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Future Smart

Graduate students talking at a networking event
What happens after graduate school?

Plan ahead with Future Smart: Essential Professional Skills for Graduate Students!

The Yeates School of Graduate Studies (YSGS) offers an extensive program of professional skill development for graduate students, free of charge.

Future Smart helps you develop essential skills to facilitate your studies, bolster your career search and support your post-university transition. Whether you are thinking about a future in academia, research or industry, Future Smart helps build a foundation of professional skills to launch you into your future career.

With an expansive selection of program partners across Ryerson and diverse program offerings, the Future Smart program will complement your grad degree and help you transition to the career you want!

Graphic of a light bulb with puzzle pieces inside.

Why Future Smart?

  • Future Smart is a value-added program to complement your graduate degree.
  • It’s free for all registered Ryerson graduate students.
  • Workshop units are available online or in-person.*
  • Complete the requirements before you graduate and receive a YSGS Future Smart Recognition of Completion and a notation on your transcript.

*Normally students may take a maximum of four offerings online; however, this maximum is currently waived due to COVID-19 restrictions.

How it works

Participants can choose between a variety of workshop units offered by our program partners under five skills categories and must complete a total of seven units.

Choose workshops from the following five categories:

  • Career Skills
  • Communication and Personal Effectiveness
  • Leadership and Social Innovation
  • Research and Information Management
  • Teaching and Presentation Skills

Choose workshops offered by our program partners for a total of seven units as follows:

  • 2 units from Communication and Personal Effectiveness
  • 1 unit from Career Skills
  • 1 unit from Teaching and Presentation Skills
  • 1 unit from Leadership and Social Innovation OR Research and Information Management
  • 2 units as electives from any category

YSGS and our program partners offer a variety of skills-development programming throughout the academic year. To complete the program, you must attend seven workshops (units) from four skills categories.

Please see the “Eligible Programs” tab or our Grad Event Calendar for Future Smart eligible workshops and events.

Career Skills

This category includes soft skills such as networking and business etiquette, and hard skills such as converting your C.V. to a resumé, work-search strategies and using social media and branding in your job search.

Communication and Personal Effectiveness

This category covers both oral and written communications, including a variety of interpersonal skills such as listening, assertiveness, influence, persuasion, empathy, diplomacy and non-verbal communication. Personal effectiveness also promotes self-awareness to evaluate strengths and weaknesses, self-reflection and setting appropriate personal and professional goals. It also includes topics covering personal well-being.

Leadership and Social Innovation  

Under this category, students can explore leadership and/or social innovation.

Leadership includes themes such as shared vision, emotional intelligence, managing change, handling conflict, negotiation, leadership styles, resilience, strengths, motivation, personal values, life purpose, leading self and more, helping students transform from scholars to scholars influencers. This category also includes mentoring.

Social innovation begins with recognizing the dignity and capacity for self-determination of people who have been impacted adversely by social structures and power. It then seeks novel and transformative solutions to social problems and conditions in partnership with those living in marginalized or disadvantaged circumstances. Students are encouraged to drive and lead change.

Research and Information Management

This category covers research, organizational and project management skills, and managing the environment in which research seeks, understands and adapts to new knowledge. Intellectual property issues and ethics fall under this category.

Teaching and Presentation Skills

This area covers classroom teaching, planning effective tutorials, group facilitation and any situation requiring an explanation of complex concepts related to a discipline. These workshops assist in the ability to provide clear and explicit instructions facilitating others’ understanding and learning.

The Future Smart program collaborates with a variety of skills-development providers across campus. Please view each program for workshops and events eligible for Future Smart.

Ryerson Career & Co-op Centre offers an extensive suite of workshops and events, external link to assist students with their career development, including webinars and online panels with recruiters. Please check the Career Centre Calendar, external link regularly for updates.

Graduate students can also book a personal 1:1 appointment with a career consultant and/or a resumé and online profile advisor. Graduate career advising is available.

Note: Please read workshop descriptions carefully to ensure they meet your individual graduate needs, as there are sessions for both undergraduate and graduate students and some for both. You may apply a maximum of one personal appointment to your Future Smart program.

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching promotes, guides and celebrates educational excellence through teaching development, curriculum enhancement and creative approaches to learning and teaching.

Note: TA/GAs who complete all four TA/GA workshops will earn a digital badge in Facilitating Remote Learning from CanCred, external link that can be added to LinkedIn profiles to demonstrate the outcomes achieved during these workshops.

The Graduate Leadership Institute is recognized and aligned with the Future Smart program under the “Leadership and Social Innovation” category. The leadership component explores themes such as shared vision, emotional intelligence, managing change, handling conflict, negotiation, leadership styles, resilience, strengths, motivation, personal values, life purpose, leading self and more, to help students transform from scholars to influencers.

To earn one unit for the “Leadership and Social Innovation” category, complete ONE of the following:

  1. Participate in two 45-minute GLI personal advising sessions by completing this google formContact Form, external link to schedule an appointment. If you are interested in earning a unit for your advising sessions, notify the director, who will email a confirmation of completion for your Future Smart file. Virtual appointments are available.
  2. Review three GLI videos. All videos can be found on the Leadership Matters Video Series page, on a variety of leadership themes, and complete the following google formAction Plan, external link for each video. You will receive an email confirmation of completion for your Future Smart file.
  3. Participate in a GLI leadership workshop or webinar, opens in new window.

International Student Support (ISS) works to foster a sense of belonging and community for all students who are new to Canada and those seeking a global experience on campus.

ISS welcomes and supports newcomers to Canada, helps them connect to Ryerson’s vibrant campus community, and supports them in reaching their academic, personal and professional goals.

The team of International Student Advisors are Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs). They can help through group immigration advising, drop-in hours and one-on-one personal development appointments.

Mitacs Training: Online
Note: All workshops will be online for 2021-22.

Mitacs Training, external link provides professional development training to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows across Canada — at no charge.

The Mitacs Training program offers an interactive learning environment with small class sizes facilitated by leading business and industry professionals. The workshops equip you with in-demand skills that help you meet deadlines, communicate your ideas and increase your employability.

Check the Mitacs training portal, external link to find upcoming workshops. These popular workshops fill up fast, so register early to secure a spot! Online courses are eligible for Future Smart credit (print the MITACS certificate of completion and attach it to your Future Smart passport).

Founded by the Provost and Vice-President Academic in 2016, the Office of Social Innovation (OSI) supports the advancement of social good and transformation. 

The Systems We Live In: Where We Are, How We Got Here & What’s Next, seminar series with Wayne Dunkley

Are you a graduate student wanting to improve your critical thought processes on socially challenging topics?

Register today for a three-part seminar series hosted by Wayne Dunkley, Visiting Lecturer at the Office of Social Innovation at X(Ryerson) University. The sessions will explore the priorities and research areas of Social Innovation & Leadership; systemic critiques, personal values, emotional intelligence, managing change and other critical components for unearthing new approaches to address society’s most pressing concerns. Graduate students who attend these sessions will be inspired to move from theory to praxis, applying this learning daily as leaders and change agents who reconfigure today to create a better tomorrow for us all.

Attendance in a minimum of two sessions is required for Future Smart eligibility. Dates, times and topics are listed below. 

Sessions: 

  • Session 1: Where We Are Now & How We Got Here - Tuesday, November 9, 2021, from 12 to 2 pm (ET): What factors, events and choices have contributed historically to where we are today societally?
  • Session 2:  Interpersonal and Systemic Othering - Tuesday, March 1, 2022, from 12 to 2 pm (EST): What are the things that keep us from realizing fair, equitable and just societies? Is it possible to envision different ways to navigate our relationships, personally, professionally, institutionally? 
  • Session 3: What’s Next? Tuesday, May 3, 2022, from 12 to 2 pm (EST): What would it look like if we re-imagined our society as a place that affirms and includes each person based on our own unique contributions? What values inform inclusive societies? What if we threw everything we know out and started all over? Personally? Societally?

The Ryerson University Library offers workshops on various topics throughout the year as well as individual appointments. Some workshops qualify for the Future Smart passport. See the Library’s online workshops schedule for upcoming events.

The Library’s FinLit series is a free financial literacy workshop series open to all Ryerson students. This series is on hold.

Student Learning Support (SLS) offers programs designed for graduate students to assist in developing graduate-focused academic skills:

  • individual assistance (a maximum of one session can apply to Future Smart)
  • workshops
  • group sessions
  • dissertation coaching
  • dissertation retreats
  • graduate write-a-thon
  • online resources

Note: "Writing Support" on the SLS website is geared toward undergraduate students. Please refer to "Graduate Student Support" for graduate student offerings. Not all offerings qualify for Future Smart.

Many YSGS events and workshops qualify for Future Smart. Please see upcoming events that apply to your passport.

You can apply other workshops, seminars and events towards your Future Smart passport. If your department or the university is offering a workshop that you would like to apply towards your Future Smart passport, please email l2mutic@ryerson.ca beforehand with details. If approved, you may apply the unit toward the completion of your passport.

Check back on this tab often, as it is updated periodically throughout the year. Bring your Future Smart passport to be signed at these events or attach the confirmation of attendance to your passport.

Past events 2019-2020

GRADTalks Spring 2020: It's Your Career—Take Charge!
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: March 10, 2020
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Jack Layton Leadership School (2-day event)
(Future Smart Categories: Communication & Personal Effectiveness; Leadership & Social Innovation)
When: February 20-21, 2020
Hosted by the Jack Layton Leadership School

GRAD Contests Awards Reception
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills-Networking)
When: Feb. 6, 2020
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

GRADTalks Fall 2019: Building Resilience
(Future Smart Category: Communication & Personal Effectiveness)
When: November 4, 2019
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

GRADShowcase 2019
(Future Smart Categories: various)
When: August 27, 2019
Co-sponsored by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Past events 2018-2019

GRADTalks Winter 2019: Leadership Skills—From Scholar to Influencer
(Future Smart Category: Communication & Personal Effectiveness)
When: February 28, 2019
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Jack Layton Leadership School (2-day event)
(Future Smart Category: Communication & Personal Effectiveness)
When: February 22-23, 2019
Hosted by the Jack Layton Leadership School

GRAD Contests Awards Reception
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills-Networking)
When: Feb. 7, 2019
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

PhD@Work: Maximize Your Career Readiness!
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: Jan. 31, 2019
Hosted by the Career & Co-op Centre and Faculty of Arts

Graduate Research and Writing Institute (1-day event)
(Future Smart Categories: Various)
When: Nov. 23, 2018
Hosted by Student Learning Support

GRADTalks Fall 2018: Communication Skills—Expressing Yourself
(Future Smart Categories: Communication & Personal Effectiveness; Career Skills)
When: October 17, 2018
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

GRADShowcase 2018
(Future Smart Categories: Various)
When: Aug. 28, 2018
Co-sponsored by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Past events 2017-2018

GRADTalks Winter 2018: Growing Your Network
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: March 1, 2018
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Community Transformation Café : Women's Leadership
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: 3 sessions: Feb. 27 / Mar. 6 / Mar. 13, 2018
Hosted by the Faculty of Community Services

GRAD Community Transformation Café Workshop
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills-Networking)
When: Feb. 15, 2018
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies and Faculty of Community Services

GRAD Contests Awards Reception
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills-Networking)
When: Feb. 6, 2018
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies and Office of Social Innovation

GRADTalks Fall 2017: Charting Your Career Journey
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: Oct. 17, 2017
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Graduate Wellness Workshop Series-Fall 2017
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, Student Learning Support and the Centre for Student Development and Counselling. (Future Smart Category: Communication & Personal Effectiveness)

  1. Finding Self-Confidence: Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
        When: Oct. 13, 2017   
  2. Postponing Procrastination
        When: Oct. 26, 2017    
  3. Thesis Anonymous
        Share challenges and learn tips in this one-off support group
        When: Nov. 10, 2017   

GRADShowcase 2017
(Future Smart Category: Various)
When: Aug. 29, 2017
Co-sponsored by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Past events 2016-2017

Graduate Wellness Workshop Series
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, Student Learning Support and the Centre for Student Development and Counselling. (Future Smart Category: Communication and Personal Effectiveness)

  1. Balancing Healthy Relationships and Graduate School: Learning how to manage conflict in your relationship
        When: Friday, March 3, 2017
  2. Finding Self-Confidence: Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
         When: Friday, March 17, 2017
  3.  Revitalizing your Graduate Experience: Managing your time and energy better
         When: Friday, April 7, 2017

GRADTalks Winter 2017: Achieving GRAD Balance
(Future Smart Category: Communication and Personal Effectiveness)
When: Feb. 28, 2017
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Get Going Workshops
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, Student Learning Support and the Centre for Student Development and Counselling. (Future Smart Category: Communication and Personal Effectiveness)

    1. Fueling Up: Stress, Sleep and Emotional Well-Being
          When: Monday, November 21, 2016
     2. Get Talking: Managing Stress Effectively
           When: Tuesday, November 8, 2016
     3. Postpone Procrastination Workshop
           When: Oct. 27, 2016

GRADTalks Fall 2016: Professional Skills: Tools for Success after Grad School
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: Oct. 25, 2016
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Past events 2015-2016

Build a Career with LinkedIn
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: May 26, 2016
Co-hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies and the Ryerson Career Centre

Grad Day at the Digital Media Experience Lab
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: April 7, 2016
Co-hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies and the Ryerson Library

Graduate Write-a-Thon (SLS)
(Future Smart Category: various)
When: April 15, 2016

GRADTalks Winter 2016: Beyond the PhD: Career Pathways for Graduate Success
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: Feb. 24, 2016
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Imagining Canada's Future Video Launch
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills/Networking)
When: Nov. 24, 2015
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

GRADTalks Fall 2015: Secrets of a Successful Student-Supervisor Relationship
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: Oct. 27, 2015
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

GRADCafé and Open House
(FutureSmart Category: Career Skills/Networking)
When: Sep. 15, 2015
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Past events 2014-2015

RA Training Workshop
(Future Smart Category: Research and Information Management)
When: November 20-21, 2014
 
Stress: Surviving to Thriving Workshop
(Future Smart Category: Communication and Personal Effectiveness)
When: Tuesday, November 11, 2014
 
KM/KT Workshop Series: Using Media for Knowledge Dissemination
(Future Smart Category: Research & Information Management/Career Skills)
When: Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014
 
RU a Leader? Student Leadership Conference, Fall 2014
(Future Smart category: Communication and Personal Effectiveness)
Dates: October 24-25, 2014
 
Tacos and Trademarks
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014
 
Book Publishing Workshop
(Future Smart category: Career Skills)
When: Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

Q - How can Future Smart help my graduate journey?

The program complements your graduate degree and can help facilitate your studies, career search, post-university transition and success in your future career, whether you are considering academic, research or industry employment.

Q - How do I register for Future Smart?

Register using the google formonline form, external link and print your Future Smart passport. Bring your passport to be signed when you attend a workshop provided by one of our program providers. Once you have attended seven workshops (from four skills categories), you will receive a document of completion and a notation on your transcript.

Note: some units are offered online as well. Print out the certificate of completion for online courses and attach it to your passport.

Q - Am I eligible for the Future Smart program?

Future Smart is open to all enrolled graduate students at Ryerson University.

Q - I don’t have a passport yet. Where can I find it?

The passport document is available for download on the registration form. If you have not received it, please contact Leslie Mutic at l2mutic@ryerson.ca.

Q - When will my notation appear on my transcript?

Please contact Leslie Mutic at l2mutic@ryerson.ca if you have not received your notation.

Q - How long do I have to complete the Future Smart program?

Students must complete the Future Smart program prior to graduation.

Q - What workshops are eligible for Future Smart?

Please see the “Eligible Programs” tab for upcoming events that are eligible for Future Smart. Contact Leslie Mutic at l2mutic@ryerson.ca if you are unsure.

Questions? For more information contact:

Leslie Mutic
Yeates School of Graduate Studies
Ryerson University
l2mutic@ryerson.ca