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Getting Started 

This is your first year as a graduate student. You are learning how to navigate the terrain of higher education and about the norms and nuances of your discipline. During this stage you will invest a great deal of energy getting acclimated to your degree program and integrating school-work-life responsibilities. 

5 key professional development activities at this stage:

  1. Meet with your primary mentor or adviser to talk about professional development.
  2. Take stock of the transferable skills you possess by completing one or more checklists.
  3. Complete a Strengthquest inventory.
  4. Create an Individual Professional Development Plan. Set PD goals.
  5. Bookmark the calendar of professional development events.

Closely related to your professional development:

  1. Acclimate to your degree program and obtain your graduate handbook.
  2. Acclimate to campus by attending the Office of Graduate Studies' Orientation. 
  3. If you will be teaching, attend the Graduate Assistant Teaching Orientation.
  4. Learn how to make the most the mentor-mentee relationship.
  5. Find a Peer Mentor to help you navigate organizational culture and achieve work-life integration.
  6. Explore campus and online resources for research and scholarship.
  7. Start your CV or research-focused resume.
  8. Start building your network! Join a campus-wide graduate student groups.
  9. Create a LinkedIn profile.
  10. Start exploring career options.