About OPD Workshops!
What can you learn at an OPD workshop?
OPD facilitators (Bryan, Heidi, Pat, Shana, and Johanna) present 400+ professional development workshops each year for graduate students and postdocs! Our workshops are in five different competency areas:
Career Preparation: OPD helps graduate students and postdocs plan and prepare for careers beyond UMass Amherst—and it’s never too early to start! We organize numerous events and activities to help you assess your values, skills, and interests; explore career paths; build professional networks; and navigate the job application process. Our OPD alums enjoy rewarding, impactful careers in academic, industry, government and non-profit organizations.
Communication: The ability to effectively communicate your research to a variety of audiences is an essential professional skill. From building healthy writing habits to preparing for conferences to dissertation writing retreats, OPD helps students and postdocs improve their writing and presenting skills through a variety of programs offered throughout the year.
Grants & Fellowships: Competitive external grants and fellowships provide valuable financial support, and the prestige associated with these awards can boost the career of graduate students and postdocs. Events offered by OPD teach graduate students and postdocs tips and tools to strategically search for relevant funding and help participants craft competitive, cohesive funding proposals.
Personal Development: Graduate school and postdoctoral training are both rewarding and challenging, and everyone needs support to make their time productive and positive. OPD offers programs to support resiliency, increase productivity, and strengthen interpersonal skills in a supportive, peer-based environment. Programs help you develop self-awareness, learn new strategies (time management, negotiation), engage others (mentors, networks), and overcome challenges (imposter syndrome, perfectionism, conflict resolution).
Teaching: Many of our graduate students and postdocs serve the UMass community in the classroom and in the laboratory, as teaching assistants and solo instructors. In addition to supporting those teaching right now, OPD also helps prepare graduate students and postdocs for careers as teachers in higher education.