PFL Season Pass

NC State's Preparing Future Leaders initiative is taking major strides toward creating well-rounded leaders for the next generation of the workforce and academia. The PFL initiative is designed to develop future leaders among graduate students and postdoctoral scholars by arming them with essential skills in Career Skills, Teaching and Mentoring, and Responsible Conduct of Research that can form the foundation for a lifelong commitment to professional development.

While PFL sponsors programs and events geared specifically towards each of the three themes, PFL's latest program, the PFL Season Pass, allows participants to select highlights from each theme in order to develop a well-rounded professionalism. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported that college graduates lack the skills necessary for success in the workforce, but the PFL initiative is ensuring that NC State's Graduate School alumni are an exception!

Season Pass participants attend three Professional Development Seminars (PDS), two Fundamentals in Teaching (FIT) workshops, and one Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) seminar. Participants then write a one-page reflection on the professional growth they have experienced as a result. A group of campus and community leaders determine whether candidates have demonstrated sufficient development as a leader to merit recognition as a Season Passholder.

Fall 2011 marked the inaugural semester for this innovative program. Of all participants submitting materials for the Fall 2011 Season Pass, 50% earned this recognition.

The PFL Season Pass helped Katherine Smith network with students from other colleges, such as Design and CHASS, and learn about resources in the Graduate School that she believes will make her stand out on the marketplace: "By participating in the PFL Season Pass program, I have additional resources and contacts that I did not know previously were available through the Graduate School and NC State University. These resources have helped me improve my résumé, enhance my public speaking skills, increase my social network, and helped me achieve my overarching goal of becoming a more well-rounded individual with a complete toolbox for my future professional endeavors."

Barry Peddycord chose to participate in the Season Pass in order to gain experience in areas not already covered by his other commitments in the Graduate School: "Since I can't accept any teaching responsibilities on top of my current workload, I looked at the Preparing Future Leaders program as an opportunity to help round out the skills that I wouldn't be able to sharpen while working in the lab." Barry's future career goals include pursuing a faculty position at a university.

This innovative program in the PFL initiative is helping forward-thinking graduate students and postdoctoral scholars achieve their professional goals, shaping well-rounded employees for tomorrow's job market.

Watch the complete exit interviews with Katherine and Barry here.

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