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 (alum, Geosciences)

Upcoming Events


Getting the Most from Your Reading

- | Online with OPD!

A lot of your time is spent reading. Is your reading productive? Learn to read quickly and effectively. Keep track of your reading and keep up with your ever-expanding field. We’ll share tips from the pros and talk about software that makes it easier to keep up and stay organized.


The Art of Introducing Yourself

- | Online with OPD!

Whether hoping to meet people in your department, impress faculty, or survive a conference networking event, many of us dread the process of introducing ourselves. But the first step in building successful relationships is making yourself visible. This workshop offers two parts: Part 1 (12:00-1:00pm) will demystify the process to help you introduce yourself with confidence. Part 2 (1:00-1:15pm) will provide an opportunity to practice with peers and get feedback. Plan to come for part 1 and we hope you can stay for part 2!


Building a Mentoring Network

- | Online with OPD!

Research has shown that mentors play a vital role in future career success, but how do you know what mentors you even need? 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. 


Managing Procrastination

- | 538 Goodell, OPD Workspace

Even with our best intentions, we often put off doing the things we need to do. Why does this happen and what can we do about it? Come learn about the science of procrastination and concrete strategies to move past procrastination into productivity. 


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