Inaugural GradFUTURES Virtual Forum Builds Connections & Community

Friday, May 8, 2020
by GradFUTURES Team

With unprecedented changes to nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, the graduate community is at the forefront of leading innovation that will shape the future. 

As part of the launch of the GradFUTURES™ initiative at the Graduate School at Princeton University, the inaugural GradFUTURES Forum was originally envisioned as a day-long, campus-wide event to engage graduate students, alumni, campus and industry partners in conversations that would support graduate student professional development. As we shifted to a virtual campus, we forged ahead to reimagine the Forum as a 3-day virtual professional development and online learning event. This would not have been possible without the strong collaboration and support of our dedicated alumni, campus, and industry partners -- and our graduate students. 

Held on April 29- May 1, 2020, the GradFUTURES Forum featured 38 speakers/panelists and 14 unique sessions via Zoom or live-streamed on YouTube -- and helped spark many meaningful conversations and connections throughout the graduate community during this time of social distancing.

The overarching goal of the GradFUTURES Forum was to support our Ph.D. and master’s students in building clarity, confidence, connections – and community. Most importantly, the aim was to accelerate connections among and between graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni, and leaders from a diverse array of fields during these uncertain times. Attendees were encouraged to explore opportunities for leadership and meaningful professional development within a diverse array of fields within the academic, public, and private sectors. 

THANK YOU to all of the speakers and panelists who rendered visible a diversity of career paths, addressed students’ questions, and shared a combination of inspirational stories and pragmatic advice. With sincere “grad”-itude for the outpouring of support from our graduate alumni and industry partners who highlighted the professional skills and competencies students will need now and in the future.

All Forum attendees will soon receive a survey requesting their feedback and assessing the learnings and connections gleaned from the sessions. 

For more information and recordings of the live-streamed sessions, please visit

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