GRADAUTE STUDENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES

The Graduate College is currently offering the following professional development opportunities:

A2i - Accelerate to Industry

Accelerate to Industry (A2i)

A bold new approach to graduate career education

In the Fall of 2020, University of Delaware Graduate College launched Accelerate to Industry (A2i), a workforce development program for STEM trainees founded by the NC State University Graduate School. The A2i program represents a bold new approach to enhance career readiness among graduate students and postdoctoral trainees. The goal of this NSF-funded program is to equip participants with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to transition and thrive in a variety of careers. Partnering with NC State on A2i, University of Delaware aims to position itself as a national model for graduate and postdoctoral career education.

The learning outcomes for the A2i participants are:

  1. Increase awareness of career options by exposing A2i participants to a wide range of careers beyond academia.
  2. Help participants acquire and demonstrate competencies necessary to thrive in the corporate environment.
  3. Help participants translate their education into meaningful careers.

The A2i program facilitates these outcomes through five modules: Job Search Strategies, Internship, Industry Immersion, Team Practicum, and Company Site Visit.

The Job Search Strategies is a multi-week module comprised of two parts: career presentations from industry guest speakers and career skill-building workshops led by the senior assistant dean for graduate professional development and other graduate career development experts. The goals of JSS are to raise awareness of career options, methods to navigate the job search, and strategies to secure desired positions.

In this module, participants will have a comprehensive look and exposure to topics related job search and career skills such as:

  1. Career options and pathways
  2. Talent assessment with StrengthFinder
  3. Building professional networking, including how to make the most of LinkedIn
  4. Creating effective resumes and cover letters
  5. Preparing for job interviews
  6. Negotiating compensations
  7. Professional communication (e.g. presenting yourself, interviewing strategies, etc.)

The JSS module is offered in the Fall semester. Students and postdocs in all stages of their training are encouraged to participate in this module. Registration opens in August.

The University of Delaware Graduate College is excited to announce a new opportunity for organizations to connect with our high-caliber graduate-level talents through the Accelerate to Industry™ (A2i) Internship Program. The program enables you to supercharge your organization’s early career recruiting pipeline and vet potential new hires by seeing them in action. The A2i Internship Program is intended to:

  • Bring highly motivated graduate interns with strong research skills and complementary expertise to your team
  • Familiarize graduate students with the types of problems that your organization faces
  • Enable you to identify, attract and assess UD’s brightest graduate students for future opportunities
  • Boost brand awareness, drive interest and build relationships with early career talent and leaders at the University of Delaware 
Organizations interested in developing and proposing internship opportunities can contact Dr. Suprawee Tepsuporn, senior assistant dean for graduate professional development, at suprawee@udel.edu or 307-296-7222

During Industry Immersion, participants are exposed to unique training opportunities that will help them develop skills to support essential features of companies. The Industry Immersion module is structured as a multi-day experience and provides comprehensive coverage of industry-specific topics through presentations and workshops, along with additional professional development activities such as company meet & greet, team-based project, networking sessions, and career panels.

The Team Practicum module is designed to recruit 4–5 members per team from various disciplines to work on a semester long project defined by industry partner. It aims to increase the ability of participants to work with cross-functional operators, and to develop relevant skills that would enhance their ability to secure industry jobs that they desire.

This team-based practicum approach is designed to encourage participants to think beyond their respective disciplines and helps them learn to leverage their technical backgrounds and creativity to move ideas and projects forward in a cross-disciplinary team context.

This module is geared towards a more intimate engagement between potential candidates and professionals at industry partner organizations. Industry partners can host an in-person site visit or via a virtual platform. A typical site visit consists of a company presentation, an employee panel Q&A, a networking opportunity, and an office space or lab tour.

Alumni Mentoring Program for Graduate Students

The University of Delaware Graduate College is pleased to launch Grad Leveraging Engaged Alumni Program (LEAP). The innovative mentorship program is designed to provide holistic support for graduate students from Blue Hen graduate alumni mentors offering guidance and advice regarding the challenges of doctoral education and research, professional development strategies, and referrals to others to assist in building a professional network. We hope that such connections help students achieve their academic, personal and professional aspirations.

 

Grad LEAP is intended to:

  • Prepare graduate students to meet a range of challenges by providing them with personalized support from Blue Hen graduate alumni who can share invaluable insights from their own academic and professional experiences.

  • Provide graduate students with a structured means of initiating and maintaining a professional relationship with graduate alumni through personalized one-on-one advice and support.

  • Build connections and community between UD graduate students and graduate alumni who can support graduate students in navigating their academic, personal and professional goals.

  • Help graduate students spark meaningful conversations with their alumni mentors and others in their professional network. 

     

How it works: 

  • Students and alumni complete a matching survey to share their career interests and goals.

  • Participating alumni receive mentor training.

  • The match is based on academic and professional interests and lived experiences.

  • After the mentor-mentee pair is established, the mentor and mentee work together to decide how they prefer to connect, which can happen via email, phone, video chat, text or in person when possible. We recommend that the mentor and mentee get in touch with each other at least once a month.

  • The mentorship program officially ends in July 2022. The mentors and mentees are welcome to stay in touch afterward. 

 

What do mentors and mentees discuss?

  • How do I overcome the unique challenges of graduate education and research?

  • How do I balance the demands of graduate school and life?

  • How can I set myself up for academic, personal and career success?

  • What are my career options? What are the skills and competencies needed to be successful in the workforce?

Questions?

To learn more about Grad LEAP, please contact gradsuccess@udel.edu.