Tips for Grads: Continuing professional development over winter break

By Olivia Gacka, PhD Student

We are so close to winter break, I can feel it. And while I’m definitely looking forward to kicking back, catching up on my TV shows, and taking a well-deserved rest after a really strenuous semester, I’m also looking forward to taking some of the break to pursue professional development opportunities I put off as I got busier. Here are some tips for how to continue or kickstart your professional development journey this winter break:

  • Devise a strategy: For some of you, it’s more helpful to explore all the different facets of professional development, and try to work a little bit on everything. But for others, you may benefit from narrowing in on one to three, and really devoting time to making progress on those areas. Whatever your strategy, DiscoverPD can help you identify your weaker points, and then connect you to the best resources to help you improve.
  • Establish goals for the future: If you’re looking to make bigger moves and have a bigger impact on your professional development, take some time over the winter break to think about longer-term goals you have for 2023. Creating or editing your Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an excellent way to plan out bigger professional development milestones and formally incorporate them into this upcoming semester.
  • Keep your eyes peeled: The Office of Professional Development is working on something special to help graduate students connect with professional development opportunities throughout the month of January. We’ll release it in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout!

Tips for Grads is a professional and academic advice column written by graduate students for graduate students at UW­–Madison. It is published in the student newsletter, GradConnections Weekly.