First of all, I just wanted to say welcome to all of the new graduate students and welcome back to those returning to Kingston. Of course also a happy ‘ first official week of school’ (not that school stopped for most of us)! This month Gradifying is chatting about professional development. Professional development is a great way to make your time here at Queen’s worthwhile and helps in preparing you for the world inside or outside Academia. The Expanding Horizons workshop series is designed to help you achieve this.
Expanding Horizons is a series of workshops to help graduate students achieve their academic and professional goals during their time at Queen’s and help prepare them for their respective careers. There are five categories of workshops in the Expanding Horizons series (each series is linked to the respective list of workshops scheduled for 2014-15):
Each category or theme has several workshops that are suited to that theme. These sessions are informative and often very interactive involving student participation and/or discussion. I have yet to attend a session that didn’t involve some sort of student discussion allowing students to share ideas and experiences. The sessions are led by a variety of different people including staff, faculty and students which makes each session new and exciting with different approaches to teaching and learning and offers you a chance to learn from an expert in the field.
I started attending Expanding Horizons workshops during my Master’s. I was attending them purely out of interest and desire to have some professional development associated with my degree. I really enjoyed the sessions I have attended which have included: Personality theory & communication, Assessment for learning, bridging the generation gap, and many more.
Once I started attending the workshops I realized that there was a not-for-credit certificate program associated with attending these seminars. Once you attend 12 seminars with at least one seminar from each theme, you will be awarded this certificate. It’s a great item to include on your CV/resume and really shows potential employers that you are serious about professional development, something graduate students often struggle to get experience with.
I have also found that these seminar series are a great way to expand your horizons outside of your department and get to know other grad students on campus. I’ve had a lot of great conversations, and even made some new friends at these sessions. I am still working away at completing my certificate with only a couple workshops left but I will certainly still be attending on a regular basis! Hopefully I will see a lot of our readers there, feel free to introduce yourself if we cross paths! to sign up for Expanding Horizons click here.