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Professional Development Institute

In fall 2014, the Graduate School will launch the Professional Development Institute (PDI)— a five-Saturday program designed to provide graduate students with skills essential for workplace success. Students will learn from industry and community leaders who bring their expertise to the seminar series. 

PDI activities are designed to equip participants with critical "soft skills" and qualities that will help them stand out in the crowd---attributes 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

PDI sessions will be offered twice a month on Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon. Each session will feature two modules, each lasting 1½ hours. Facilitators will include local business leaders and elected officials, Hood alumni and Hood faculty and staff. Those who complete the PDI program are awarded a certificate to use for résumé and interview purposes.

The competitive PDI is open to all graduate students who want to enhance their marketability, sharpen their soft skills and experience great networking and learning opportunities. Admission to the institute is by application and limited to 20 students.

Barbara Haber, Hood M.A. '11, leads the PDI. Barbara is the executive coordinator of the Frederick County Business Roundtable for Education. In addition to more than 25 years of leadership experience in the business world, Barbara brings to the program in-depth knowledge of professional training as well as ties to local leaders in industry, government and the nonprofit world.