Your graduate program gives you the content expertise for your career – but where will you learn how to become a strong leader, memorable communicator, creative innovator, and well-rounded person who succeeds?  In the Personal and Professional Development workshops you will explore what it means to be a leader in your profession, develop your personal brand, build your professional network, manage stress and time, and communicate effectively.

Graduate Students – Come join us for these engaging, interactive workshops that will equip you with the tools you need to be a success!

Spring 2014 Seminars


PFL On Demand workshops and seminars are available 24/7 to fit the schedules of busy graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. No registration required!

How Business Ideas are Born
Mr. Marshall Brain, founder of HowStuffWorks.com

How to Handle a Phone Interview Part 1
The PFL Team

The Informational Interview
Dr. Rhonda Sutton

Preparing for the Job Interview
Dr. Rhonda Sutton

Writing an Effective Cover Letter
Dr. Rhonda Sutton

Writing an Effective Research Statement
Dr. Rhonda Sutton

Writing Federal Research Proposals
Ms. Jaine Place, Director, Proposal Development Unit


Spring 2014 In-Person Workshops

PDS: Beyond Networking: Navigating LinkedIn
Leaders: Jenna Hartwell
Location:  Tuesday 1/21 in 
Witherspoon 201
Time:  10:00 – 11:30

Are you interested in creating and maintaining a professional online presence?  Leveraging LinkedIn to grow your network?  Then come join us for this hands-on workshop where you will create a Linkedin account, grow your network, and learn to leverage it for your career goals.

PDS: Communicating Your Value: Resumes, CVs, & Cover Letters
Leaders: Dr. Woody Catoe, Career Development Center
Location:  Tuesday 1/21 in 
Witherspoon 201
Time:  12:00 – 1:30

Resumes, CVs, and letters play a strategic function in the job search process with the primary goal being: Get An Interview. Poorly written documents can be a barrier to making this happen. This workshop will show you how to represent your skills, strengths and abilities as well as the potential value you have to offer an employer. Time will not allow for individual resume critiques in this workshop, but information will be provided that can significantly improve your resume. Individual appointments can be made with your career professional in the Career Development Center.

PDS: Leveraging Your Postdoc: A Gatway to Your Career
Leaders: Dr. Nisha Cavanaugh
Location:  Thursday, 1/23 in 
Witherspoon 201
Time:  12:00 – 2:00

Often postdoc positions are viewed as the “last resort,” but the benefits and unique opportunities a postdoc position offers will prepare you for your career. In this workshop, participants will explore the various types of postdoc positions and postdoc fellowship options available to them, while identifying their own professional and personal goals. This new knowledge will help you to formulate a plan and get the most out of your postdoc.

PDS / OPA: How To Avoid Self-Sabotage and Win at Salary Negotiations
Leaders: Dara Wilson-Grant
Location:  Tuesday, 1/28 in 
Witherspoon 201
Time:  10:00 – 12:00

Let’s face it, for most of us, the negotiation process is one of the most stressful parts of the job search. Not long after the initial excitement of receiving an offer comes panic followed by dread. Do I negotiate for more money and risk seeming pushy or ungrateful? Will I lose this opportunity if I negotiate for too much? What should I ask for? If one or more of these thoughts swirl through your head when you think about salary negotiations, you are not alone! This workshop is a step-by-step guide to navigating the negotiation process, especially when it comes to managing your emotions.

 ***Please Note***: This event is open to both postdoctoral scholars and graduate students, and it is co-sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) and the Professional Development Series (PDS) for graduate students.

PDS: Care and Maintenance of a Good Mentor Relationship
Leaders: Dr. Beth Overman & Dr. Beverly Savinsky
Location:  Thursday, 2/6 in 
Witherspoon 201
Time:  1:30 – 3:30

The student-mentor relationship in graduate school is incredibly powerful, and having a strong relationship with your mentor can dramatically improve your success in graduate school.  In this workshop, we’ll use case studies to analyze the best practices in communication and partnership with your mentor, discuss the pitfalls of mentoring relationships, and develop a plan of action for establishing and maintaining a healthy mentor relationship.

PDS: Healthy Cooking Minus the Stress – Nutrition on a Graduate Student Budget
Leaders: Natalie Cooke
Location:  Thursday, 2/20 in 
Witherspoon 126 
Time:  4:30 – 7:00

Is cooking something you enjoy or is it a burden? Do you want to eat healthier but you think it’s too expensive on a graduate student budget? This self-care workshop will take a hands-on  approach to learning what healthy means and how you can cook delicious recipes on a budget.

PDS: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words (Part 1)
Leaders: Jennifer Dixon
Location:  Tuesday, 3/4 in 
Witherspoon 201
Time:  4:30 – 6:30

PDS / FIT / RCR / OPA:   How to Feel as Bright and Capable as They “Think” You Are: Why Smart People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How You Can Thrive In Spite of It
Leaders: Dr. Valerie Young
Location:  Wednesday, March 5th in Talley Student Center (Mountains) Ballroom 

Time:  10:00 – 11:00 

Do you secretly worry that others will find out you’re not as intelligent and competent as they seem to think you are? Do you often dismiss your accomplishments as a “fluke” or “no big deal?” Do you think, “If I can do it, anyone can”? Do you sometimes shy away from taking on even greater challenges because of nagging self-doubt? Join us as we welcome Dr. Valerie Young, internationally known speaker and author, as she leads this engaging workshop.  You’ll walk away with practical strategies for interrupting the Impostor Syndrome that you can start using immediately!

PDS: The Impostor Syndrome Follow-Up
Leaders: Antonio Bush and Dr. Barbi Honeycutt
Location:  Wednesday, March 5th in 
Witherspoon 201
Time:  2:00 – 4:00

PDS: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words (Part 2)
Leaders: Jennifer Dixon
Location:  Tuesday March 18th, location Witherspoon 126

Time:  4:30 – 6:00

PDS: Leading with Care – Recognizing and Responding to Emotional Distress in Others
Leaders: Angel Bowers, NC State Counseling Center
Location:  Wednesday March 19th, location Witherspoon 201

Time:  12:00-2:00pm

North Carolina State University Counseling Center has joined over 160 colleges and universities in offering QPR, a community-based, nationally-recognized and empirically-based suicide prevention program to our campus.   QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer.  QPR is a brief training program for students, faculty and staff that focuses on getting a distressed student or friend connected for additional support or referred for professional help.  This is a vital training for anyone interested in leading, teaching, managing, or working with others.

PDS: Stress Management: Balance Through Creativity
Leaders: Dr. Beth Overman & Dr. Beverly Savinsky
Location:  Monday, March 24th in the Health Center, Room 2301
Time:  11:00 – 1:00

The world of graduate school can be overwhelming and stressful.  Come join us as we explore the physiologic reasons for stress, compare different responses to stress, set goals to handle stress in a healthy way, and practice some stress-reducing techniques.

OPA/PDS: Fundamentals of graphic design for scientific presentations 
Leader: Lidia Churakova (Animation and New Media Designer, Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA) at NCSU) 
Date: Monday, March 24 , 2014
Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm 
Location: Witherspoon 201

Researchers are expected to give PowerPoint and poster presentations to effectively communicate their data and results in seminars, at conferences, and in the classroom. Please join Lidia Churakova, Animation and New Media Designer for Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA) at NCSU, as she uses her expertise to demonstrate ways to visually enhance your presentations. Participants are encouraged to bring their own presentation slides, receive hands-on training, and receive feedback on how to improve their images!

PDS: Practices That Foster a Values-based Approach When Leading Others

Leaders: Dr. Debbie Acker & Dr. Myra Moses
Location:  Friday, March 28th, Carmichael Gym Playzone

Time:  10:00 – 11:30 

During this session, participants will gain a greater understanding of their strengths within five practices of leadership that has been researched by Barry Posner and Jim Kouzes since 1982. After completing the survey, participants will engage in a group activity to analyze how the five practices enhanced the effectiveness for completing the task. Discussion of this activity will address issues the group had while completing the task. Participants will be encouraged to connect the five practices to past experiences, as well as how they can be incorporate the practices within their daily lives in the future.

PDS:  Priceless: Understanding Personal Values within Leadership
Leaders: Dr. Debbie Acker & Dr. Myra Moses
Location:  Friday, March 28th, Carmichael Gym Playzone

Time:  12:00 – 1:30 

When leading, it is important for organizations to know and communicate their core values. During this session, participants will be informed of what the Shelton Leadership Center’s cornerstones (values) are and how its leadership aspires to “walk the talk”. However, in order to walk the talk, an organization’s employees need to have an understanding of their personal values in order to align with the organization’s values. Through an activity, participants will narrow down their top five core values from an original 40 values provided to them. Discussion will seek to compare and contrast how values and the five practices enhance self, as well as group effectiveness.

PDS:  Conflict Management
Leaders: Dr. Debbie Acker & Dr. Myra Moses
Location:  Friday, March 28th, Carmichael Gym Playzone

Time:  2:00 – 4:00 

Some people probably think it doesn’t really matter “what the fox says.” However, when it comes to dealing with conflict, it might be helpful to know what a “Compromising Fox” might say and do. This session will help you explore your “natural” style of dealing with conflict and how you might be able to incorporate aspects of other styles in different situations to become better at resolving, avoiding, or even engaging appropriately in conflict.

You will learn if your default conflict management style is: Accommodating, Avoiding, Collaborating, Competing, or Compromising. The session will help you analyze aspects of conflict through participation in an interactive conflict simulation and follow-up discussion. The discussion will help you explore how your conflict management styles impacts real-world conflicts you encounter and appropriate strategies to use.