The OPTIONS Program

"I have a graduate degree - now what?"

The OPTIONS Program supports engineering graduate students and postdoctoral fellows explore diverse career options.

It consists of the Cohort Program and complementary events.

Graduate Professional Development Coordinator

Joanne Lieu


Cohort Program

The Cohort Program is an opportunity to take a deep dive into career management with a supportive community of like-minded graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Facilitated by faculty and professional development experts, the program provides an opportunity to clarify your interests and aspirations, develop job application materials, and explore career pathways. We offer three different Cohort Programs to address the specific needs of the U of T Engineering community.

Launch Your Career Plan should be completed before the OPTIONS Cohort Program.

Complementary Events

The Complementary Events are open to all engineering graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. These events provide an introduction to the school-to-work transition, tools to develop skills critical to the success of a professional, and a venue to network with engineering alumni.

EventDayTime (ET)LocationRegistration
Project and Time Management Hosted by MitacsMonday, June 312:00 - 3:00 pmMY380
Becoming a PostdocWednesday, July 1712:00 - 1:30 pmGB202Register in advance.

Project and Time Management Hosted by Mitacs

Monday, June 3 l 12:00 - 3:00 pm l Myhal Centre (Room MY380)

This workshop emphasizes what you need help with when it comes to project status reports and project plans for organizing, managing, and sharing work. The session purpose is to enhance skills of project alignment, and efficiency. Participants must first complete the two-hour online course Spur Up Your Project Management and Time Management Skills.   

During this session, dependent on group interest, you will learn how to: 

  • Utilize time management strategies to be more effective when working onsite, hybrid or remotely
  • Manage email and calendar scheduling
  • Articulate the importance of managing stress to improve productivity
  • Understand the principles behind Waterfall, Agile and other styles of project management
  • Be able to complete a project charter, a project plan, and the Mitacs project costing template 

You will receive a completion certificate from Mitacs if you complete the online “Spur Up Your Project Management and Time Management Skills” course and the in-person “Project and Time Management Skills” workshop. 

Facilitator: Kirby James, COO, HG Learning Solutions Inc. 

Becoming a Postdoc

Wednesday, July 17 l 12:00 - 1:30 pm l GB202

Are you curious about what it takes to become a postdoc at the University of Toronto? Don't miss this unique opportunity to hear from current Engineering postdocs. Our session includes a brief Career Exploration & Education presentation on networking practices to become a postdoc, followed by a panel discussion. The panellists will share what they wished they had known when applying, their postdoc experiences, and tips for future and current postdocs. 

After this session, you will:

  • Reflect on the benefits and considerations when applying to become a postdoc  
  • Develop strategies to prepare a postdoc application by connecting and meeting current Engineering postdocs who have been successful in applying to a postdoc 

Panel members (extended bios available):

  • Amirashkan Askari, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering
  • Celestine Hong, Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
  • Goutham Rangarajan, Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
  • Naadia Akhtar, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

This event is also open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows within the Faculty of Arts & Science. 

Pizza will be catered for the panel, please register in advance.


"The OPTIONS Program provided a how-to guide on exploring next steps. I am more confident to reach out to individuals in different positions to learn about their career paths. I left the program with a better understanding and ability to market my skills and strengths gained throughout my education."


"The OPTIONS Program helped me understand my skills from childhood to adulthood by realizing common patterns. It aided me to widen my career possibilities as opposed to the classic ‘industry vs academia’ approach."

(PhD, ECE)

"The OPTIONS program gave me the tools to reflect on my career story from different marketable perspectives. The course helped me to define, schedule, and practice clear and concise actions to create job opportunities aligned with my core values. The introspection was guided by instructors with different fields of expertise. This exposed me to more job possibilities and a better understanding of the path to follow as I transitioned from academia to industry."

(Postdoctoral Fellow, CHE)

"I was in the middle of my career exploration when I joined The OPTIONS Program. For me the program highlighted the possibilities outside of the more “well traveled” career paths and I felt empowered to explore these. Through the program I was able to recognize my skills and how they are of great value for my chosen direction in life."

(Postdoctoral Fellow, AER)