Hear from those who have participated in previous Pathways to Success events.
Counsellor, University of Victoria
Coordinator of the Thesis Completion Group and Graduate Student Career Exploration Group
Janet believes that developing a strong sense of self is the most valuable accomplishment of graduate education, credentials aside. Being aware of your values, interests, strengths and motivations is a critical aspect of professional development and an essential component of life and career management. In her opinion, professional development should be consciously integrated into education for a more holistic approach to life as a graduate student. Not just a mere part of the process of life, transitions to and from graduate school provide us tremendous opportunities for learning and growth.
Janet’s top tip? Balance your learning about how to succeed with your learning about how to thrive in your life and career. Sometimes you can learn more about yourself by engaging with your academic community outside your classes. While this can at times be challenging – it’s almost always rewarding.
How does Janet see graduate students as having a leg up in the work force? The passion and curiosity that these new professionals will bring to their work. They ask rich and probing questions and have a willingness to try new approaches. In high demand in our new economy, creativity and adaptability skills enable the new professional to excel in the workforce.
Career Educator, University of Victoria
Ian believes that career development should be meaningful and imbedded into the academic experience of all UVic students. He sees his role as providing both career development education and coaching, both of which often involve career research and planning, goal setting, networking and work search planning. Ian will tell you that the career development processes take time, commitment and energy. It is up to you to devote this time.
Ian's top tip? That "good careers don't just happen on their own". No matter which career path you choose, whether it be within academia or outside academia, you will need to pro-actively engage in your own career development. Success is dependent not only on the professional competencies developed through graduate school but also on your level of confidence and sense of self-efficacy. Professional development is about developing all of these.
How does Ian see graduate students having a leg up in the work force? He points to their high level of analytical thinking and the problem solving and planning skills that they bring to the work place. Ian also sees graduate school – with lengthy research projects - as preparing students to explore and articulate multiple perspectives and build their project management skills. Both very useful skills in most organisations!
LLM (Masters in Law), UVic, 2011
Michael has recently launched 'Law@Large', a one-pro law practice focused on procurement projects. He credits graduate school with improving his communications skills taking him from being a lawyer to a true advocate. In addition to expanding his legal repertoire, the LLM program has supported Michael in tackling complex legal problems, with confidence, all on his own.
While at UVic, Michael served on the Graduate Representative Council where he helped lead the Graduate Students' Society's opposition to a hike in mandatory student fees. This meant engaging with the University, writing for the Martlett, and negotiating with other student groups. All great skills for a lawyer-turned-advocate.
Michael's top tip? "Work hard on your thesis, but look for ways to make it matter". Engaging with people and programs across the campus is a good way to keep your work from coming un-tethered from the real world. He recommends seeking out resources and programs on campus and visiting Student Transition Services to support you in making these meaningful connections.
What's next for Michael? Well first he plans to get on his feet financially. Then, to put the theory of legal pluralism into practice as he believes that our social systems are in need of a major green make-over!
Consultant & Presenter for the Learning and Teaching Centre; Instructor of ED-D 600 & Faculty Advisor of PD-PUT
Marty’s top tip? There is no direct, automatic connection between earning a graduate degree and achieving a career position. You yourself have to intentionally exploit available resources to acquire the skills to bridge this gap, which can be both challenging and satisfying.
Marty supports graduate students in navigating the gap between graduate school and career through his teaching of a graduate course on teaching and learning in higher education (ED-D 600) and in serving as the faculty advisor for the university’s professional development program in university teaching (PD-PUT).
While Marty continues to advocate for a systematic professional development program for all graduate students, he will look forward to sharing his insights with you at our Pathways to Success summit this February and through the Learning and Teaching Centre’s ongoing events and workshops.
How does Marty see graduate school supporting your career transition? In teaching new faculty members, he notes that new graduates are highly motivated to succeed and quickly demonstrate their skills in course design, classroom strategies, and assessment. These are skills that could translate well to both an academic or non academic career.
MA, Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies, UVic, 2010
Agata is currently a Consultant and Research Associate in higher education (York University). Looking back on her time at UVic, she is able to identify having developed leadership, critical thinking and research skills and project management skills, which she utilizes to varying degrees when preparing manuscripts and presentations and evaluating programs in her current career.
While at UVic, Agata got involved in student government. She was elected the Director of Services for the Graduate Students’ Society, which helped her learn how to build rapport with fellow students and university employees. Through this position she improved her communication, networking skills and leadership skills. Agata also participated in the TA conference and a number of workshops offered through the Learning and Teaching Centre. She found these opportunities to be relevant and timely; particularly the certificate program in public speaking, which gave her the confidence to present at meetings and conferences.
Agata's top tip? Take advantage of the resources that are available to you on campus: "It will give you a competitive advantage when you are ready to enter the work force. Make the time; you will thank yourself later on in life".
If Agata could travel back in time, she would have participated in more of the career-related workshops offered through the Learning and Teaching Centre. Learning and professional development is an ongoing process for Agata. Her next challenge is to gain experience in teaching and facilitation.
Gweneth Doane, Associate Dean
Faculty of Graduate Studies
Examine the professional development within your own graduate education including the knowledge and skills that might complement your academic credentials, enhance employability and support the successful transition from your graduate program to a meaningful work life.
Norah McRae, Executive Director
Co-operative Education and Career Services
An overview of suggestions for preparing your own career journey and the resources available to you at UVic. Topics covered include career preparation, planning and development with a focus on discovering and developing your unique competencies to be successful in your career search.