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Graduate School

Professionals in Preparation

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Graduate students, are you interested in developing skills that will make you more marketable and effective in the workplace? During the 2021-22 academic year, the Graduate School will sponsor “Professionals in Preparation”, a professional development program to help you improve those “transferable skills” that will set you apart from others in the increasingly competitive job market. Transferable skills include those abilities that cross disciplines, such as leadership, effective communication, ability to problem solve and manage projects, professionalism, and others. Students may choose the option to earn a digital badge with successful completion of the program.

Professionals in Preparation is a two-semester professional development program consisting of:

1. Seminars and workshops which will be held approximately twice monthly from noon to 1:00 p.m. on Fridays during August – November 2021 (7 sessions) and January – April 2022 (7 sessions). Participants are expected to attend. Sessions will include: 

  • interviewing tips
  • effective communication
  • publishing and peer review
  • etiquette and presence
  • interpersonal skills
  • ethics and integrity in scholarship
  • leadership

2. Mentorship training

  • Mentorship workshops including case study discussions with faculty experts will provide training on managing real life situations that may occur between faculty and their graduate students. 

3. Participation in Graduate School communication competitions (required):

  • Three Minute Thesis: To be held November 3-5, 2021. Participants will compete in the annual 3MT competition which requires them to present the importance of their research to a general audience in less than three minutes. Participants will compete for the title Grand Champion and significant prize money.
  • Susan A. Siltanen Graduate Student Research Symposium: To be held Thursday, April 14, 2022. Participants will submit an abstract and present their research during the annual symposium. PIP students may compete with other graduate students for prizes for best presentations in specific categories. 



Complete the application. You should be prepared to upload a brief CV (limit 3 pages) and letter of support from your graduate committee chair.

Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year are now closed.

For more information, contact Shaadi Shoubaki (Shaadi.ShoubakiFREEMississippi).

Professionals in Preparation Digital Badge:

Upon successful completion of the program, participants will have the option to receive a digital badge that can be affixed to digital CV’s or résumés, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts. The badge links to a description of the skills learned as a part of the program and provides a digital credential that can be viewed by prospective employers, hiring committees, and others who will be interested in your preparedness for the workforce. For students choosing the digital badge option, the cost of the program is $100. A link to the digital badge application will be provided upon request.
Payment of the $100 fee must accompany the digital badge application.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can students not on the Hattiesburg campus apply to the Professionals in Preparation program? Yes, we use IVN to connect with students at the Gulf Park campus and research sites who cannot attend every meeting in-person and for certain workshops and seminars. There are some events that will require in-person attendance. A schedule will be available in advances.
  2. What if I am working on a research project or assignment? Will presenting on this work meet the communication competition requirement? Yes, presenting on a project rather than a thesis will not be a problem. You will still be required to present your research at both the Three-Minute Thesis and the Graduate Student Research Symposium.
  3. What is a digital badge? A digital badge links to a permanent description of the skills learned in the program and provides a credential that can be viewed by prospective employers. It can be added to your curriculum vita, résumé, LinkedIn account, or other social media accounts.
  4. Is there a cost associated with the digital badge? For students choosing to earn the digital badge, the cost of the program is $100. A link to the badge program will be provided upon request.

Contact Us

Graduate School
143 JB George
Hattiesburg Campus

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