Professional Development Associate Information & Application Form


Graduate Student Professional Development Associates enjoy a unique student leadership opportunity to become essential team members within the GradFUTURES professional development team of the Graduate School. They assist with the expansion of professional development initiatives at the department and divisional level. Each Associate liaises with the departments within their division to create and promote professional development programs that meet the unique and evolving interests of graduate students. They play a vital role on the GradFUTURES team as ambassadors and program co-creators.

There are two Professional Development Associates per division. Associates are selected in the summer and begin their fellowship in August. Fellowships continue through the end of May with the flexibility to continue through the summer and the following year.

Position Description:

Responsibilities of the Professional Development Associates include:

  • Identifying the unique professional development interests of graduate students within their division and by department
  • Co-creating and promoting customized programs in-person and virtually by division/department that align with the GradFUTURES professional competencies
  • Providing peer mentoring for fellow graduate students and referring students to resources across campus as appropriate
  • Serving as a graduate student liaison to the campus-wide Professional Development Working Group comprised of more than 40+ campus partners, faculty, and industry partners
  • Participating in and promoting the GradFUTURES Forum (held annually in the spring semester)
  • Meeting with DGSs and department faculty to gather feedback, share data, and support new professional development initiatives within the departments


  • Must have completed the post-generals exam and be in good academic standing
  • Demonstrated leadership in the department with the capacity to serve as a strong liaison between graduate students, faculty, and administration
  • Desire to engage within the broader campus community
  • Communication, project management, and qualitative/quantitative research skills
  • Responsible, reliable team player
  • Familiarity with University policies and resources
  • Positive attitude and a sense of humor


Associates will receive a $4,000 stipend which will be distributed over the 9 months of the academic year (August-May). The time commitment is an average commitment of 5 hours per week or 20 hours per month. The stipend is in addition to any research, teaching and/or fellowship awards they may hold, subject to Graduate School & University policies. 

Note to students on temporary F-1 and J-1 student visas: please be aware of any restrictions on payment for work or services.  For more information, please visit The Davis International Center.


Assistant Deans James Van Wyck and Sonali Majumdar oversee and mentor the Professional Development Associates, in collaboration with the entire professional development team of the Graduate School.  In addition to receiving mentorship, graduate students will expand their professional skills and competencies and build connections as they participate in campus-wide and national initiatives related to their own professional and career interests.

Please reach out to Assistant Deans Van Wyck ([email protected]) or Majumdar ([email protected]) with any questions.

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