Professional Skills Foundations core categories

Professional Skills Foundations is organized around four core categories: career preparation, communication, leadership and personal effectiveness. The skills in these categories are important for a wide variety of career paths, both inside and outside of academia. Completion of Foundations will help graduate students to develop these important skill sets.

Learn more about the skills included in each category: 

Career preparation is the process of learning about and improving your skills in order to be successful in current and future employment. This process includes discovering career motivators, exploring a range of career paths, creating and maintaining a professional network, and effectively translating skills within application documents and interviews.

Communication is the process of sharing information in written, spoken, or visual forms. The skill of effective communication requires adapting to a variety of audiences (e.g. peers, the general public, decision makers) and using a wide range of tools (e.g. PowerPoint, social media) and multiple formats (e.g. academic papers, business proposals, blog posts, emails).

Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common vision. It includes successfully managing people and constrained resources, setting goals, establishing a plan, and achieving objectives, while exercising empathy, creativity, and thoroughness.

Personal effectiveness is the ability to use one’s resources—talents, strengths, skills, energy, and time—to improve oneself and achieve life goals. This could include developing time management skills, intercultural understanding, personal balance, and mental/physical wellness.

Looking for workshops or events to help you build skills in these areas? Check out the GRADventure events listing

Professional Skills Foundations is delivered with financial support from the Graduate Studies Endowment Fund.