Preparing Graduate Students for the Workforce: A Case Study

Preparing Graduate Students for the Workforce: A Case Study

October 16, 2018 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EDT


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See how one institution is intentionally developing grad students to have the soft skills necessary for success in the workforce.

Integrating co-curricular elements that make students workforce-ready by promoting soft skills like communication, leadership, collaboration, team-building, and critical thinking is a hot topic. However, many institutions struggle to effectively infuse these elements into the graduate education space. If done successfully, a program like this can not only boost the skills of your current students but also differentiate your grad program and help attract prospective students.

SUNY Buffalo has seen great success in having graduate students participate in the SEAS 360° Certificate of Professional Development Program. The program is comprised of a variety of co-curricular learning opportunities that allow graduate students to develop and improve the soft skills required in today’s competitive workforce. Join us online to learn how this innovative program came to be, the impact it has made on SUNY Buffalo’s campus, and ideas to implement a similar program at your institution.


Who Should Attend

This program is designed for individuals interested in creating a soft-skill development program for graduate students at your institution.


In this case study-based webcast, Chris Connor and Joshua LaFave will outline how the SEAS 360° Certificate of Professional Development was developed at SUNY Buffalo and the impact it has had on graduate students who participate in it.

Throughout this webcast, Chris and Joshua will share:

  • Both high-level and tactical ideas to create a soft-skill development program on your campus
  • How to gain buy-in and support from faculty, staff, students, and administrators across campus
  • Challenges to expect along the way and tips to overcome them



Chris Connor

Assistant Dean for Graduate Education, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
University at Buffalo

Chris’s experience includes leadership roles in undergraduate and graduate education both from an institutional and academic unit perspective. He currently serves as the Assistant Dean for Graduate Education at the University at Buffalo. He focuses strategically on all aspects of the graduate student lifecycle including new program development, international and domestic recruitment, enrollment planning, financial aid leveraging, diversity programs, graduate student professional development, and alumni engagement.

Chris’ research interests focus on Strategic Graduate Enrollment Management (SGEM) and identifying key components, synergies, and the critical differences between undergraduate and graduate enrollment management.

His past positions at the University at Buffalo include serving as Assistant Dean for Graduate Enrollment Management Services, Interim Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Director of Graduate Recruitment Services, Associate Director for Admissions and Student Services in the Department of Economics, and as Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Communication.


Joshua LaFave

Executive Director, Graduate and Continuing Education
SUNY Potsdam

Joshua LaFave’s experience over the past eleven years has included a comprehensive canvas of Graduate Enrollment Management (GEM) functions. These roles have included enrollment planning, marketing and recruitment, admissions, student services, retention, advising/coaching, and career planning. In his current role, Joshua is responsible for all elements of the graduate student lifecycle, as well as the college’s special sessions, early college programs, non-credit offerings, and conferences/special programs. His research on Graduate Enrollment Management includes the adoption of the integrated interdependence model in GEM, working definitions, the four “O’s” of student services, and holistic strategic enrollment management planning. He is also an adjunct instructor in the Organizational Performance and Technology graduate program at his institution.

Josh’s research interests include the continued development of Graduate Enrollment Management as it relates to the integration of various functions in GEM and the synchronization of those areas as it relates to strategy, operational efficiencies, and the differentiated student experience.

Before joining SUNY Potsdam, Josh served as the Director of Graduate Enrollment for the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University and as Associate Director of Graduate Business Programs at Clarkson University.

Questions About the Event?

Kate Poisson
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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