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Future Smart: Essential Professional Skills for Graduate Students

What happens after graduate school?

A student looks at a friend during class
Plan ahead with Future Smart!

Future Smart

The Yeates School of Graduate Studies offers a extensive program of professional skill development for graduate students, free of charge.

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

**NOTE: ONLINE OPTIONS AVAILABLE SPRING/SUMMER 2020

About the program

The Yeates School of Graduate Studies, in partnership with a variety of skill-development providers, offers Future Smart: Essential Professional Skills for Graduate Students. The program helps you develop essential skills that will facilitate your studies, career search, post-university transition, and success in your future career, whether you are thinking about academia, research or non-academic employment.

What you need to know

  • Future Smart is a value-added program to complement your graduate degree.
  • It’s free to all registered Ryerson graduate students.
  • Online units: normally a maximum of four offerings may be taken online but this maximum is waived while Ryerson campus is closed due to COVID-19.
  • Upon successful program completion, you will receive the YSGS Future Smart Recognition of Completion document and a notation on your transcript.
  • The Future Smart program must be completed prior to graduation.

How it works

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

Participants choose workshops offered by our program partners under the five categories and must complete 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

Contact Information

For more information:
Leslie Mutic
Yeates School of Graduate Studies
Ryerson University
Email: l2mutic@ryerson.ca, opens in new window 

How to register

Step 1:  Complete the online registration form found HERE, external link, opens in new window. Use your ryerson.ca email address. Please note, as this is a Google Doc form, using Chrome to complete this form will ensure the passport will be accessible.   

Step 2:  Print the passport (from the link on the registration confirmation). Enter the date of registration on your passport.

Step 3:  You can take workshops (online or in-person) from any of our program partners (see 'Programs' tab). Register for a workshop and have the instructor sign your passport. For online modules, attach proof of completion to your passport.

Step 4:  Once you have completed seven workshops with signatures for each workshop (no more than four workshops from any one program partner), submit your completed passport to YSGS by email (a clear scanned copy), or drop off the original (keeping a copy for yourself) to 1 Dundas St. West, 11th floor, Attention: Leslie Mutic, Future Smart Passport.

Step 5:  You will be notified once your passport has been verified and you will be issued a YSGS Future Smart Recognition of Completion document and a notation will be made on your transcript.

Program partners

Ryerson Career & Co-op Centre

**NOTE FOR SPRING / SUMMER 2020

The Career & Co-op Centre is now offering its services virtually to students. In addition to 1:1 appointments, this includes webinars and online panels with recruiters.

MAY:

Job Search & Networking - Webinar for Grad Students

Presented by YSGS and the Career and Co-op Centre.

Date: Thursday, May 21, 2020

Description: Networking and making professional connections can be intimidating during the best of times, but how do you do that during the COVID-19 crisis? Join our live webinar where you can ask your questions!

Topics covered will include: 

  • Diversifying your job search strategies
  • Preparing for networking conversations
  • Best practices for preparing virtual informational interviews
  • Establishing and maintaining professional connections virtually
  • Useful LinkedIn functions to support your networking

This webinar qualifies for Future Smart.

__________________________________________________

JUNE:

Ace the Virtual Interview - Webinar for Grad Students

Presented by YSGA and the Ryerson Career and Co-op Centre.

Date: Thursday, June 4, 2020

Time:  1:00-2:30 PM

Where: Zoom (link will be provided before webinar) 

Description: Not sure how to prepare for an interview in a virtual format? Have an upcoming interview? Join our interactive live webinar where you can ask questions!

Topics to be covered include: 

  • Interview types
  • Best practices for preparing your technology
  • Strategies for responding effectively to behavioural-based questions
  • How to handle inappropriate questions
  • Best practices on how to follow up after an interview

This webinar qualifies for Future Smart.

REGISTER, external link, opens in new window

 

The Career Centre, opens in new window offers an extensive program of workshops and events, external link, opens in new window to assist students with their career development. You can also book a personal 1:1 appointment, opens in new window with a career consultant and/or a resume and online profile advisor. Please also check the Career Centre Calendar, external link, opens in new window regularly for updates.

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

Career Centre Calendar, external link, opens in new window

Student Learning Support (SLS)

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

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

*Please note that "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. 

SLS website: https://www.ryerson.ca/studentlearningsupport/graduate-student-support/, opens in new window

Location: in the Student Learning Centre, 4th floor, 341 Yonge St. (at Gould)

Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

**NOTE: The TA/GA Workshop Series will be offered online in April/May. Check for updates at: https://hr.apps.ccs.ryerson.ca/lec/public/event/1157., opens in new window

Graduate Teaching Development Program for Spring/Summer:

CILT 100 - Learning and Teaching in Higher Education I   

This course is being transitioned to online delivery for Spring/Summer. Details and a registration link are below:

Instructor: Lesley Zannella

Date & Time: Thursdays, May 14th - Jun 18th

Time: 1:00-4:00pm

Register now:  https://forms.gle/eFswLpTbzJhvauzH9, external link, opens in new window

Ryerson's Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching offers professional development, and a learning and teaching workshop series (https://www.ryerson.ca/lt/taga/workshop/), opens in new window throughout the year, open to all TAs, GAs and interested graduate students.

Website: https://www.ryerson.ca/lt/, opens in new window

Graduate Leadership Institute (GLI)

Graduate Leadership Institute website, opens in new window

**NOTE:  ONLINE OPTIONS AVAILABLE

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, with the aim to help students transform from scholars to influencers.

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

 

MAY ONLINE WORKSHOP:

Leadership in Uncertainty

We live in a constantly changing and unpredictable environment. From global pandemics to other life uncertainties, graduate students need to adapt accordingly. In this virtual, interactive roundtable session, you will dialogue with your peers about the importance of defining reality and retaining faith that you will prevail through uncertain times.

Pre-session assignment: preview the following Leadership Matters video prior to the session:  https://youtu.be/6qtt1m9y1MI, external link, opens in new window

DATE: Wednesday, May 13, 2020

 

JUNE ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Resilience in Adversity

Graduate students face many adversities, from academic stresses, to personal challenges, to the COVID-19 crisis. It is paramount for students to remain resilient in the face of these various pressures.

In this virtual, interactive roundtable session, you will participate with your peers in discussion about resilience strategies to help you persevere through life’s adversities.

Pre-session assignment: preview the following Leadership Matters video prior to the session: https://youtu.be/3nO2yGfP-yM, external link, opens in new window

DATE: Friday, June 5, 2020

TIME: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

FORMAT: Zoom

REGISTER, external link, opens in new window

 

Office of Social Innovation (OSI)

Office of Social Innovation, opens in new window

Founded under the auspices of the Provost and Vice-President Academic in 2016, the Office of Social Innovation (OSI) was created in response to the growth of social innovation initiatives for students and to support the advancement of social good.  

New Seminar Series for Graduate Students for 2019-2020

This series qualifies for Future Smart, opens in new window. Bring your passport to be signed.

The Office of Social Innovation, in partnership with the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, is excited to present a unique seminar series in social innovation: Mobilizing Graduate Scholarship for Social Change.

Social innovation is a centre point of Ryerson’s mission and vision and while it is a phrase that has been used to name a number of things, in this seminar series we understand social innovation to hold a commitment to social justice and social change. That means recognizing how social problems are rooted in institutionalized values and ideas, practices and structures, entrenched advantage and disadvantage. Social change can happen at many levels, by engaged individuals, groups, organizations and communities, or through changes in beliefs, practices, policies and laws. What is fundamental to achieving change at every one of these levels is the compelling need for good scholarship.  

This seminar series for graduate students is directed by leading social innovators on the Ryerson campus. For graduate students with interdisciplinary curiosity and imagination, the learning opportunities reside in recognizing new possibilities for your graduate-level scholarship specific to socially innovative purposes; exploring new potential collaborations with other participants; and expanding your understanding of interdisciplinary scholarship and research. 

Mobilizing Graduate Scholarship for Social Change Series 

1)   What is Social Innovation?

  • Dr. Melanie Panitch, Executive Director, Office of Social Innovation

Date: Friday, September 27, 2019

 

2) Ryerson's University Library Collaboratory: Incubating Interdisciplinary Scholarship 

Date: Friday, October 25, 2019 

 

3) Exploring Arts for Social Transformation 

  • Dr. Ken Moffatt, Jack Layton Chair, Professor, School of Social Work

Date: February 5, 2020 

 

4) Doing Social Innovation Where You Don't Belong

  • Dr. Kiaras Gharabaghi, John C. Eaton Chair in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Director, School of Child and Youth Care

Date: March 3, 2020

     

       

Ryerson Library

The Ryerson University Library and Archives also offers Research Skills Workshops, opens in new window and individual appointments, opens in new window throughout the year. Some qualify for the Future Smart passport.

Familiarity with journal ranking is recommended for graduate students who will be writing a thesis or MRP. The library offers a graduate-student workshop on this topic: Advanced Library Research Methods/Journal Rankings Deconstructed, opens in new window. NOTE: This advanced workshop is for graduate students only. Students should be familiar with database searching techniques before registering, or attend the workshop, Navigating the Library’s Electronic Resources in advance.

Library Workshops Schedule, opens in new window

 

**NEW WORKSHOP FOR WINTER 2020*

Research Profile Development Workshop for Graduate Students

Do you want to enhance your online research profile? Are you planning to apply for a research grant or a job, or want to be ready when you do?

Research profile development is an important part of modern scholarship, for applying to jobs and grants as well as submitting papers for publication. Online profiles can aid in mobilizing your research and accomplishments so others can easily find them.

  • Guest speaker Philip Mai from the Social Media Lab will discuss the importance of online research profiles.
  • Learn how to populate both your research ID using ORCID and an online research profile using Google Scholar in a hands-on workshop with Ryerson University librarians (bring your laptop).    

DATE: March 12, 2020

Financial Literacy Workshop Series (FinLit)

Future Smart category: personal effectiveness

Ryerson University Library is pleased to offer the FinLit, opens in new window series, a free financial literacy workshop series open to all Ryerson students.

Do you know what credit ratings are? Can’t figure out which bank account is best for you?

There’s no doubt about it – tuition, budgeting and personal finances can be intimidating. The reality is that the more you know and the sooner you know it, the better you’ll be able to understand your own personal finances and prepare for your future.  

This series will resume in Fall 2020.

 

Mitacs Training

**NOTE: ONLINE OPTIONS AVAILABLE

Mitacs Training, external link, opens in new window 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.

They are offered throughout the year, with several workshops offered online. Check the Mitacs training portal, external link, opens in new window to find upcoming workshops. These popular workshops fill up fast, so register early to secure a spot! Online courses are also eligible for Future Smart credit (print the certificate of completion and attach it to your Future Smart passport).

ONLINE WORKSHOPS

https://www.mitacs.ca/en/programs/training/training-workshops, external link, opens in new window

To regsiter in these free workshops, create an account on EDGE, external link, opens in new window. Once you have logged in, you can secure you seat by registering for it on this link, external link, opens in new window.

Special Topics

You can apply other workshops/seminars/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, opens in new window beforehand with the details. If approved, you may apply the unit toward completion of your passport.

Also check the Special Topics tab on this website frequently as it is updated throughout the year.

Skills categories

Career Skills

This category includes soft skills such as networking and business etiquette, and hard skills such as converting your CV 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, and diplomacy and non-verbal communication. Personal effectiveness also promotes self-awareness to assist in evaluating 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, with the goal of helping students transform from scholars to influencers.

Social innovation begins with recognizing the dignity and capacity for self-determination of people who have been impacted adversely by social structures and power; and seeking novel and transformative solution 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, as well as managing the environment in which research is being done for seeking, understanding and adapting new knowledge. Intellectual property issues and ethics fall under this category.

Teaching and Presentation Skills

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

 

Special topics

Check back often! This page is updated periodically. Bring your Future Smart Passport to be signed at these events.

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 Cafe: 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 Cafe 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

GRADCafe 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

1. What is the Future Smart program?
Future Smart is a professional skills development program for graduate students, offered free of charge by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies.

2. 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.

3. How does the program work?
- Register for the program, external link, opens in new window and print your Future Smart passport.
- Bring your Future Smart 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 attached it to your passport.

4. What are the five skills categories?

Career Skills
This category includes soft skills such as networking and business etiquette, and hard skills such as converting your CV 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 assist in evaluating 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, with the goal of helping students transform from scholars to influencers.

Social innovation begins with recognizing the dignity and capacity for self-determination of people who have been impacted adversely by social structures and power; and seeking novel and transformative solution 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, as well as managing the environment in which research is being done for seeking, understanding and adapting new knowledge. Intellectual property issues and ethics fall under this category.

Teaching and Presentation Skills
This category covers classroom teaching along with planning effective tutorials, group facilitation and any situation requiring the need to explain complex concepts. These courses assist in the ability to provide clear and explicit instructions facilitating others’ understanding and learning.

5. Who are the Future Smart program partners?

  • Career & Co-op Centre
  • Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
  • Student Learning Support (SLS)
  • Ryerson Library
  • Mitacs Training
  • Office of Social Innovation
  • Yeates School of Graduate Studies
  • YSGS Graduate Leadership Institute

6. Who can I contact for more information?

     Leslie Mutic @ l2mutic@ryerson.ca