Expanding Horizons

Academic and Professional Development

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Career Development

What Career Development offers to Graduate Students

  • Assists graduate students in exploring career options, marketing themselves, and planning/preparing for the future
  • Offers a variety of approaches depending of the career path considered, including academia, industry, education, and government
  • Aids students in selecting the necessary approach to planning for the future

Benefits of Career Development for Graduate Students

  • Fundamental skills in creating a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume that stands out
  • Writing cover letters that inform
  • Preparing for Interviews
  • Strategies to help graduate students determine what career path to take and how to arrive there

Workshop Categories & Descriptions

The Academic Job Search

Creating a Teaching Dossier (Winter)

Host Presenters: CTL - Andy Leger

This session will introduce the nature and structure of teaching dossiers, which summarize teaching accomplishments, initiatives, and other strengths. They have a logical structure and are clearly formatted. As living documents, they are intended to grow and change as the teacher evolves. Teaching dossiers are increasingly a part of applying for academic positions and may be used in applications for academic promotion.

CV’s and Cover Letters for Academia (Fall/Winter)

Host Presenters: SGS & Faculty

Did you know that the terms “resume” and “CV” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing? This workshop will help you learn and make decisions about strategies for producing effective CVs and cover letters, if you’re aiming for work in academia. Find out how to customize sections of the CV and how to include appropriate stories and anecdotes to enhance cover letters.

Resource Articles

December 2013 Presentation Slides (1020KB)

Interviewing for Academia and Mock Interviews (Fall)

Host Presenters: Faculty & SGS

Learn how interviewing in academia is similar to and different from other job interviews. Practice a process for dealing with behaviour-based interview questions and staying focused when talking about your past experiences. Identify key messages about yourself that you want to communicate during an often multi-day interview event. Get tips on how to develop good questions, stand out from other candidates and give relevant evidence to support your strengths.

This workshop also provides students with the opportunity to see academic interviews  in action. Several graduate students who are on the job market will be interviewed for 15 minutes by faculty members in front of the workshop. These students have submitted in advance their cvs and cover letters applying for a position. Workshop faculty facilitators will then evaluate the interview in discussion with workshop participants. This open discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate's interview will offer valuable, practical tips and strategies on effective academic interviews.

If time permits, you could prepare for this workshop by reviewing the presentation notes on two previous workshops on academic CVs & cover letters and academic interviews.

Additional resources

December 10th, 2013 Presentation Slides (3.2MB)

How to find a post doctoral position (Winter)

Host Presenters: SGS - Dr. Vinay Singh

Postdoctoral fellowships are an invaluable bridge between graduate study and a post-graduate career. Opportunities for these competitive positions are limited. This workshop will help you find out where to find post doctoral opportunities, how to complete applications, and how to make the most of the opportunities provided by post-doctoral study.

Business/Government positions

Resumes and Cover Letters for the Professional Job Market (Fall)

Host Presenters: Career Services - Julia Blackstock

An application that features clear and memorable descriptions of your abilities will distinguish you from other applicants—and it can win you an interview. Find out how to customize sections of the resume or CV to demonstrate a match between you and the work you want. Discover ways to communicate with specific audiences in business and government. Integrate your transferable skills and experience in your Resume and Cover letter with a little help from your fellow graduate students.

Please bring a resume and cover letter and a sample job description to the workshop.

The job search for industry, business & government (Winter)

Host Presenters: Career Services & Alumni - Julia Blackstock

You may be wondering if you will find work after graduation. Come to a workshop with Career Services and we will get you asking: “How can I have as much influence as possible on where I end up?”  Learn how you can influence the outcome even you face challenges (e.g., tight job market, limited or no paid professional experience, etc). Find out the advantages of being focused, using a project management approach to job search and knowing specific resources. Learn from alumni who have made the transition to business, industry, and government and be able to tailor general strategies to your goals. Enjoy the energy that comes from looking at this as a group—come away excited about the future ahead of you.

Come with an idea of the type of work or industry you are interested in exploring. If you need help with career direction consider making a career counselling appointment prior to the workshop.

Interviewing for Industry, Government & Business (Fall)

Host Presenters: Career Services - Christine Fader

You already know that a successful interview can be critical to achieving your career goals. Learn how to communicate in an interview so that, down the road, you are able to make decisions about specific opportunities. Our interviewing workshop is all about communicating—starting with you and what is important to you. Understand how to get across a key message and practice responding (in a safe context) to questions such as: “Tell me about yourself” and “What additional training would you most benefit from?” Learn from alumni who have relevant experience in business, industry, and government and come away better prepared to communicate with specific audiences.

Come with an idea of the type of work or industry you are interested in exploring. If you need help with career direction consider making a career counselling appointment prior to the workshop.

Building Strategic Relationships (Winter)

Host Presenters: School of Business - Tracy Mallen

Want to add to your network and increase your opportunity for future success? This interactive workshop will walk you through employing effective networking techniques in both formal and informal settings, as well as how to maintain your relationships with contacts to enhance your network for job search and career development.

Powerful Personal Introductions & Professional Portfolios (Winter)

Host Presenters: School of Business - Tracy Mallen

Refine your proactive job search strategy as you learn the art of providing important information about yourself during both interviews and when networking and learn how to display your skills and strengths in a professional portfolio to use as support in a job interview.

Other considerations for career development

Internships & Building Experience  (Fall)

Host Presenters: Career Services/QUIC - Miguel Hahn & Laura Marchese-Smith

Are you trapped in the paradox of, ‘Need experience to get job, need a job to get experience’? This workshop will help you realize that you may have more experience than you thought, help you identify your experiential goals, get ideas about where to find opportunities, and learn how to make the most of your experience. Specific attention will be given to internships and international experiences.


Using social media (e.g. LinkedIn) to help with the job search (Winter)

Host Presenters: Career Services - Julia Blackstock

Social Media is a reality for people building a career in the current world. You do, however, have choices. Make social media resources of the day (will it still be Linkedin?) work for your goals and needs. We will explore the capabilities of tools such as Linkedin.com (advanced people search, groups, alumni and new grad subsites). With all the drama (and uncertainty) of a live experiment, we will attempt to answer questions such as “Where have all the graduates gone?” and “Who else cares about thin film crystallography the way I do?” Integrate the newest tool or resource on the horizon with time-honored career strategies that put you in the driver’s seat (and at the same time observing the rules of the road).

Come with an idea of the type of work or industry you are interested in exploring. If you need help with career direction consider making a career counselling appointment prior to the workshop.

Effective Networking (Fall/Winter)

Host Presenters: Mitacs

You’ve all heard the saying “you are only as good as your network”, but have you ever wondered how to get one?

Now is your chance to experience, first-hand, the power of positive networking. From academia to industry to your personal life, these skills will help you succeed!

This half-day workshop is designed to provide insight and interaction along with the know how to build and stabilize their business relationships through effective networking.

We will cover who-what-where-when and why to network. The participants at this interactive workshop will leave with the tools they need to succeed in their research internships. They will have the opportunity to practice what they learn in the latter half of the day. Details on the actual networking exercises will be determined by the location of each event. Activities will be customized to reflect the interests of the participants.

Participants will learn the importance of sharing contacts, and will receive insights on how to refresh, build, and make the most of the networks they already have. They will learn to build the rapport needed to make an impact on the decision makers.

Building Your Personal Brand (Using E Portfolios & More) (postponed until further notice)

Host Presenters: Dr Penina Lam (SGS), Amanda Tracey (Biology PhD student)

The job market continues to become more competitive in a global marketplace.  It is becoming increasingly important for job seekers to stand out in a crowded job market. Wondering how you can do this in a professional manner? An ePortofolio is a branding approach that can be used to enhance your visibility and demonstrate value to a potential employer. Participants are encouraged to bring a copy of their resume.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain why personal branding is useful for today’s professionals
  • Evaluate and choose from different types of ePortfolio tools/media
  • Develop an outline for one’s ePortfolio 
  • Establish a means for sharing one’s ePortfolio

The Versatile PhD - What Employers Want (Winter)

Host Presenters: Alumni

Details to come

Business Etiquette (Summer)

Host Presenter: Mitacs

We all want to make a good first impression and there’s nothing like a first day on the job to test your ability to affect how others interact with you! The good news is that we’re naturally wired to connect to others.

The benefit? Engaged workplaces are more innovative, have higher retention rates and get better results. This business etiquette workshop will show you all about evolved business conduct and will help you maximize your work relationships and send the right message about yourself (and your organization).


Speaker Series
  Details to come