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Professional Development Institute

The Hood College Graduate School, located in Frederick, Maryland, offers a Professional Development Institute (PDI) designed for graduate students and alumni who want to enhance their marketability, sharpen their life and work skills, and experience great networking and learning opportunities. Students in the Saturday program learn from industry and community leaders who bring their expertise to the seminar series. 

Focus on workplace skills

PDI activities are designed to equip participants with critical life skills and other essential attributes that will help them stand out in the crowd and are in high demand in today’s job market. Modules cover the following topics, all geared toward enhancing students' academic achievements for the workplace: 

  • Networking
  • Mentoring
  • Mapping a career plan
  • Project planning and management
  • Effective team leadership
  • Community awareness
  • Job market demands
  • Current workforce trends
  • Résumé writing
  • Interviewing
  • Self promotion

Topics and class dates

PDI sessions are typically offered from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, with the exception of November 7, 2015, when two modules will be held. The 1½-hour modules are led by alumni, local business leaders and elected officials based on areas of expertise. Hood faculty and staff may also lead or co-lead modules, depending on the subject matter. Those who complete the PDI are awarded a certificate to use for résumé and interview purposes. Topics and dates for Fall 2015 are:

Oct. 24, 9 a.m -Noon - Building a Professional Identity (Myers Briggs, mentoring)
Nov. 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. - Two modules: (1) Career Planning (résumé writing and interview skills) and                                                                        (2) Communication (presentation skills, social media)
Nov. 14, 9 a.m -Noon - Community Awareness (networking/volunteering, current workforce trends, job market demands)
Dec. 5, 9 a.m -Noon - Team Building and Collaboration (working as a team, keys to effective leadership)

Back-up dates will be announced at the first session. Applicants will be notified by mid-September if they have been selected.

Eligibility and application

Students from any graduate program who have completed one semester with a 3.0 or higher GPA may apply. Admission is by application and is limited to 25 participants each semester. Approved grad students will have a $100 fee charged to their Hood account to cover program expenses.The fee for alumni is $250. Students should apply only if they can commit to attending all sessions; those who attend five modules will be awarded a PDI Certificate of Completion, which they can list on their résumés.

The seminar series is offered once each fall and spring semester. When the application period opens for the next PDI series, you may complete the application here. For more information, contact April Weed, Executive Assistant to the Dean of the Graduate School, at 301-696-3602 or gradpdi@hood.edu.