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The OPTIONS Program – Applications Due!

September 21 @ 9:00 am


The OPTIONS Program is an initiative to support all engineering graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in exploring diverse career options

Purpose & Content

Take a deep dive into career management and join a supportive community of like-minded graduate students and post-doctoral fellows exploring career possibilities. The Cohort Program is a nine week, non-credit program facilitated by faculty and professional development experts. The program provides:

  1. Nine, two-hour, online, live sessions that create a structured career exploration experience
  2. One, twenty-minute video on resumes and cover letters for viewing on your own time
  3. Two career management tools to develop an individualized, career plan
  4. A one-on-one, 30 min meeting with a career coach (optional)
  5. A one-on-one, 20 min resume and cover letter review with an instructor (optional)
  6. A one-on-one, 30 min meeting with an engineering professor (optional)
  7. Access to an interview preparation toolkit
  8. A mock interview and personalized feedback on your interview skills
  9. A mechanism to establish at least one alumni contact in a field of interest
  10. A Peer Success Team to support your career exploration


Review the schedule here before submitting an application to ensure you can attend all nine sessions.


In addition to the programming, resources, and one-on-one meetings listed above, participants who complete the program (attend seven of nine sessions) receive:

  1. A digital certificate of completion approved by the Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies and the OPTIONS’ Faculty Convenor.
  2. Four credits for the Graduate Professional Skills (GPS) Program at the School of Graduate Studies. Learn more about GPS here.
  3. Join a community of 200 OPTIONS alumni from six cohorts that are working in industry and completing their degree, and gain access to an exclusive OPTIONS LinkedIn Group.

Selection Criteria

  • U of T Engineering PhD students (completed qualifying and/or comprehensive exams) or post-doctoral fellow
  • Strong interest in developing personal and professional skills beyond research and technical knowledge
  • Curious about career exploration
  • Eager to participate in group discussions
  • Willingness to be part of a team and support your peers’ career preparation

Program Delivery                  

This is an interactive program (not a traditional lecture or webinar). You will participate in interactive activities and small group conversations. You will need access to a laptop/computer with audio and, ideally, video.

All nine sessions occur live and online on Tuesdays from 2 – 4 pm EST between September 29 and December 1, exclusive of November 10. See schedule here. One-on-one meetings occur between 9 – 5 pm EST.

Applicant Commitment

By applying to The OPTIONS Program, I commit to attend all nine sessions. Why?

  • This program is designed as an integrated sequence of sessions, and you will benefit most by attending all nine sessions. We recognize some session titles or descriptions might not resonate with you. We ask that you bring curiosity, patience, and an open-mind. Since 2017, we have delivered six OPTIONS cohorts to 200 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. The MOST common feedback we receive from participants is that the individual sessions build on each other to form a comprehensive, structured career management experience.
  • You are joining a cohort of 30 students, and within this cohort you are placed in a Peer Success Team of four to five students. Over nine sessions, you will work with the cohort and your team to complete program activities and discussions. By applying to this program, you are committing to the cohort and your Peer Success Team that you will attend all sessions.
  • The Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies and the Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering invest a significant amount of resources and time in developing and delivering this one of a kind program to you FREE OF CHARGE. We ask that you commit to attend all nine sessions AND, although not required, take advantage of the one-on-one meetings, videos, and toolkits to make this experience work for YOU!
  • We receive more applications than the program can accommodate. By committing to this program, you are taking a spot from another student.

Most importantly, this program is here for YOU to develop your personal effectiveness, clarify your career aspirations, and have a meaningful learning experience with a supportive community of peers and instructors. There is no homework, only optional activities to accelerate your career exploration, and no grades. We recognize life happens and there might be unexpected situations that might mean you have to miss a session. That is okay! Remember, you must attend at least seven of the nine sessions to receive your certificate.

Applications Due

Monday September 21 at 9:00 am EST

Questions? Contact

Teresa Didiano, Graduate Professional Development Coordinator, Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering

Apply Today!


September 21
9:00 am