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Future Smart

Graduate students talking at a networking event
What happens after graduate school?

Plan ahead with Future Smart: Essential Professional Skills for Graduate Students!

The Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (YSGPS) offers an extensive program of professional skill development for graduate students, free of charge.

Future Smart helps you develop essential skills to facilitate your studies, bolster your career search and support your post-university transition. Whether you are thinking about a future in academia, research or industry, Future Smart helps build a foundation of professional skills to launch you into your future career.

With an expansive selection of program partners across TMU and diverse program offerings, the Future Smart program will complement your grad degree and help you transition to the career you want!

Light bulb with puzzle pieces inside.

Why Future Smart?

  • Future Smart is a value-added program to complement your graduate degree.
  • It’s free for all registered TMU graduate students.
  • Workshop units are available online or in-person.
  • Complete the requirements before you graduate and receive a YSGPS Future Smart Recognition of Completion and a notation on your transcript.

How it works

Participants can choose between a variety of workshop units offered by our program partners under five skills categories and must complete a total of seven units.

Choose workshops from the following five categories:

  • Career Skills
  • Communication and Personal Effectiveness
  • Leadership and Social Innovation
  • Research and Information Management
  • Teaching and Presentation Skills

Choose workshops offered by our program partners for a total of seven units as follows:

  • 2 units from Communication and Personal Effectiveness
  • 1 unit from Career Skills
  • 1 unit from Teaching and Presentation Skills
  • 1 unit from Leadership and Social Innovation OR Research and Information Management
  • 2 units as electives from any category

YSGPS and our program partners offer a variety of skills-development programming throughout the academic year. To complete the program, you must attend a minimum of seven workshops (units) from four skills categories.

Please see the “Eligible Programs” tab and the Grad Event Calendar for Future Smart eligible workshops and events.

Career Skills

This category includes soft skills such as networking and business etiquette, and hard skills such as converting your C.V. to a resumé, work-search strategies and using social media and branding in your job search.

Communication and Personal Effectiveness

This category covers both oral and written communications, including a variety of interpersonal skills such as listening, assertiveness, influence, persuasion, empathy, diplomacy and non-verbal communication. Personal effectiveness also promotes self-awareness to evaluate strengths and weaknesses, self-reflection and setting appropriate personal and professional goals. It also includes topics covering personal well-being.

Leadership and Social Innovation  

Under this category, students can explore leadership and/or social innovation.

Leadership includes themes such as shared vision, emotional intelligence, managing change, handling conflict, negotiation, leadership styles, resilience, strengths, motivation, personal values, life purpose, leading self and more, helping students transform from scholars to scholars influencers. This category also includes mentoring.

Social innovation begins with recognizing the dignity and capacity for self-determination of people who have been impacted adversely by social structures and power. It then seeks novel and transformative solutions to social problems and conditions in partnership with those living in marginalized or disadvantaged circumstances. Students are encouraged to drive and lead change.

Research and Information Management

This category covers research, organizational and project management skills, and managing the environment in which research seeks, understands and adapts to new knowledge. Intellectual property issues and ethics fall under this category.

Teaching and Presentation Skills

This area covers classroom teaching, planning effective tutorials, group facilitation and any situation requiring an explanation of complex concepts related to a discipline. These workshops assist in the ability to provide clear and explicit instructions facilitating others’ understanding and learning.

The Future Smart program collaborates with a variety of skills-development providers across campus. Please view each program for workshops and events eligible for Future Smart.

The Career, Co-op and Student Success Centre (opens in new window)  offers an extensive suite of workshops and events (external link, opens in new window)  to assist students with their career development, including webinars and online panels with recruiters. Please check the Career Centre Calendar (external link, opens in new window)  regularly for updates.

Graduate students can also book a personal 1:1 appointment (opens in new window)  with a career consultant and/or a resumé and online profile advisor. Graduate career advising is available.

Note: Please read workshop descriptions carefully to ensure they meet your individual graduate needs, as there are sessions for both undergraduate and graduate students and some for both. You may apply a maximum of one personal appointment to your Future Smart program.

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching promotes, guides and celebrates educational excellence through teaching development, curriculum enhancement and creative approaches to learning and teaching.

Note: TA/GAs who complete all four TA/GA workshops will earn a digital badge in Facilitating Remote Learning from CanCred (external link)  that can be added to LinkedIn profiles to demonstrate the outcomes achieved during these workshops.

The Graduate Leadership Institute (GLI) is recognized and aligned with the Future Smart program under the “Leadership and Social Innovation” category. The leadership component explores themes such as shared vision, emotional intelligence, managing change, handling conflict, negotiation, leadership styles, resilience, strengths, motivation, personal values, life purpose, leading self and more, to help students transform from scholars to influencers.

To earn one unit for the “Leadership and Social Innovation” category, complete ONE of the following:

  1. Participate in two 45-minute GLI personal advising sessions by completing this  (google form) Contact Form (external link)  to schedule an appointment. If you are interested in earning a unit for your advising sessions, notify the director, who will email a confirmation of completion for your Future Smart file. Virtual appointments are available.
  2. Review three GLI videos. All videos can be found on the Leadership Matters Video Series page, on a variety of leadership themes, and complete the following  (google form) Action Plan (external link)  for each video. You will receive an email confirmation of completion for your Future Smart file.
  3. Participate in a GLI leadership workshop or webinar (opens in new window) .

WINTER 2024 GLI WORKSHOPS (ONLINE)

   Learn to Lead: Managing Change (external link, opens in new window)   (external link, opens in new window) / Jan. 17, 2024  (external link, opens in new window) 

   Learn to Lead: Self-Care (external link, opens in new window)  / Feb. 14, 2024 

  Learn to Lead: Impostor Syndrome (external link, opens in new window)  / Mar. 6, 2024 

  Learn to Lead: Teams (external link, opens in new window)  / Apr. 3, 2024 

    

GRAD LEADERS PROGRAM (2023-2024) (with the GLI & The Dais)

NOTE APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED FOR THIS PROGRAM

Information Session: Oct. 4, 2023 (online)

Are you looking to build and test your leadership skills? Are you ready to take your leadership skills to the next level? The Dais (external link, opens in new window)  and the GLI have partnered to offer a change-making program, GRADLeaders (opens in new window) , specifically at the graduate level.

Working on small teams, participants will create a project with the aim of making meaningful and positive change in one of three subject-matter areas before the end of the academic year. Participants will receive community-organizing training from the the Diai and leadership advising from the Graduate Leadership Institute throughout the program to help build their skills and overcome any roadblocks.

This program is open to current TMU graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and recent graduate alumni who have graduated in the past six months.

REGISTER FOR INFORMATION SESSION (external link, opens in new window) 

MORE INFORMATION (opens in new window) 

 (google form) APPLICATION FORM (external link, opens in new window) 

 

GRAD MENTORS PROGRAM (2023-24)

NOTE APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED FOR THIS PROGRAM

The Tri-Mentoring Program and the GLI are looking for mentors for our peer mentoring program, GRADMentors for the 2023-24 academic year. If you are a grad student or postdoc interested in strengthening your leadership and mentorship skills, this program may be right for you!

GRADMentors will pair you with a TMU undergraduate student who is exploring graduate studies, as well as strategies for academic success now and in the future. Mentors should be enthusiastic and capable of supporting students who have questions about the graduate school application process, workload, research, academic life experiences, etc. Mentors will receive a LinkedIn badge acknowledging their participation in the program. The program is also eligible for Future Smart credit. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get connected and develop tangible skills!

Mentor Eligibility:

  • You are a graduate student or postdoc at Toronto Metropolitan University
  • You can commit to this program from October 2023 - April 2024 for a maximum of two hours per month

To sign up as a mentor, please visit torontomu.peoplegrove.com (external link) , sign-up or log-in, and join “GRADMentors” under the tab “Mentoring Programs.”

The deadline to sign-up is October 6, 2023. 

Thriving in Action for Grad Students: W2024 Program

Thriving is like a muscle, practice makes progress! Join Dr. Diana Brecher and Venus Bali for the winter Thriving in Action online workshop series designed with graduate students and postdocs in mind. Build your skills and learn habits that will support you along your graduate journey and beyond!

Don't miss this incredible opportunity to grow, network, and flourish! Register now for the Winter 2024 Graduate Thriving in Action (opens in new window)  workshop series.

You can attend any one or all of the sessions. 

REGISTER (external link, opens in new window) 

1) February 5 / 2:00–3:30pm / Growth Mindset & Time Management: A Deep Dive!

2) February 29 / 11:00–12:30pm / Micro-Resilience Strategies & Building a More Effective Writing Routine

3) March 18 / 1:30–3:00pm / Put Wellness into Action & Navigate and Build Your Future Plans with Purpose 


International Student Support (opens in new window)  (ISS) works to foster a sense of belonging and community for all students who are new to Canada and those seeking a global experience on campus.

ISS welcomes and supports newcomers to Canada, helps them connect to TMU’s vibrant campus community, and supports them in reaching their academic, personal and professional goals.

The team of International Student Advisors are Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs). They can help through group immigration advising, drop-in hours and one-on-one personal development appointments.

Winter 2023 Workshops

Keep Understanding: Learning to be Inclusive (online)

When: January 19, 2023 / 2-4pm

Where: via Zoom

Are you new to TMU? Do you find it hard to be in a new environment? If the answer is YES, then please join us for this workshop!

At this session we will discuss elements of culture, personal identity, and bias. Participants will engage in a student case study through an equity lens to impart learning, fostering wholesome, inclusive, and respectful dialogue with others.

Ensure you engage with the poll questions throughout the session as proof of attendance.

This session is open to domestic and international graduate students and postdocs at TMU. If you experience difficulty registering, please connect with issask@torontomu.ca.

Register on Zoom (external link, opens in new window) 

Mitacs Training: offered online 
Mitacs Training (external link, opens in new window)  provides professional development training to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows across Canada at no charge.

There are eight unique course bundles, each consisting of a self-paced, online module and its corresponding instructor-led session. The course bundle themes include: 

To register for a specific course, visit the Mitacs EDGE portal. 

REGISTER FOR MITACS TRAINING (external link, opens in new window) 

Check the Mitacs calendar (external link, opens in new window)  to find upcoming workshops. These popular workshops fill up fast, so register early to secure a spot! Mitacs workshops are eligible for Future Smart credit (print the MITACS certificate of completion and attach it to your Future Smart passport when you submit it).

Founded by the Provost and Vice-President Academic in 2016, the Office of Social Innovation (OSI) supports the advancement of social good and transformation. 

The Systems We Live In: Where We Are, How We Got Here & What’s Next, seminar series with Wayne Dunkley

Are you a graduate student wanting to improve your critical thought processes on socially challenging topics?

Register today for a three-part seminar series hosted by Wayne Dunkley, Visiting Lecturer at the Office of Social Innovation at X(Ryerson) University. The sessions will explore the priorities and research areas of Social Innovation & Leadership; systemic critiques, personal values, emotional intelligence, managing change and other critical components for unearthing new approaches to address society’s most pressing concerns. Graduate students who attend these sessions will be inspired to move from theory to praxis, applying this learning daily as leaders and change agents who reconfigure today to create a better tomorrow for us all.

Attendance in a minimum of two sessions is required for Future Smart eligibility. Dates, times and topics are listed below. 

Sessions: 

  • Session 1: Where We Are Now & How We Got Here - Tuesday, November 9, 2021, from 12 to 2 pm (ET): What factors, events and choices have contributed historically to where we are today societally?
  • Session 2:  Interpersonal and Systemic Othering - Tuesday, March 1, 2022, from 12 to 2 pm (EST): What are the things that keep us from realizing fair, equitable and just societies? Is it possible to envision different ways to navigate our relationships, personally, professionally, institutionally? 
  • Session 3: What’s Next? Tuesday, May 3, 2022, from 12 to 2 pm (EST): What would it look like if we re-imagined our society as a place that affirms and includes each person based on our own unique contributions? What values inform inclusive societies? What if we threw everything we know out and started all over? Personally? Societally?

The TMU Library (opens in new window)  offers workshops on various topics throughout the year as well as individual appointments. Some workshops qualify for the Future Smart passport. See the Library’s online workshops schedule for all upcoming events.

YSGPS/Library Fall 2023 Online Workshops

1) Citation Management: Workshop for Grad Students #1 

    WHEN: October 4, 2023 / 10-11 a.m. 

REGISTER (external link, opens in new window) 

2) Citation Management: Workshop for Grad Students #2 / NOTE: this session is a repeat of #1 on October 4th

    WHEN: October 11, 2023 / 10-11 a.m. 

REGISTER (external link, opens in new window) 

3) Research Profile Development: Workshop for Grad Students 

    WHEN: November 9, 2023 / 2-3 p.m. 

REGISTER (external link, opens in new window) 

 

Student Learning Support (SLS) offers programs designed for graduate students to assist in developing graduate-focused academic skills:

  • individual assistance (a maximum of one session can apply to Future Smart)
  • workshops
  • group sessions
  • dissertation coaching
  • dissertation retreats
  • graduate write-a-thon
  • online resources

Note: "Writing Support" on the SLS website is geared toward undergraduate students. Please refer to "Graduate Student Support" for graduate student offerings. Not all offerings qualify for Future Smart.

Many YSGPS events and workshops qualify for Future Smart. Please check the GRAD calendar regularly for upcoming events (opens in new window)  and the Student Engagement (opens in new window)  page on the YSGPS website.

2024 BRAD Breather Nutrition Workshops (online)

1) Nutrition Myth Busters: Separating Fact from Fiction / February 29 / 1-1:30pm 

Have you heard on social media when influencers say carbs are bad for you? Want to know if this is a myth or a nutrition truth? Join us for an enlightening nutrition myth buster session! Discover the truth behind common food myths and misconceptions.

2) Quick and Budget-Friendly Recipes / March 20 / 1-1:30pm 

Join us for our interactive GRAD Breather, where we will make a budget-friendly and time-efficient meal. If you would like to cook along with us in this virtual workshop, it will require a kitchen and utensils, or feel free to hop on and simply observe! In this session, we will be making a vegan-friendly chickpea salad sandwich and a loaded sweet potato.

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned chef, join us as we elevate your budget-friendly and time-efficient cooking game. Full recipe details and ingredients will be provided after signing up. We look forward to cooking with you!

3) Eating for Wellbeing / April 3 / 1-1:30pm 

Join us for an enlightening event on the impact of nutrition on your overall well-being, both physically and emotionally. Discover the powerful connection between what you eat and how it influences your health. Gain valuable insights that will empower you to make informed dietary choices for a healthier and happier life. 

REGISTER (external link, opens in new window) 

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2024 GRADSkills: Navigating Academic Life as a Grad Student

You’ve made it to grad school! Now what? Grad school can be a stressful and demanding experience as you balance academic progress and build professional relationships to serve you in your future career.

GRADSkills is a workshop series to help build your toolbox as a graduate student in various competencies. This year's series will delve into some of the most important and pressing topics on navigating academic life as a grad student.

Workshops are eligible for the Future Smart program.

WINTER 2024 GRADSkills workshops (online)

1) Mapping Your Goals: Individual Development Planning / Jan. 24 

2) Navigating through Conflict / Feb. 13 

3) Academic Integrity / March 19 / 1-2 p.m.

Academic integrity plays an important role across the span of an academic career, from undergraduate studies to graduate school and well beyond. It is essential for maintaining the credibility and reliability of both academic credentialing and scholarly research.

This workshop will explore the underlying principles of academic integrity from an ethical point of view, as well as outline the practical side of academic integrity from a policy point of view. There will be a special emphasis on the way these principles and practicalities apply to graduate students.

 (google form) REGISTER (external link) 

4) Solution-Focused Dialogue / March 26 / 1:00-2:30 p.m.

 (google form) REGISTER (external link) 

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Winter GRADTalks: Careers Beyond Academia—Options and Opportunities!

In today’s workplace reality, many graduate students and postdocs will be searching for jobs and careers in settings outside of the academy. For some, this might have been the plan all along. For others, this may represent a shift in thinking about their future. 

Join us for this engaging panel discussion on the realities of making the transition from academia to other sectors, such as government, industry and not-for-profit. Learn about the experiences and trajectories of former graduate students and who are now in career positions outside of academia. 

There will a reception with light food provided.

All TMU graduate students and postdocs are invited. This event qualifies for Future Smart.

DATE: February 27, 2024

TIME: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

LOCATION: POD 250

REGISTER (external link, opens in new window) 

 

You can apply other workshops, seminars and events towards your Future Smart passport. If your department or the university is offering a workshop that you would like to apply towards your Future Smart passport, please email l2mutic@torontomu.ca beforehand with details. If approved, you may apply the unit toward the completion of your passport.

Check back on this tab often, as it is updated periodically throughout the year. Bring your Future Smart passport to be signed at in-person workshops or attach the confirmation of attendance to your passport for online workshops.

Past events 2019-2020

GRADTalks Spring 2020: It's Your Career—Take Charge!
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: March 10, 2020
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Jack Layton Leadership School (2-day event)
(Future Smart Categories: Communication & Personal Effectiveness; Leadership & Social Innovation)
When: February 20-21, 2020
Hosted by the Jack Layton Leadership School

GRAD Contests Awards Reception
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills-Networking)
When: Feb. 6, 2020
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

GRADTalks Fall 2019: Building Resilience
(Future Smart Category: Communication & Personal Effectiveness)
When: November 4, 2019
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

GRADShowcase 2019
(Future Smart Categories: various)
When: August 27, 2019
Co-sponsored by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Past events 2018-2019

GRADTalks Winter 2019: Leadership Skills—From Scholar to Influencer
(Future Smart Category: Communication & Personal Effectiveness)
When: February 28, 2019
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Jack Layton Leadership School (2-day event)
(Future Smart Category: Communication & Personal Effectiveness)
When: February 22-23, 2019
Hosted by the Jack Layton Leadership School

GRAD Contests Awards Reception
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills-Networking)
When: Feb. 7, 2019
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

PhD@Work: Maximize Your Career Readiness!
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: Jan. 31, 2019
Hosted by the Career & Co-op Centre and Faculty of Arts

Graduate Research and Writing Institute (1-day event)
(Future Smart Categories: Various)
When: Nov. 23, 2018
Hosted by Student Learning Support

GRADTalks Fall 2018: Communication Skills—Expressing Yourself
(Future Smart Categories: Communication & Personal Effectiveness; Career Skills)
When: October 17, 2018
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

GRADShowcase 2018
(Future Smart Categories: Various)
When: Aug. 28, 2018
Co-sponsored by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Past events 2017-2018

GRADTalks Winter 2018: Growing Your Network
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: March 1, 2018
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Community Transformation Café : Women's Leadership
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: 3 sessions: Feb. 27 / Mar. 6 / Mar. 13, 2018
Hosted by the Faculty of Community Services

GRAD Community Transformation Café Workshop
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills-Networking)
When: Feb. 15, 2018
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Faculty of Community Services

GRAD Contests Awards Reception
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills-Networking)
When: Feb. 6, 2018
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Office of Social Innovation

GRADTalks Fall 2017: Charting Your Career Journey
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: Oct. 17, 2017
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Graduate Wellness Workshop Series-Fall 2017
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Student Learning Support and the Centre for Student Development and Counselling. (Future Smart Category: Communication & Personal Effectiveness)

  1. Finding Self-Confidence: Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
        When: Oct. 13, 2017   
  2. Postponing Procrastination
        When: Oct. 26, 2017    
  3. Thesis Anonymous
        Share challenges and learn tips in this one-off support group
        When: Nov. 10, 2017   

GRADShowcase 2017
(Future Smart Category: Various)
When: Aug. 29, 2017
Co-sponsored by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Past events 2016-2017

Graduate Wellness Workshop Series
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Student Learning Support and the Centre for Student Development and Counselling. (Future Smart Category: Communication and Personal Effectiveness)

  1. Balancing Healthy Relationships and Graduate School: Learning how to manage conflict in your relationship
        When: Friday, March 3, 2017
  2. Finding Self-Confidence: Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
         When: Friday, March 17, 2017
  3.  Revitalizing your Graduate Experience: Managing your time and energy better
         When: Friday, April 7, 2017

GRADTalks Winter 2017: Achieving GRAD Balance
(Future Smart Category: Communication and Personal Effectiveness)
When: Feb. 28, 2017
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Get Going Workshops
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Student Learning Support and the Centre for Student Development and Counselling. (Future Smart Category: Communication and Personal Effectiveness)

    1. Fueling Up: Stress, Sleep and Emotional Well-Being
          When: Monday, November 21, 2016
     2. Get Talking: Managing Stress Effectively
           When: Tuesday, November 8, 2016
     3. Postpone Procrastination Workshop
           When: Oct. 27, 2016

GRADTalks Fall 2016: Professional Skills: Tools for Success after Grad School
(Future Smart Category: Career Skills)
When: Oct. 25, 2016
Hosted by the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

Q - How can Future Smart help my graduate journey?

The program complements your graduate degree and can help facilitate your studies, career search, post-university transition and success in your future career, whether you are considering academic, research or industry employment.

Q - How do I register for Future Smart?

Register using the  (google form) online form (external link)  and print your Future Smart passport. Bring your passport to be signed when you attend a workshop provided by one of our program providers. Once you have attended seven workshops (from four skills categories), you will receive a document of completion and a notation on your transcript.

Note: some units are offered online as well. Print out the certificate of completion for online courses and attach it to your passport.

Q - Am I eligible for the Future Smart program?

Future Smart is open to all enrolled graduate students at TMU University.

Q - I don’t have a Future Smart passport. Where can I find it?

The passport document is available for download on the registration form. If you have not received it, please contact Leslie Mutic at l2mutic@torontomu.ca.

Q - When will my notation appear on my transcript?

Please contact Leslie Mutic at l2mutic@torontomu.ca if you have not received your notation.

Q - How long do I have to complete the Future Smart program?

Students must complete the Future Smart program prior to graduation.

Q - What workshops are eligible for Future Smart?

Please see the “Eligible Programs” tab for upcoming events that are eligible for Future Smart. Contact Leslie Mutic at l2mutic@torontomu.ca if you are unsure.

Questions? For more information contact:

Leslie Mutic
Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Toronto Metropolitan University
l2mutic@torontomu.ca