Professional Development Initiative

Our Story

Every year, during New Graduate Student Orientation, we ask 1,500 new graduate students one question: “Imagine you’ve graduated from NC State and you’re responsible for hiring a new employee for your organization.  What are the most important skills you’re looking for?”

NC State alumnus Dr. Antonio Bush shared his tips for graduate school success.

Year after year, the answers are the same:  Leadership skills. Communication skills.  Problem solving skills.  Conflict management skills. Critical thinking skills. Teamwork skills.

Where do our graduate students learn these skills?  Here, at the Graduate School’s Professional Development Initiative!

The Graduate School’s Professional Development Initiative has become one of NC State’s most influential resources for enhancing graduate student success, since it was established in 2007.  During this time, we have offered more than 600 events for more than 16,000 participants representing every college at NC State.

This initiative aligns with the University’s strategic plan, the Council of Graduate Schools’ Ph.D. completion report conducted from 2004-2010, and the Council of Graduate  Schools’ Pathways Through Graduate  School and Into Careers  report published in April 2012.

Jing Li was a finalist in the 3 Minute Thesis competition.

These programs offer places where interdisciplinary conversations and collaborative research efforts result in an economy of scale as we deliver essential education and training to students at a centralized level, freeing up resources in individual programs, departments, and colleges. The success of this initiative depends on the collaboration and support of our partners, our campus leaders, our faculty and staff, and, of course, our students.

Our Mission

The Graduate School’s Professional Development Initiative is an inclusive community where graduate students learn to excel. We provide support and coaching to help students develop their communication, academic, leadership, and professional skills.