The OPTIONS Program

The OPTIONS Program supports all engineering graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to explore diverse career options. It consists of a: 1) Cohort Program and 2) Complementary Events.

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 clarity 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.

Click below to learn more about your cohort.

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
Powerful Personal Branding: How to Elevate Your Brand to Get More OpportunitiesTues Sept 2112:00 - 1:30 pmOnline
Job Offer Negotiation 101Thurs Oct 1412:00 - 1:30 pmOnline
Design Your LifeFri Oct 2211:00 - 4:00 pmOnline
Career Planning for International Students: Job Search Strategies for International Students: Explore the Labour Market and Network to Find OpportunitiesTues Oct 269:30 - 11:00 amOnlineRegistration open
Career Planning for International Students: Study Permits, Work Permits, Entry Visas, etc. - Question & Answer SessionThurs Nov 119:30 – 10:30 amOnline
Beyond Equity 101: Taking Action at the Intersection of Leadership & Equity, Diversity, and InclusionSat Nov 20 and Mon Nov 221:00 - 3:00 pm and 6:00 - 7:00 pmOnlineRegistration open
What Can I Do With A Masters In Engineering?Tues Nov 236:00 - 8:00 pmOnline
Career Planning for International Students: The Job Search: Stories from International Students Finding Work in Canada and BeyondThurs Nov 259:30 - 11:00 amOnline


Powerful Personal Branding: How to Elevate Your Brand to Get More Opportunities

Sept 21 | 12:00 - 1:30 pm ET

Want to be seen and recognized for your talents and potential? Not sure what makes you unique and marketable? Need help with marketing and promoting yourself effectively to advance your career?

Come learn how to create a strong and marketable personal brand so that you differentiate as a high potential talent and get more opportunities. Get first-hand practical strategies and tips from a top Career Coach, Speaker, and Trainer, Diana YK Chan at My Marketability. Diana is a Personal Branding Marketer for ambitious professionals and executives. She is known for helping you differentiate your unique value, master your messages, and communicate with confidence to stand out, get hired, and earn more.

In this interactive webinar, you will learn:

  • What is personal branding
  • Why personal branding is important to advance your career
  • What makes an effective personal brand
  • How to develop a powerful personal brand
  • How to identify your unique value
  • How to stand out and get more opportunities
  • How to brand yourself on LinkedIn


Job Offer Negotiation 101

Oct 14 | 12:00 - 1:30 pm ET

As if the job search process wasn’t hard enough, you receive an offer and realize the most sensitive part of the employment process has just begun! This workshop will help you tackle what to do when you receive an offer for your dream job. We will take a three pronged approach to job offer negotiation, starting with a review of negotiation basics and key tactics. Next we will apply what we have learned by strategizing and preparing a plan of action for a hypothetical salary negotiation role play. Finally our session will culminate with the application of our learnings and strategizing in a role play to flex our newly strengthened negotiation muscles.

Facilitator: Elham Marzi, Professor


Design Your Life

Oct 22 | 11:00 - 4:00 pm ET (This is NOT a full day session.)

What do I want to do with my life after graduate school? How do I navigate an uncertain job market affected by a global pandemic?

The world is rapidly changing, and the economy is evolving to address society’s challenges. The Design Your Life experience will equip you with the tools and self-knowledge to find direction in this uncertainty. Design Your Life uses design thinking to address the “wicked problem” of cultivating a meaningful life and career at and beyond U of T. It was developed by two Stanford engineering professors and is now taught at the Stanford Life Design Lab. In this session, you will develop awareness of what is important to you, define three career and life prototypes, and brainstorm ideas to act on those prototypes.

Learn more about Stanford’s Design Your Life:


Job Search Strategies for International Students: Explore the Labour Market and Network to Find Opportunities 

Oct 26 | 9:30 – 11:00 am ET | Register here

The search for work is a complex process especially in a unfamiliar labour market. In this workshop, we will discuss strategies for conducting a job search in Canada using labour market data and networking tools.

Specifically, you will learn how to

  • Conduct a job search using labour market resources
  • Apply networking strategies to explore job opportunities and learn about workplace culture in Canada
  • Translate international work experience in your job application material
  • Learn about negotiating a job offer

The session will primarily focus on the job search in Canada. We will briefly discuss how to apply the job search strategies discussed in this session to international labour markets.

Facilitator: Saddiya Rose, Career Educator, Career Exploration and Education


Study Permits, Work Permits, Entry Visas, etc. - Question & Answer Session

Nov 11 | 9:30 – 10:30 am ET

Connect directly with a Centre for International Experience (CIE) International Student Immigration Advisor for guidance and answers to questions you may have about study permits, work permits, entry visas, and other types of applications to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada).

Instructional videos covering the most popular topics are available online. Before the session, review applicable recordings so you can make the most of the time with the advisor.

Please note that the immigration advisors do not advise on Permanent Residency (PR). Live PR information sessions (and/or recordings) are referenced at the page noted above while additional resources are provided by CIE.

Facilitator: Justin Kerr, International Student Immigration Advisor, Centre for International Experience


Beyond Equity 101: Taking Action at the Intersection of Leadership & Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Nov 20 1:00 - 3:00 pm & Nov 22 6:00 - 7:00 pm ET | Register here

In Troost ILead's three-part workshop series, Beyond Equity 101, you will explore your role as an engineering changemaker. You'll think through ways to create, lead, and influence from a place of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). You'll learn the fundamentals of EDI and then apply your learnings using design thinking to create a plan to lead change in your context - whether that be a student club leader, graduate researcher, or practicing engineer in a course project or work-term.

Learn more here.


What Can You Do With A Masters In Engineering?

Nov 23 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm ET

**Open to ALL engineering graduate students and post-doctoral fellows**

What can you do with a masters in engineering? Come discover potential career pathways and meet an amazing line-up of alumni guests from a variety of sectors! In small groups, you will have a conversation with an alumni about their career: what they did at school to prepare for a job, how they made the transition from school to the workplace, and what they do in their current job. Over the course of the event, you will meet and speak to multiple alumni! Between these conversations, there will be short plenary discussions where alumni will share essential strategies and tips on planning for your future career.


The Job Search: Stories from International Students Finding Work in Canada and Beyond

Nov 25 | 9:30 – 11:00 am ET

Join us for a panel discussion on job searching as an international student. Four U of T alumni will share their experience exploring career options and navigating a career transition in Canada and beyond. You will learn strategies to conduct a job search, the benefit of networking to discover job possibilities, and opportunities they gained (or wish they gained) in graduate school that helped them land a job. The alumni will also provide insight into their job and workplace.


Signature Complementary Events

The Signature Complementary Events are open to all engineering graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. These highly popular events require a longer time commitment (i.e., full-day), and are sometimes offered a couple times a year.


  • 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. (PhD, BME)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)

Questions? Contact

Teresa Didiano
Graduate Professional Development Coordinator, Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering

© 2020 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering