Students ride through Madison on a bike tour during the Graduate Student Welcome Week.

Welcome Week 2013 included a bike tour throughout the city of Madison

Graduate Student Welcome Week

Each fall the Graduate School offers a line-up of events during the week before classes begin to welcome and help acclimate new graduate students to campus.

This fall, the New Graduate Student Welcome will be held on Wednesday, August 26th. An email invitation with registration link will be sent to each newly admitted grad student at the end of July. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to mingle with Graduate School deans and staff, hear from a panel of current students about grad student life, attend informative workshops, learn about the many resources available to you, and meet other new students.

See details about all Welcome Week events for new graduate students below.

The Enjoyment of Employment: Finding the Right Workplace Culture
Presented by Doug Kalish, Ph.D.
Monday, August 24, 2015
Time: 4:00-5:30 pm, with reception to follow from 5:30-6:30 pm
3650 Mosse Humanities Building
*This event is open to the entire campus community
Register here

Whether you are considering an academic or non-academic career after graduate school or your postdoc, you’ll want to find a place where you are happy.  Are you aware of the different kinds of workplace cultures you’ll encounter? People look for different things in a job: one person might want to change the world, while another just wants a paycheck. Matching your work personality to the culture of the organization is one of the prime factors in workplace happiness. In this workshop you’ll assess your workplace personality which we will then match against different work environments to see what kinds of organizations are compatible with your work style. We’ll end with a checklist and timeline for starting your job search so that you’ll be fully prepared when the time comes.

Before the workshop, go to, take the personality assessment and bring the results with you.

Doug Kalish is a Visiting Scholar at UC-Berkeley, with a Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard and more than 30 years of management experience. He’s been a founder or early executive in four startups, as well as being Managing Partner of the Price Waterhouse World Technology Centre and Chief Knowledge Officer at Scient. He has advised the IT and biotechnology industries on issues from knowledge and content management to collaboration and conflict resolution. Having navigated the switch to a nonacademic career, he devotes his time to helping students make the transition from academia to the business world, and maintains an extensive set of free resources at

If you are a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow interested in a career in Biotech or Pharma, you are invited to attend an additional presentation by Dr. Kalish:

Careers in Drug Development: What to Expect in Biotech
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
9:30-10:30 am
1111 Genetics-Biotechnology Center Building
Register Here

The number of job opportunities for Ph.D.s in Biotech and Pharma dwarfs the academic job market.  Are you aware of these opportunities, and more importantly, of the differences between academic research and drug development?  Dr. Doug Kalish, entrepreneur and educator, will describe the drug development process and enumerate the roles that STEM Ph.D.s can play.  He’ll also detail the realities of working in a non-academic environment and introduce you to the different types of business cultures you will encounter.  Finally, he’ll focus on what life is like at a biotech startup – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  This workshop can help you make the decision to pursue a pharma or biotech career and give you vital insights into how the industry works.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Meeting Point: UW Bicycle Resource Center at Helen C. White Hall
Sponsored in part by Madison B-Cycle and the Wisconsin Bike Federation

Registration is now full. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, sign up here

Get to know Madison with a guided bike tour around campus and downtown! We will meet at the UW Bike Resource Center before the ride begins for a quick overview of bike safety provided by members of the UW Transportation Bike/Ped Sub-Committee. Several bike enthusiasts will be joining us for the ride, so there will be plenty of opportunities to speak with a bike specialist about maintenance, saftey, and local resources. The ride will be at a leisurely pace suitable for all biking abilities. Route details forthcoming.

Due to liability issues, you must bring your own bike and helmet. Don’t have a bike in Madison yet? Consider borrowing a free bike from Madison’s Red Bike Project, or renting from one of Madison’s many bike shops, or Madison B-Cycle.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
4:00 – 5:30 pm
B1144A Biochemistry Building
Presented by UW-Madison Software Training for Students (STS)
Space is limited. Register here.

Looking for great software and apps to help you get off to a streamlined start in graduate school? Join STS trainers as they share tips, tricks, and tools to help keep yourself organized, increase your productivity, and decrease your stress. Cool Tools covers a multitude of programs, from file organizers to annotation software, from note-taking tools to tools-on-the-go, and more! Workshop will include both tablet and desktop applications. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
11:15 am – 2:30 pm; reception from 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Union South, 2nd Floor
Register here

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from a panel of current students about grad student life, learn about the many campus and community resources available to you, mingle with Graduate School deans and staff, and meet other new graduate students from across campus. For more information and the full schedule, visit the New Graduate Student Welcome webpage. Registration link will be sent to all newly admitted grad students in late July. We look forward to welcoming you to the University of Wisconsin-Madison!

Thursday, August 27, 2015
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Lake Mendota Room, Dejope Residence Hall

The Multicultural Graduate Network (MGN) is part of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Funding at the Graduate School. The MGN Welcome Celebration provides an opportunity to meet new and current graduate students within a multicultural context and learn about resources for underrepresented students on campus. Food and entertainment provided! Registration is required, and the link will be sent to all newly admitted grad students in late July.

Friday, August 28, 2015
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Brocach Irish Pub, 7 West Main Street 
Register here

This event is co-sponsored by the Graduate School Office of Professional Development and Madison Magnet, a membership-based young professionals group focusing on community involvement, professional development, and social networking.

For both new and current graduate students: Join fellow students from across campus for an informal Welcome Social! 


Office of Human Resources Benefit Services

In addition to the events described in the tabs above, the Office of Human Resources Benefit Services will be offering several Benefits Seminars and Drop-In sessions for new graduate students during Welcome Week. If you have a graduate assistantship (Teaching Assistantship, Project Assistantship, Research Assistantship or Fellowship), please refer to their office for information and deadlines regarding your health plan application.  The Graduate Assistants Benefits Seminar & Drop-in Sessions website provides more information.