Graduate Professional Development Program

St. John’s University is invested in your success, and we are committed to helping you build your career not only as a graduate student but also as a professional.

We have developed an extracurricular professional development program offering a range of workshops that we encourage all graduate students to explore. The workshops are designed to help you strengthen skills in time management, presentation design and delivery, creative thinking and entrepreneurship, business concept planning, and intellectual property—solid preparation for an increasingly challenging job market.

Through this program, you interact with faculty and fellow graduate students from across the University—a truly interdisciplinary experience. Workshops run on an annual basis, so you can enroll at different times in as many as you wish throughout your graduate studies. All workshops are free of charge.


What’s the Big Idea? Generating, Developing, and Communicating Ideas that Change the World
If you have a big idea that you want to share with the world, this certificate program is for you. You may be interested in developing a new product or service; writing a grant; starting/funding a business or nonprofit; or crystallizing your ideas into a compelling narrative so others come on board. This three-session workshop prepares you for these vital efforts. Identify and mold your idea into something actionable and easily communicated. Develop strategies for expressing your idea as a cogent “solution statement” for stakeholders. Learn to create a Pecha Kucha-style presentation (20 slides, 20 seconds each). Finally, share your presentation with other participants for constructive feedback on turning your narrative into proposals, pitches, and business plans.

From Idea to Market: Getting Your Idea into the Customers’ Hands
Do you have an idea for a new product or service that you want to bring to market? This three-session workshop employs the latest tools and techniques to prototype, research, iterate, and present your big idea. In session one, we consider the viability of your idea, from understanding current competitors and marketplace factors to ways you can design a competitive business model. Session two explores the process of prototyping and testing your idea to determine whether to persevere or pivot from your original idea. In the final session, you learn how to pitch your idea to potential clients or investors.

Business Concept Planning
Have you thought about starting your own business, but the prospect seems overwhelming or out of reach? This three-session workshop teaches budding visionaries and entrepreneurs the strategies for starting and sustaining a business. Participants learn to develop a business concept, identify and reach target markets, create unique strategies, develop financial goals, and maintain and grow a successful business operation. Upon completion, students have developed a comprehensive, working business plan applying the practical techniques from all our entrepreneurial workshops. In addition to workshop instruction, you have access to support services, including one-to-one counseling with professional business advisors and networking with successful St. John’s alumni entrepreneurs.

Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property is important to every enterprise, but what does it mean to have a patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret? How can you protect your inventions, creative expressions, source identifiers, and secret information? This three-session workshop covers different forms of intellectual property and how to identify and distinguish among them. The first session offers an overview of each type of intellectual property and information about available forms of protection. Over the next two sessions, participants engage in projects designed to spot intellectual property issues and learn steps toward building an intellectual property portfolio. Experienced attorneys in the field teach the program.

Presentation Design and Delivery
Effectively presenting your ideas is critical to success in almost all industries. This workshop helps you develop and polish your skills. The first session focuses on the components of a great oral presentation. We look at basic delivery skills, group presentations, public speaking, and TED talks, examining the techniques of notable speakers. Next, we review visual approaches to presentations, storytelling, and creating persuasive arguments. Finally, you apply what you have learned, taking the first two sessions together and looking at each participant’s strengths and weaknesses with the aim of improving awareness and overall effectiveness.

Introduction to Research
Research is the cornerstone of the sciences—from the “hard” (such as chemistry and physics) to the “soft” (psychology, management, or education). It is the organized, structured, and purposeful attempt to gain knowledge. This three-session workshop demystifies the effort. In session one, we review the fundamental types of research and their “language.” Session two immerses participants in how to conduct research, including the use of “public data.” Finally, participants engage in an open dialogue on how research at any level of one’s academic career promotes publication and grant work that could pay for their future work and education.

Time Management: You Are in Control
Acquire the tools and develop the techniques to maximize your use of time and minimize your stress. Also learn to make time management choices based on mission, values, goals, and department objectives during this 2.5-hour workshop. Topics include identifying and making time for what is most important; prioritizing your workday and breaking down tasks into manageable pieces; recognizing common time management challenges; implementing new tools/skills to better manage time; and doing the right things, rather than just doing things right.

Social Styles and Interpersonal Effectiveness
Have you wondered why we are comfortable interacting with some people and not others? Would you like to know how others view your style of interaction? This 2.5-hour workshop provides an introduction to social style and versatility, focusing on fundamental concepts of behavior versus personality and four main social “styles” (Analytical, Amiable, Driving, and Expressive). Participants complete a paper-based self-perception questionnaire; gain an understanding of their own style and how others tend to view it; and identify ways to use social style to work more effectively with others.


St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
College of Professional Studies

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The Peter J. Tobin College of Business
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The School of Education
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