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.

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
Building a Better Relationship with Your WritingWednesday September 2712:00 - 1:30 pmGB202
Resume and Cover Letter for IndustryWednesday October 1112:00 - 1:30 pmGB202Registration is Open.
Tailoring your Job Application: Using Networking, ATS, and AI to Your AdvantageWednesday November 1512:00 - 1:30 pmGB202

Building a Better Relationship with Your Writing

Wednesday September 27 | 12:00 – 1:30 pm | GB202

Written communication is a core skill at any career stage, and graduate-level writing can be a place for you to strengthen that skill.  

Are you struggling with the challenges of graduate-level writing? Does writing advice often feel hard to put into practice? Does the sight of a blank page or email communication turn your mind blank, too?! If so, know that you’re far from alone. Join us for a workshop that will: 

  • Demystify graduate-level writing challenges.
  • Demonstrate how small changes to your current writing habits can generate big improvements in your writing experience. 
  • Share strategies for building a writing practice you can trust. 

During this session, you’ll work through a reflective writing audit that will help you to recognize existing areas of writing strength, identify next steps in your writing development, and embrace writing approaches that work for you now and in your future career!

Facilitator: Dr. Fiona Coll, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream (CLTA), ISTEP

Resume and Cover Letter for Industry

Wednesday October 11 l 12:00 - 1:30 pm l GB202

Looking to tune up your résumé and cover letter for industry roles? Join us for a session with Career Exploration & Education to learn strategies and tips to build and refresh your industry job application material.

We will discuss:

  • Creating application materials targeted to industry roles
  • How to analyze industry job descriptions so you can successfully tailor your résumé
  • Strategies to create a more effective and captivating résumé including writing strong accomplishment statements and organizing résumé sections effectively
  • Approaches to drafting tailored cover letters in an efficient and compelling manner

Bonus Activity: Participate in a résumé review for personalized feedback! You will need to bring a digital copy of your working résumé (does not need to be finalized) and be ready to share it with your peers.

Facilitator: Dr. Jessica Wurster, Career Exploration & Education, Graduate Career Educator

Tailoring Your Job Application: Using Networking, ATS, and AI to Your Advantage

Wednesday November 15 | 12:00 – 1:30 pm | GB202

Attendees of this session will learn about the importance of customizing their job applications for a variety of sectors. Specifically, you will learn: 

  • Why employers in different sectors care about tailored resumes, CVs, and cover letters 
  • What an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is and how to use AI to find keywords from job postings and incorporate them in your job applications 
  • How to use networking to position yourself as a strong candidate for a role 

Before the session, it is recommended that you review articles by Dr. Ketan Marballi from Inside HigherEd and University Affairs 

Facilitator: Dr. Ketan Marballi, Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Professional Development Specialist, TMU


"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)