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
Personal Value Proposition: An Essential Tool for Networking Thurs May 12 12:00 - 1:30 pmOnline
Fear-less: Building Public Speaking Self-ConfidenceThurs June 911:00 - 12:30 pmOnlineRegistration open
Happy Hour: Positive Psychology’s Mood Boosting TechniquesTues July 12 12:00 - 1:00 pmOnline

 

Personal Value Proposition: An Essential Tool for Networking

Thurs May 12 | 12 – 1:30 pm ET | Online

Are you ready to network to explore career opportunities? Are you going to be networking at a conference? Join us to learn the fundamentals of networking as well as strategies for networking online. You will be introduced to the idea of personal value proposition in networking scenarios and how to craft one based on self-reflective practices. Through a group activity, you will engage in a networking experience to practice relationship building and understand the role of purpose in networking. You will gain a higher level of confidence regarding networking and be able to articulate a meaningful value proposition for various professional circumstances.

Facilitator: Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering

 

Fear-less: Building Public Speaking Self-Confidence

Thurs June 9 | 11:00 - 12:30 pm ET | Online | Register here

Come develop your public-speaking self-confidence and overcome performance fears! Join Dr. Amanda Tobe, PhD, an organizational psychologist in supervised practice, who specializes in helping professionals, leaders and students with public-speaking anxiety and more generally, confidence and workplace stress issues.  You will learn how to cultivate a more positive mindset and work through some of the dreaded public-speaking anxiety symptoms that prevent us from performing at our best. You will also learn the science behind what is happening to us when we are nervous and how to refocus our attention.

Facilitator

Dr. Amanda Tobe, PhD is a Toronto-based organizational psychologist, who specializes in helping professionals, leaders and students with public-speaking anxiety and more generally, confidence and workplace stress issues. Amanda has spent several years researching job interview anxiety and her work can be found in Harvard Business Review, The Huffington Post, Men's Health Magazine as well as psychology and business journals. Amanda brings her corporate experience of more than 5 years as a consultant and manager of talent management, talent assessment, and career development for various organizations. She earned her MA and PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of Guelph.

 

Happy Hour: Positive Psychology’s Mood Boosting Techniques

Tues July 12 | 12 – 1 pm ET | Online

Join your fellow graduate students for a “happy hour” with Dr Robin Sacks where she will be serving up practices to boost your well-being. We will discuss the neuroscience of happiness and the role hormones plays in your experience of happiness. Through group activities and conversations you will discover that it’s possible to trigger your body to produce hormones that have a whole range of benefits -- from feeling happier to lowering your blood pressure. You will learn how to mix and match happy hormones to personalize your own mood boosters for whenever you need them.

Facilitator:

Dr. Robin Sacks has been teaching Positive Psychology and Leadership at Skule for over a decade. Her goal in designing TEP1026 (“The Happy Engineer”) was to provide an opportunity for students to explore some of life’s big questions in an academic setting. Robin also served as the Director of Research for the Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering. She has traveled the world sharing the findings from Troost ILead’s groundbreaking research in an effort to help professionals develop people skills alongside their technical education. Robin has a Master’s in Cognitive Science and a PhD in Developmental Psychology, both from U of T.

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.

Testimonials

  • 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
t.didiano@utoronto.ca

© 2020 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering