Business Skills for PhDs in Academia and Beyond

Dates: Thursdays, 5-7 p.m., September 14 - November 30, 2023

Most people associate the term “business” with the private sector. However, business skills and models are widely applied in every sector, including the academic, public, private and nonprofit. From research and writing, to project management and problem-solving, you are acquiring many transferable skills in your Ph.D. program that can be applied in academic roles as well as within a variety of industries and job functions. Join the Business Skills Learning Cohort to better understand foundational business concepts, terms and skills that will help you during your graduate training and as you embark on and advance within your chosen career field.  

2023 Business Skills for PhDs Cohort

After the success of the inaugural cohort in summer 2022, GradFUTURES is delighted to launch the 2nd cohort of Business Skills for PhDs in Academia & Beyond Learning Cohort in fall 2023, in partnership with the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Deepening the partnership, this year, four faculty from UVA's Darden School of Business will serve as instructors and discussion leaders in addition to Princeton faculty, staff, and alums, and other guest speakers.

This unique learning cohort represents a multi-institutional partnership delivering content designed especially for Princeton graduate students who have completed their general examinations. The cohort discussions will meet Thursdays, 5-7 pm, from September 14 to November 30 (except fall break and Thanksgiving). Many sessions will follow the "flipped classroom" style of instruction, requiring approximately 1 hour of prior review of case studies, articles, or video lessons. This learning cohort also involves experiential learning in the form of group capstone presentations with guidance from alum mentors. 

Broad Topics include:

  • Purpose and business: managing stakeholders
  • Business strategy
  • Data science in business
  • Leadership and Mentoring
  • Negotiation in organizations
  • Financial 360
  • Business Communications
  • Campus Economics
Yael Grushka-Cockayne Headshot
 "Today’s doctoral students will be offering solutions to tomorrow’s business and societal problems. The GradFUTURES initiative provides a platform for doctoral students to engage first hand with current day business problems, inspiring them to consider the broad impact their work can have."

Yael Grushka-Cockayne, Professor of Business Administration, Altec Styslinger Foundation Bicentennial Chair in Business Administration, Senior Associate Dean for Professional Degree Programs, Darden School of Business

Michael Lenox
“Whether a Ph.D. student is looking to thrive while working in a business or is looking to understand the broader impact of one’s work on business and society, the GradFUTURES Business Skills program helps student understand the issues facing business today and how to best navigate them.” 

Michael Lenox, Tayloe Murphy Professor of Business Administration; Special Advisor for the Dean, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia

Roshni Raveendhran
“I want to encourage Ph.D. students to think about their Ph.D. as an asset that they can leverage in multiple ways. I seek out opportunities to learn and grow in this profession. I am currently participating in a summer faculty development bootcamp to help academics be productive while attaining balance in life. The opportunities are endless for someone who has the right mindset and knows how to think critically. Think creatively about how to leverage your Ph.D. to improve the future of work."

Roshni Raveendhran, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, UVA Darden School of Business

Matt Johnson
“Whether it's pitching an idea, managing a project, or engaging in design thinking, business skills are extremely broad in their application and will set up graduate students for success in a wide range of future endeavors. The GradFUTURES Business Skills program at Princeton is special in its ‘MBA style’ cohort, enabling Ph.D. students to learn from an impressive roster of external business leaders and practitioners.” 

Matt Johnson *13 (PSY), Professor of Consumer Psychology, Hult International Business School, Author, Branding That Means Business

Speakers & Facilitators

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About GradFUTURES Learning Cohorts


GradFUTURES’ interdisciplinary learning cohorts build community among and between graduate students and reinforce each student’s graduate training while drawing on their content knowledge to inform the cohort’s investigation of the topic. As part of the cohort, students will read and discuss books, articles, and case studies. Learning cohorts typically also include at least one experiential component such as an immersive project, a site visit, conference presentation, or fellowship/internship opportunities. Interdisciplinary discussions, reflection, synthesis, community building, and immersive experiences are integral components of each learning cohort experience.