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Future Smart: Essential Professional Skills for Graduate Students

What happens after graduate school?

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!

 

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.
  • Some content is offered online; up to four offerings may be taken online.
  • Upon successful program completion, you will receive the YSGS Future Smart Recognition of Completion document and a notation on your transcript.
  • You have two years to complete the Future Smart program.

How it works

Choose workshops from the following four categories:

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

Participants choose workshops offered by our program partners under the four categories and must complete a total of seven units as follows:

  • 2 units from Communication and Personal Effectiveness
  • 1 unit from Teaching and Presentation Skills
  • 1 unit from Research and Information Management
  • 1 unit from Career Skills
  • 2 units as electives from any of the four categories

Contact Information

For more information:
Leslie Mutic
Yeates School of Graduate Studies
Ryerson University
Email: l2mutic@ryerson.ca 

How to register

Step 1:  Complete the online registration form found HERE, external link. 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 any workshops or online courses from any of our program partners (see 'Programs' tab). Register for the 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

The Career Centre offers an extensive program of workshops and events, external link to assist students with their career development. You can also book a personal appointment with a career consultant and/or a resume and online profile advisor.

After you participate in a career centre workshop or appointment, you are eligible to receive a free professional profile photo (great for LinkedIn / Magnet).

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.

In-class workshops can be held at the request of faculty, which also qualify for Future Smart credit.

Online Branding and Career Searching

Don't wait until you graduate! Maximize your online brand, starting now! Make the internet work for YOU. Accelerate your career with LinkedIn and Magnet, two powerful online career tools.

Attract Employers on Magnet: Workshop for Grad Students

Magnet, external link is Ryerson University's job board. Co-founded by Ryerson and the Government of Ontario, Magnet is where our employer partners post job opportunities for students and alumni. Join this workshop to learn how to attract employers on Magnet to find your next internship, part-time job or new career. It’s free, convenient and protects your privacy. Register now to secure a spot!

NOTE: Students are encouraged to bring their laptop and create a Magnet profile prior to the workshop.

Date: TBD

LinkedIn Essentials: Workshop for Grad Students

Establish a professional online presence by creating an effective LinkedIn profile and building key industry contacts. Get tips on how to set up an engaging profile as a job seeker, and learn strategies to effectively network with professionals on LinkedIn.

Learn how to make LinkedIn the world's largest professional network work for YOU.

Date: TBD

Career Centre Calendar, external link

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

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; some workshops are offered online as well. Check Mitacs' training portal, external link to find upcoming workshops to attend in-person, or online. These popular one-day workshops fill up fast, so register early to secure a spot!  Online courses are also eligible for Future Smart credit.

UPCOMING COURSES IN TORONTO

To secure your seat in these free workshops, please create a free account on EDGE, external link. Once you have logged in, you can secure you seat by registering for it on this link, external link.

Foundation of Project Management I: March 12-13, 2019

This 2-day course provides an experiential, collaborative learning experience to enable participants to integrate the principles of project management, team building, group dynamics and leadership that participants can apply immediately and in their future careers and lives. Participants experience the processes of collaborative planning and management and can see the benefits firsthand. 

Foundation of Project Management II: February 26-27, 2019

Building on the skills developed in Foundations of Project Management I: A team-based approach, this 2-day course provides an experiential, collaborative learning experience to enable participants to build on the principles of project management, team building, group dynamics and leadership, while exploring key concepts in greater detail to further develop participants skills and knowledge in the area of project planning and management. PLEASE NOTE: Foundations of Project Management I is a pre-requisite for this course. You will not be allowed to attend if you have not completed this pre-requisite. This course uses the same binder of materials given to you in FPMI and it is your responsibility to bring this set of materials with you to this course.

Practice Your Presentation Skills I

In this one-day course, theory is introduced in short bursts and participants spend the majority of time practicing their presentation skills while receiving onsite feedback. The course also create opportunities for participants to build and practice their presentation skills by applying course concepts through a series of short presentation practices while receiving in-person peer and expert feedback.

Session Dates:

  • February 6, 2019
  • March 21, 2019

 

Time Management: March 1, 2019

This energetic, intensive 1-day course will sharpen your professional time management skills and optimize your working week. Building on the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) best practices, methodologies, and productivity tactics, the workshop provides tools and techniques that can be applied to a partner industry project or employment-based role. Whether you’re handling dynamic timelines alone or within a team, you’ll be able to reach your project targets with the knowledge gained in this course.

Mitacs Training Workshops Catalogue, external link

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/

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

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

LTO website: https://www.ryerson.ca/lt/

 

 

The library offers workshops and individual appointments 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.*

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.

*This workshop qualifies for Future Smart under the Research and Information Management skills category.

Library Workshops Schedule

RU: DEBT FREE?

Fall session starts September 25, 2018.

Winter session starts February 26, 2019.

Ryerson University Library is pleased to offer RU Debt Free?, 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  

About the program

The course will be offered during the Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 terms. Over a five-week period, the one-hour sessions cover the following:

  • budgeting
  • banking
  • bank accounts and saving
  • credit basics
  • paying for school
  • life after school

 

Future Smart category: Personal Effectiveness

Visit the Workshop Curriculum for more information about each session, and the Workshop Schedule for details about when sessions are offered. Participants are invited to register for either afternoon or evening sessions. Drop-ins are welcome!


REGISTER

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 beforehand with the details. If approved, you may apply the unit toward completion of your passport.

Check the Special Topics tab frequently as it is updated throughout the year.

Skills categories

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.

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.

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.

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 in your job search.

Special topics

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

Events 2018-2019

Graduate Research and Writing Institute (1-day event)
(Future Smart Categories: Various)
When: Nov. 23, 2018
Where: SLC, 4th floor
Time: 11 am - 5pm
Hosted by Student Learning Support

Need help fine-tuning your research and writing skills? All Ryerson master's and PhD students area invited to a day of learning at the Graduate Research and Writing Institute. Topics include:

  • Academic research and writing standards in Canada
  • Guidance with MRP, thesis, and dissertation writing
  • Working effectively with committees and supervisors
  • And more!

Enjoy the long-lasting benefits of an intensive and tailored learning experience dedicated to research and writing. Sessions will be led by a variety of experts on campus. Food, coffee, and snacks will be provided.

google formRegister for the Graduate Research and Writing Institute, external link

google docView the Institute schedule, external link

 

GRADTalks Fall 2018: Communication Skills—Expressing Yourself
(Future Smart Categories: Career Skills-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
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies

 

Past Events 2017-2018

GRADTalks Winter 2018: Growing Your Network
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills-Networking)
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 and 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-hosted 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

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 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 four 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 oral and written communications and interpersonal skills such as listening, assertiveness, influence, persuasion, empathy, diplomacy and non-verbal communication. Personal effectiveness promotes self-awareness to assist in evaluating strengths and weaknesses, self-reflection, and setting appropriate personal and professional goals. This category also includes topics covering personal well-being and mental health.

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
  • Learning and Teaching Office (LTO)
  • Student Learning Support (SLS)
  • Ryerson Library
  • Mitacs Training
  • Yeates School of Graduate Studies

 

6. Who can I contact for more information?
    
Leslie Mutic @ l2mutic@ryerson.ca