Skip to main content

Success and Socialization

Developing Your Core Competency in:

Success and Socialization

Success in graduate school or a postdoctoral position requires taking a proactive role in your professional development.  To help ensure success, Graduate Studies, your program, and your faculty mentors work together to provide orientations; advising; and workshops, courses, and symposia focused on program milestones. Through these opportunities you will enhance and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to master your field of study and learn its norms (socialization).  


Coffee-Bagel-Donut Day image.
Coffee-Bagel-Donut Day is a popular weekly event hosted by the Graduate Student Association.


  • Workshops and Events

  • Winter 2020 Workshops and Events



    New Postdoctoral Scholar Orientation 12/18 ***
    New Postdoctoral Scholar Orientation 1/08


    First-Gen Grads Roundtable and Networking Event:
    “The Challenges of First-Generation Identities in Graduate School”
    1/23 Please Register
    "Mentee me": The Role of Mentee in Mentorship 1/23 Please Register
    New Postdoctoral Scholar Orientation 1/29


    New Postdoctoral Scholar Orientation 2/19


    Mastering Impostor Syndrome 3/04 Please Register
    New Postdoctoral Scholar Orientation 3/11


    *** registration not required
    List of All GradPathways Events
    Podcasts of Previous Workshops and Seminars

    New Graduate Student Orientations

    New Postdoctoral Scholar Orientations
  • Courses and Programs


    Professionalism Courses in Departments/Groups – Many departments and graduate groups offer courses to introduce graduate students in the disciplinary norms of their program of study. These courses may also cover other aspects of professionalism such as preparing for conferences, creating posters and presentations, instruction in teaching and grading, and the many other activities graduate students need to master in order to be successful in their programs and future careers.

  • Individualized Advising

  • One-on-One mentoring or specialized programming to meet your individual needs is available. Consider the following offered through GradPathways and other on and off campus units.
    Meet with a Success Coach

    Staff and graduate student success coaches offer 30 minute appointments in South Hall, supporting the design, pursuit, and achievement of academic, personal, and professional goals. Your coach will listen and ask questions to help you reflect on your goals, plan out your actions, and monitor your progress. Sessions with your coach can be ongoing—bi-weekly or monthly.

    Discussion of goals include the following:

    • Greater productivity in writing and research, and ways to work through procrastination
    • Naming priorities and making decisions among various academic and professional opportunities, demands, and options
    • Creating intention and awareness around faculty relationships and mentorship opportunities
    • Navigating and exploring different career paths in and out of academia
    • Establishing greater work/school/life balance and creating strategic boundaries
    Meet with a Graduate Diversity Officer

    Diversity Officers Devin Horton (STEM) and Josephine Moreno (Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences) offer workshops, provide academic support, and are committed to diversity graduate student success, and overall contribute to a welcoming and supportive campus culture for a diverse graduate student population.



    Meet with a Professional Development Specialist

    GradPathways Director Teresa Dillinger, Assistant Director David Blancha, and Coordinator Lynne Arcangel all develop and coordinate professional workshops, classes, and activities to help ensure the success of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. They are also available to consult with graduate students and postdoctoral scholars seeking information about professional development opportunities and provide assistance in creating Individual Development Plans.

    Continued Meetings With Your Major Professor or Principal Investigator

    As you advance in your program of study or postdoctoral training, your mentors will continue to meet with you individually to help you further develop and hone your research skills, set professional development and career goals, and map out a timeline for completion of the graduate degree or postdoctoral training experience. Meetings with your faculty mentor are part of a partnership in which both parties collaborate for a successful outcome. Open and regular communication is essential to this process.



  • Community Building and Activities

  • Get involved with organizations and opportunities that contribute to graduate student or postdoctoral success.  These opportunities can help you form a community and build a network of friends and colleagues at UC Davis.
    Graduate Student Association

    Meet and network with new and continuing graduate students through the GSA. Also, take the opportunity to build your leadership skills and give back to your graduate community by serving as a representative or an officer.

    Graduate Student Constituency and Community Groups

    To create a more inclusive, diverse, and supportive climate for all graduate students at UC Davis, several graduate student organizations and campus units work in partnership with the Diversity and Professional Development Unit in Graduate Studies.

    Postdoctoral Scholars Association (PSA)

    Meet and network with new and continuing postdoctoral scholars through the PSA.



  • Additional Resources

  • Graduate Student Resources to UC Davis and the Davis Area Communities