Professional Skills Modules

Employers consistently seek applicants with exceptional communication and leadership skills. Graduate students who are interested in building these competency skills should consider participating in these modules which consist of a series of extended workshops. Completion of a module results in a transcript notation of the related competency.

Communication Module:  The Communication Module includes a total completion of five extended workshops over the course of three semesters. Some workshop examples are listed below; offered annually. Three workshops lead to the transcript notation - Communication Competency.

Identifying Your Communication Style, Improving Your Professional Network
An important part of building a professional network requires effective communication skills. In this workshop participants undergo a self-assessment to determine their personal communication style as well as explore “positives” and “negatives” of various styles. By identifying personal communication styles, participants are able to improve interpersonal networking skills as they seek career opportunities. Participants also walk away with a better understanding of “do’s” and “don’ts” for communication with peers and co-workers.

Perfecting Your Elevator Speech
An elevator speech is a concise and convincing explanation about who one is and what one does. Ideal for the new or seasoned conference attendee or job seeker, this fun and interactive workshop teaches participants how to develop, and practice, their own three-minute elevator speeches.

Developing Successful Negotiation Skills through Effective Communication
Effective negotiators utilize a combination of positive communication skills and the ability to adapt to others’ communication styles. In this workshop, participants learn about their own negotiation styles as well as how to improve their skills through practical exercises/role play. Specific strategies designed to manage tensions are also covered.

Presentation Skills for Graduate School and Beyond
For many, the mere thought of giving a presentation can be relatively anxiety provoking. There’s both good and bad sides to the coin. Bad side? Presentations are unavoidable in graduate-level courses and in one’s future career path. Good side? Presentation skills are something which can be easily improved. This workshop provides some tips, tricks, and ideas for how to become a better presenter. Participants practice speaking to a crowd.

Crafting a Winning Business Proposal - for Scientists
Sitting on a “hot” invention or new idea in the sciences? Wondering about next best steps? Participants learn the components of an effective science-based business plan; one that is free of discipline-specific jargon and convincing from beginning to end. Ideal for new and experienced entrepreneurs.


Leadership Module:  The Leadership Module includes a total completion of five extended workshops over the course of three semesters. Some workshop examples are listed below; offered annually. Three workshops lead to the transcript notation - Leadership Competency.

Discovering and Building Your Leadership Style
This multi-day intensive leadership experience is designed to enhance participants’ habits, patterns and values so they can begin to operate from a place of core clarity and develop new ways of leading and influencing others.

The Importance of Organizational Culture to Career Success
Learning how to understand and assess the specific culture that exists in an organization is imperative. In this workshop participants learn how culture clarifies expectations for leaders, and how understanding expectations within the culture can improve a leader's’ effectiveness.

Effective Leaders for Effective Teams
In this workshop participants gain a clear use and understanding of the difference between leadership skills and management skills. In addition to assessing one’s own leadership skills and identifying areas for personal growth, participants learn how to build highly successful leadership teams.

Embracing Change:  Making the Most of Career Opportunities
It is not always easy to take risks, but risks are the root of real change. In this workshop participants learn to recognize their fears/challenges and what is keeping them from taking the initiative to embrace and/or lead change. How can one be comfortable being “out there”? Why should individuals not be afraid of failing and where are the opportunities? Participants learn more about seizing opportunities when they come and learning from inevitable mistakes.

Personal and Professional Balance for Career Success
Students gain an understanding of the keys to work-life balance and define which keys support them personally. Participants receive tools and resources to guide them in creating short-term change, and in making long-term sustainable choices. Participants leave the workshop with actions which can be immediately implemented into their work and life for greater personal satisfaction and professional effectiveness.