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


Feedback: What Am I Supposed to do With This?

- | Online with OPD!

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. 


Sprint or Marathon?: How to Go the Distance with Your Writing

- | Online with OPD!

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Pomodoro technique for short, productive writing stints, but are finding this doesn’t really work for you. Do you need longer stretches of time to make headway in your research and writing? This workshop is for anyone intrigued by the promise of “deep work” and looking to add a handful of slow productivity techniques to their repertoire.


Time Management Strategies

- | 538 Goodell, OPD Workspace

Strong time management skills are a requirement for success. If you struggle with time management—or if you don’t— learn how you can do more in less time. We will talk about systems and tips to increase your productivity and leave you more time to enjoy life. 


Adopting a Growth Mindset

- | Online with OPD!

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. 


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