1. Tell us a little more about what you’re studying and what your research focuses on.
My concentration is Direct Practice. This year in my field placement I have facilitated a mindfulness group and a social wellness skills group for people with severe and persistent mental illnesses. Next school year I will be providing individual therapy.
2. What are your general career interests or professional goals after graduate school?
After graduation I want to be an individual and group therapist, and a little further down the road I would like to additionally take on leadership roles, especially in the realm of program innovation, development, and improvement.
3. How has participating in the Graduate School’s professional development programs benefited your professional development? Is there a particular workshop or program that you found the most helpful?
Participating in professional development programs has increased my self-confidence by teaching me more about my strengths and preparing me for situations that I did not feel as skilled to navigate. I have found every professional development event I’ve attended so far to be helpful and enjoyable, but the networking and negotiation workshops particularly stand out in my memory. I originally feared and dreaded networking and negotiation, but these workshops made them more palatable and opened my mind to more effective ways to find jobs and co-create job situations that best suit my needs.
4. Are there other steps you are taking now as a graduate student to prepare yourself for the job market/your industry?
In addition to the professional development programs at the Graduate Student Center, I have been participating in events and services offered by University Career Services, Student Wellness, Diversity and Student Success, the Learning Center, and CAPS, as well as various clinical workshops and other events provided by the School of Social Work. I have also been volunteering to do social work intakes and now to be a social work coordinator at the Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC) free health clinic. Additionally, I create or ask for the opportunities I am most interested in at my field placements.
5. What do you wish you had known about professional development in your first year of graduate school?
I wish I had thought to do a better job of sharing information about these opportunities with my friends so they could benefit from them too!
6. Do you have any professional development or career planning advice to offer your fellow graduate students?
I recommend going to the information fair that’s held at the end of the Graduate School Orientation in August and signing up for every listserv you’re interested in. Also, to remember all the professional development events you’re interested in, I recommend making a master calendar to keep track of the details for each event. Look at your calendar daily and add relevant events to it right away before they get lost in your email! Try as many interesting things as you’re up for at the beginning of the semester while the workload is lighter. You may quickly see what kinds of events invigorate you, and what kinds of events you don’t like as much which you could then make a lower priority or take off your calendar completely so you have more room for the things that inspire you!