“I have been having more and more conversations with graduate students about their desire for more professional development. My colleagues across campus were hearing the exact same thing, so that’s how this group came together to create this series,” said Brittany Wagner, director of graduate education. “We want our graduate students to feel confident going out into the world knowing they have the skills and experiences necessary to stand out. The GS3 series is just one way we can bring together graduate students from all disciplines to develop as professionals.”

Wagner and Beth Freeburg, Ph.D., associate provost and dean of the Graduate School, are collaborating with a team of faculty to develop the series: Julia Hellwege, Ph.D., associate professor of political sciences, Kyle Brouwer, Ph.D., professor of communication sciences and disorders, and Jewel Goodman Shepherd, Ph.D., associate dean of business graduate programs and associate professor of health services administration.

Thanks to support from a Women in Philanthropy grant, the program will feature six workshops throughout the 2023-2024 academic year. Workshop topics range from professionalism and job market materials to communication skills and networking, among other topics. Faculty and staff across campus were selected as speakers for the workshops.

“Students choose USD graduate programs because of our highly valued faculty and research,” said Freeburg. “The faculty-developed Graduate Student Success Series will help our students continue their success into their careers.”

In addition to the workshops, students will have access to an online platform Beyond Graduate School, which offers professional development courses, materials and resources for masters, professional and doctoral level students.

The GS3 program offers a digital badge for students who participate in and complete the assigned activities for at least six workshops – four must be GS3 workshops and the additional two can be from any approved USD professional development activity. To earn the badge, students must also complete at least two courses on the Beyond Graduate School online platform during their time of enrollment at USD.

Another resource available to students is a book edited by Hellwege titled, “Strategies for Navigating Graduate School and Beyond (APSA 2022).” Available for free online, the book has 69 chapters featuring over 150 contributors and offers advice on everything from applying to graduate school to entering the job market, with a special focus on mental health and well-being and students who have been historically underrepresented. While the book is written from a political science perspective, many topics translate well to other areas.

Learn more about the Graduate Student Success Series.

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