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GradMAP: Professional Development Process

The best way to achieve your goals is to figure out what skills you need, identify opportunities to develop those skills, make plans to learn, and follow through on those plans. This professional development process allows you to take the lead and be strategic when it comes to your goals and plans. Revisit this process each year and use it to drive yourself toward success.

Want more information and guidance going through this process? Attend a GradMAP workshop where you can collaborate with our staff and your fellow graduate students.GradMAP-process-graphic

Set Goals

  • Consider your academic, professional and personal goals.
  • What do you want to accomplish over the next 6-12 months?
  • Connect medium-term goals with your long-term goals?


  • For each goal, identify the skills needed for success.
  • Prioritize skills you have not developed.
  • Repeat for other goals and look for trends in the skills you identify.


  • Prioritize focus areas for development.
  • Connect this focus area to what you want to accomplish this year.
  • Identify concrete, achievable activities to help develop skills in each area.


  • Make the most of resources in your department and on campus.
  • Seek out ways to develop multiple skills in one activity.
  • After each activity, reflect on how you will use and practice what you learned.


  • Practice is important to strengthen your skills.
  • Integrate skills into your current activities and seek opportunities to use them.
  • Teaching someone else is a good way to solidify your understanding.