Personal and Professional Development Seminars (PDS)

These seminars offer training in many skills you won't find included in your coursework—skills that can prepare you for success in your current educational endeavors as well as your life beyond graduate school or your postdoctoral training.

Graduate students and postdocs are welcome to register for one seminar or many, according to their interests and schedule.

Spring 2014 Seminars

On Demand | Special Fall Events

On Demand

PFL On Demand workshops and seminars are available 24/7 to fit the schedules of busy graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. No registration required!

How Business Ideas are Born
Mr. Marshall Brain, founder of

How to Handle a Phone Interview Part 1
The PFL Team

The Informational Interview
Dr. Rhonda Sutton

Preparing for the Job Interview
Dr. Rhonda Sutton

Writing an Effective Cover Letter
Dr. Rhonda Sutton

Writing an Effective Research Statement
Dr. Rhonda Sutton

Writing Federal Research Proposals
Ms. Jaine Place, Director, Proposal Development Unit


Special Spring Events

March 5th - The Impostor Syndrome
12:00 - 2:00, with a follow-up from 2:30 - 4:00
Witherspoon 201

Spring 2014 In-Person Workshops

PDS: Beyond Networking: Navigating LinkedIn
Leaders: Jenna Hartwell
Location:  Tuesday 1/21 in
Witherspoon 201
Time:  10:00 - 11:30

Are you interested in creating and maintaining a professional online presence?  Leveraging LinkedIn to grow your network?  Then come join us for this hands-on workshop where you will create a Linkedin account, grow your network, and learn to leverage it for your career goals.

PDS: Communicating Your Value: Resumes, CVs, & Cover Letters
Leaders: Dr. Woody Catoe, Career Development Center
Location:  Tuesday 1/21 in
Witherspoon 201
Time:  12:00 - 1:30

Resumes, CVs, and letters play a strategic function in the job search process with the primary goal being: Get An Interview. Poorly written documents can be a barrier to making this happen. This workshop will show you how to represent your skills, strengths and abilities as well as the potential value you have to offer an employer. Time will not allow for individual resume critiques in this workshop, but information will be provided that can significantly improve your resume. Individual appointments can be made with your career professional in the Career Development Center.

PDS: Leveraging Your Postdoc: A Gatway to Your Career
Leaders: Dr. Nisha Cavanaugh
Location:  Thursday, 1/23 in
Witherspoon 201
Time:  12:00 - 2:00

Often postdoc positions are viewed as the “last resort,” but the benefits and unique opportunities a postdoc position offers will prepare you for your career. In this workshop, participants will explore the various types of postdoc positions and postdoc fellowship options available to them, while identifying their own professional and personal goals. This new knowledge will help you to formulate a plan and get the most out of your postdoc.

PDS / OPA: How To Avoid Self-Sabotage and Win at Salary Negotiations
Leaders: Dara Wilson-Grant
Location:  Tuesday, 1/28 in
Witherspoon 201
Time:  10:00 - 12:00

Let's face it, for most of us, the negotiation process is one of the most stressful parts of the job search. Not long after the initial excitement of receiving an offer comes panic followed by dread. Do I negotiate for more money and risk seeming pushy or ungrateful? Will I lose this opportunity if I negotiate for too much? What should I ask for? If one or more of these thoughts swirl through your head when you think about salary negotiations, you are not alone! This workshop is a step-by-step guide to navigating the negotiation process, especially when it comes to managing your emotions.

 ***Please Note***: This event is open to both postdoctoral scholars and graduate students, and it is co-sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) and the Professional Development Series (PDS) for graduate students.

PDS: Stress Management: Balance Through Creativity
Leaders: Dr. Beth Overman & Dr. Beverly Savinsky
Location:  Wednesday, 1/29 in
Witherspoon 201
Time:  10:00 - 11:30

 The world of graduate school can be overwhelming and stressful.  Come join us as we explore the physiologic reasons for stress, compare different responses to stress, set goals to handle stress in a healthy way, and practice some stress-reducing techniques.  

PDS: Care and Maintenance of a Good Mentor Relationship
Leaders: Dr. Beth Overman & Dr. Beverly Savinsky
Location:  Thursday, 2/6 in
Witherspoon 201
Time:  1:30 - 3:30

The student-mentor relationship in graduate school is incredibly powerful, and having a strong relationship with your mentor can dramatically improve your success in graduate school.  In this workshop, we'll use case studies to analyze the best practices in communication and partnership with your mentor, discuss the pitfalls of mentoring relationships, and develop a plan of action for establishing and maintaining a healthy mentor relationship.  

PDS: Healthy Cooking Minus the Stress - Nutrition on a Graduate Student Budget
Leaders: Natalie Cooke
Location:  Thursday, 2/20 in
Witherspoon 126
Time:  4:30 - 7:00

Is cooking something you enjoy or is it a burden? Do you want to eat healthier but you think it’s too expensive on a graduate student budget? This self-care workshop will take a hands-on  approach to learning what healthy means and how you can cook delicious recipes on a budget.

PDS: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words (Part 1)
Leaders: Jennifer Dixon
Location:  Tuesday, 3/4 in
Witherspoon 201
Time:  4:30 - 6:30

PDS: The Impostor Syndrome
Leaders: Dr. Valerie Ashby
Location:  Wednesday, 3/5 in
Witherspoon 201
Time:  12:00 - 2:00

PDS: The Impostor Syndrome Follow-Up
Leaders: Antonio Bush
Location:  Wednesday, 3/5 in
Witherspoon 201
Time:  2:30 - 4:00

PDS: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words (Part 2)
Leaders: Jennifer Dixon
Location:  Tuesday 3/18, location TBD

Time:  4:30 - 6:00


In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, NC State will honor requests for reasonable accommodations made by individuals with disabilities. Requests can be served more effectively if notice is provided at least 14 days before the event. Direct accommodation requests to