PROFESSIONAL SKILLS & NETWORKINGSuccess as a coastal and marine scientist, engineer, architect, planner, lawyer, resource manager, businessman or woman, or other related profession requires a wide range of personal, people, and workplace skills that are not always taught in classes. Some are “teachable,” such as project and program management, fiscal management, or organizational design, but many are experience-based and are grown and honed over a lifetime. These somewhat intangible competencies are known; e.g., conflict management, teamwork, customer-orientation, respect, adaptability, professionalism, initiative, just to name a few. VASG invests in people and we are committed to helping our fellows grow professionally throughout their entire careers. We have several initiatives under development (peer mentoring and executive coaching), although we are testing elements of these pedagogies in current offerings, including:
For greater depth of observations surrounding policy in practice, students may elect to shadow a science policy professional for 1-2 days, attend meetings, review policy documents in their developmental stages, observe internal policy deliberations, disagreements, and consensus, and reflect with a VASG fellowship alumni on why they are pursuing the tactics they are. Shadowing a current policy professional supplies a longitudinal observation and day-to-day impression of policy in practice.
Virginia Sea Grant is excited to bring together graduate students from across the Commonwealth with interest in coastal and marine disciplines for a daylong research symposium and career fair designed to spark your scientific and professional imaginations, highlight cutting-edge graduate research, expand professional networking, and hone professional skills.
VASG supports students from a wide range of coastal and marine-relevant fields, e.g., natural and social sciences, engineering, law, policy, planning, architecture, business, communication, photography, graphic design, and other fields. We leverage this community to provide focused dialogues across disciplines, building familiarity and comfort with the language of different disciplines. Tomorrow’s leaders and managers need proficiencies that enable effective teamwork in highly diverse teams.
VASG aims to build a professional cohort among our graduate and post-graduate fellows, promoting regular communication and interaction, networking, and opportunities to share lessons learned and experiences. Many of these opportunities are embedded in regular events, e.g., orientation meetings, Symposium, receptions, professional development trainings. Further, we are currently developing new methods that leverage Google chatrooms, LinkedIn groups, and other informal and formal opportunities, including approaches that help fellows create and implement Individual Development Plans.
VASG has a rich alumni network of coastal and marine professionals in a wide range of fields, in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. These alumni valued their VASG experience and are excited to work with current fellows at the graduate and post-graduate levels. All of VASG’s graduate research fellowships are required to have professional mentors on their proposals, including a detailed professional mentoring plan. Further, we are currently refining and expanding our coaching services to provide tailored, case-specific professional advice – stay tuned for more on the coaching front!