Professional Development

The Office of the Dean of the Graduate School is excited to launch GradFUTURES, a campus-wide professional development initiative designed to empower you with professional competencies and connections and help you envision your future with clarity and confidence. This collaborative effort will deepen existing partnerships between the Graduate School, academic departments, centers, student organizations, alumni and industry -- and furthers our shared mission to support graduate student professional development.

GradFUTURES supports your academic and research goals, and equips you with skills that position you well for a broad range of future professional pursuits within academe or in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. 

Based on benchmarking and labor market research, we have identified the following competencies that will serve as the foundation of the GradFUTURES model:

Research and Data Analysis

Conducting research within and beyond your discipline; socially-engaged research; developing budgets; using digital technologies and programming languages.


Leadership and Collaboration

Leading and collaborating with diverse teams; professionalism and ethics; innovation/entrepreneurship; project management; diversity and inclusion practices; global/intercultural fluency. 


Written and Verbal Communication

Writing and publishing; presenting to diverse audiences; demonstrating relevance and impact of your scholarship/research; establishing thought-leadership/content expertise.


Teaching and Mentoring

Teaching at the college level; mentoring undergraduates, early scholars, and peers. 


Career Management

Building professional relationships and connections; career decision-making; exploring options; using social media to establish a professional brand.


Personal Well-being and Effectiveness

Balancing personal/professional life; time management/organizational skills; managing stress; cultivating financial wellness.


What's Next

This fall, we will unveil a new GradFUTURES website to integrate professional development offerings in an easily accessible format that helps you keep track of your progress. A sample of new programs and initiatives includes:

  • Princeton GradFUTURES Fellows: experiential program for graduate students to explore an industry sector of their choice and gain project-based experience. 
  • Princeton GradFUTURES Industry Exploration Days: day-long site visits to expose graduate students to a wide range of organizations employing PhDs within the innovation ecosystem.
  • GradLEAD: Leadership, Action, Engagement and Development: leadership series wherein participants identify their core strengths using the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment and learn how to apply them in a variety of leadership settings. 
  • Dinners with the Dean: professional etiquette dinners to help you navigate conversations and build relationships with alumni and other special guests.
  • Crafting Your Digital Brand: workshops on leveraging social media to tell your story, demonstrate thought leadership and connect with alumni and professionals in your field.

We look forward to partnering with you in your professional development journey and to supporting you as you reach for your star -- and beyond! Stay tuned to the weekly GradFUTURES Professional Development newsletter for more information regarding upcoming events and announcements.