Personal Development

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).

Caroline Ladlow

I justified attending the workshops because I knew that going to a specific session was more efficient than me trying to figure it out on my own. I love learning by talking to people and having a resource there to help me tackle these big scary processes has been really comforting, efficient and beneficial. It’s always nice to know that you’re part of a community.

Caroline Ladlow (PhD student, Geosciences)

Upcoming Events


Building a Mentoring Network

Sep 19, 2019 | 10:00am - 11:15am | 538 Goodell

Research has shown that mentors play a vital role in future career success, but how do you go about finding mentors? What are the differences between mentors, sponsors, and advisors? This session will help participants understand these roles and provide tips for building successful mentoring relationships. 


Adopting a Growth Mindset

Sep 26, 2019 | 10:30am - 11:15am | 538 Goodell

Do you take failure hard? We all do, but the most successful scholars view failure as an opportunity. Learn how to grow from setbacks by adopting a growth mindset. While a fixed mindset tells us that we cannot improve, a growth mindset makes failure easier to bear and sets us up for success. 


Setting SMART Goals

Oct 2, 2019 | 2:30pm - 3:15pm | 538 Goodell

Setting the right goal makes life easier and you more productive! Learn the framework used by some of the most productive researchers and business leaders. The SMART goal framework teaches us how to set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound goals. With goals that you can actually achieve, you will get more done and be happier, come learn how! 


Neuroscience Tips to Make You More Successful

Oct 16, 2019 | 2:30pm - 3:15pm | 538 Goodell

The human brain is amazing! It is also full of cognitive biases that constantly get in our way. Learn how to manage your own brain and get the most out of it, since it didn’t come with a user manual. We’ll cover the most recent neuroscience findings and how we can apply them to our own lives. 


Additional Resources

  • The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), is an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community for faculty members, post doctoral students, and graduate students. UMass is an institutional member so all affiliated graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff can create a free account.


Contact us for more information on OPD’s Personal Development workshops and assistance.

OPD workshop participants in discussion