for workshops, and events are scheduled to ensure students can attend easily.

“Graduate students receive emails two to three weeks before each event. There is a reminder about a week ahead with another chance to register,” said Carver. “All events are via Zoom.”

In the spring 2022 semester, Dietrich College graduate student professional development workshops will include:

Stress and Coping
4:45–6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27
Hosted by: Viviana Ferrer-Medina, CaPS

Four Steps to Evidence-Based Interview Preparation
4:45–6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 10
Hosted by: Kristin Staunton, CPDC

Job Offer Negotiation: Tips for Measuring and Communicating Your Market Value
4:45–6 p.m., Thursday, March 3
Hosted by: Kristin Staunton, CPDC