Professional development for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows is a priority for Laurier. Our professional program, ASPIRE, provides a framework to help you craft an individualized, extracurricular learning plan tailored to navigating your professional journey and entry to the workplace. ASPIRE assists you in identifying, developing and translating knowledge and skills into job competencies associated with a range of work options, including those in higher education, the private sector, non-profit organizations and government.
Through lectures, group work, workshops, intensive seminars and one-on-one consultations, the program enables you to transfer your individual and collective experiences in graduate school to your plan for continued professional development along a chosen career path.
Through the ASPIRE portal, you can access tools and resources designed to help you articulate professional goals, identify transferable knowledge and skill sets, and locate a slate of offerings and program information that meet your personal and professional goals.
ASPIRE is divided into five pillars:
- Career Development: Transitioning from graduate school or a postdoctoral position into the greater workplace requires planning, research, and networking. The ASPIRE program offers selected opportunities in each of these areas to facilitate entry into careers of choice.
- Communications: From working with faculty and student peers in graduate school, to effective methods of communication and fostering relationships with professionals (e.g. researchers, teachers, employers) within national and global contexts, offerings in this category emphasize the importance of and need for developing competence in all aspects and modes of communication – oral, written, virtual and visual.
- Leadership: The ASPIRE program will provide Laurier’s graduate students and postdocs expertise in and commitment to constructive leadership, both as individuals and team members. The offerings in this area are intended to promote skills in management, conflict resolution, personal growth, self-presentation, coordination, networking, and team building.
- Teaching and Research: Successfully transitioning into a post-degree career requires a combination of self-reflection and job market awareness, and the proactive development of strategic career planning and employment preparation skills. ASPIRE offers workshops and events in each of these areas, with the ultimate aim of supporting your progression into a meaningful profession.
- Personal Wellness: The personal wellness pillar is meant to provide skills in areas such as mental health, time management and work-life balance. The pillar also covers areas such as disclosure, gendered violence and issues in equity and diversity, and the ways in which these issues intersect with one’s personal life, teaching, research and career readiness and options. The workshops aim to foster not only self-awareness and mindfulness, but also skills that can be directly applied in hands-on contexts in one’s scholarly and professional life.