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


Feedback: What Am I Supposed to do With This?

Jan 22, 2020 | 2:30pm - 3:30pm | 538 Goodell

Do you enjoy feedback and criticism? Probably not, but a huge part of graduate and postdoctoral training is accepting and learning from feedback. This session will help you shift from a defensive position to a growth mindset and develop strategies to manage the anxiety associated with good, bad, and even just plain wrong feedback. 


Time Management Strategies

Jan 24, 2020 | 12:15pm - 1:15pm | 538 Goodell

Strong time management skills are a requirement for success. If you struggle with time management—or if you don’t—come to learn how you can do more in less time. Learn the systems and tips that can increase your productivity and leave you more time to enjoy life. Snacks will be provided; feel free to bring your lunch. 


Adopting a Growth Mindset

Feb 11, 2020 | 2:30pm - 3:30pm | 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. 


Neuroscience Tips to Make You More Successful

Feb 14, 2020 | 2:30pm - 3:30pm | 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