Select workshops that keep your eyes open, seek workshops within your limited time that help you find areas you can be stronger in or stand out in.
Mustafa Al-Lail, a Ph.D., candidate in the Department of Computer Science, walked to the front of a packed interviewing skills workshop exuding excitement. Lifting an envelope high in the air, Al-Lail announced it contained a job offer for a position he was extremely thrilled to accept.
The impromptu testimonial afforded Al-Lail the opportunity to express appreciation to Chase Weldon, the workshop presenter, for his help in securing an assistant professor position.“Chase actually helped me negotiate the salary for this position and I got a $10,000 salary increase.”
Al-Lail wants graduate students in all of CSU’s graduate programs to take advantage of the many professional development resources on campus, including the Career Center and offerings in the Graduate Professional Development Series.
In addition to his research work in model-driven development, publishing research with two of his world-renowned advisors (Dr. Robert France and Dr. Indrakshi Ray), earning a Graduate Teaching Certificate and completing a one-year lecturer position, Al-Lail prioritized ongoing professional development. He views the pursuit of a wide variety of professional development skills as critical to the graduate school experience.
When seeking professional development opportunities, Al-Lail encourages fellow graduate students to consider employer expectations as well as the kind and quality of career desired. Al-Lail believes one of most marketable skills a candidate can demonstrate to an employer is the ability to communicate effectively with colleagues.
“I think this is also one reason why I got hired by Texas A&M International University. I showed them that I had all these leadership skills, versatile communications skills and they were convinced that I am the best candidate for that job.”
Throughout graduate school, Al-Lail was very active in seeking professional development opportunities offered by TILT, the Graduate Professional Development Series, the Career Center and the Writing Center.
“Select workshops that keep your eyes open, seek workshops within your limited time that help you find areas you can be stronger in or stand out in.”