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Become Career Ready with FGS’ Individualized Development Plan

Become Career Ready with FGS’ Individualized Development Plan

Graduate school is often overwhelming, and all the skills acquired in the process can be difficult to track. The Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) is here to help. York community members now have access to the Individualized Development Plan (IDP), which lets students take the necessary time to recognize their achievements, organize them in neat categories and identify areas that still need to be developed. Given the competition for jobs, it’s important for future graduates to be proactive, and with the help of the IDP, students can create a customized plan to build on their professional skills that will help them succeed in the future.

The IDP is part of a cyclical process that asks students to assess their current level of expertise, identify areas that they would like to improve on and map out a plan for achieving these goals. What makes this tool convenient, is that it clearly outlines six major areas that students will have the ability to focus on: Career Exploration and Planning, Communication, Health and Wellness, Managing Time and Resources, Research Dissemination and Teaching. Each category is important for a well-balanced graduate experience.

This handy tool acts as a support structure that helps students decide what they want to get out their degree, and what they want to achieve after graduation. The IDP provides students with the possibility to create their own individualized path that they will follow during their graduate studies. The whole process is guided by questions that help students evaluate how much they undertook in each of the six areas and identify specific goals for the future, making it easier to concentrate on individual tasks. Since the IDP is a living document, students have a chance to work on this from year to year as they develop new skills. Graduate students can start developing these professional skills by viewing opportunities and resources offered at York by visiting the Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Skills (GPPS) webpage.

This tool can also be a great way to start and develop conversations with supervisors, graduate program directors and career advisors who would be able to address specific areas of concern that students might have. Course directors can also use the IDP as a tool in workshops that are focused on professional development or to get conversations started around post-graduate plans in seminars. Additionally, the IDP can be shared not only with faculty but with peers. It can be a starting place to form bonds with other graduate students and find similar interests within the community.

Graduate students who elect to complete the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ IDP this academic year will be issued a Certification of Completion at the conclusion of the winter term that they may highlight on their resume/CV. For more information visit the Individualized Development Plan (IDP) website.

Have questions? Connect with us at FGSNEWS@YORKU.CA.