The goal of the professional development program at the University Graduate School is to assist graduate students in developing core competencies that can be applied to various career pathways during their graduate and post graduate careers.

Initiatives and Other Information

Recruitment Series

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Events where graduate students hear directly from company representatives who provide an overview of their company and of recruitment opportunities.

Accelerate to Industry (A2i)

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One of our signature programs is Accelerate to Industry (A2i).  This program is an approach to workforce readiness that prepares graduate students for careers in various industries. Through A2i students can strengthen the business, leadership, and communication skills.  There are three different components to our A2i program:

  • Job Search Strategies (JSS)
    In collaboration with other A2i university partners, JSS offers the opportunity to hear from industry representatives and participate in workshops throughout the summer.
  • Immersion
    A two-to-three-day event for graduate students to attend sessions and interact with various industry representatives and executives.
  • Virtual Site Visit
    Events where graduate students hear directly from company representatives who provide an overview of their company and of recruitment opportunities. UGS Lilly 2021 New2.pdf 


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The Florida Alliance for Graduate Education in the Professoriate (FL-AGEP) is a collaborative research model among the University of South Florida, an urban public research university; Florida International University, an urban Hispanic-serving research university (HSI); and Bethune Cookman University, Florida A&M University, and Florida Memorial University, three Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs).

Research Compliance

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Research compliance is an essential component in a student’s research graduate career.  At UGS we are working on developing seminars related to research compliance and methodology.  In the meanwhile, as you develop your research proposals for submission, it is essential you understand compliance guidelines for IRB, IAUCUC and IBC review.

Alumni Colloquium Series

In this series UGS invites graduate school alumni to speak.  Our past alumni speakers have been from academia, business, think tanks and come from a variety of professions.  They have provided great insight into careers, how to manage the graduate experience, job preparation and leadership strategies. 

Previous Alumni Speakers

Francis A. Hondal

President, Loyalty & Engagement, Mastercard

Francis A. Hondal is President of Loyalty & Engagement at Mastercard and a member of the company’s management committee. Ms. Hondal oversees Mastercard’s robust rewards and loyalty platforms, travel and lifestyle services, marketing services and rapid product design and innovation services for financial institutions and merchants globally. Before joining Mastercard in 2011, she launched a business development and marketing services firm specializing in new business development through strategic alliances to create unique B2B and B2C marketing programs.

Ms. Hondal holds a Bachelor Degree in Finance and International Business and an MBA from Florida International University (FIU). She serves on the advisory board of FIU College of Business. She has been named amongst Top 50 Most Powerful Latina Women in corporate America for 3 years and was inducted to the FIU College of Business Administration Hall of Fame in 2015; receiving the Global Leadership Award. In 2013, Ms. Hondal received the International Business Woman of the Year Award by the Organization of Women in International Trade.

Darwin Aquino

Conductor and Composer

Darwin Aquino was born and raised in Dominican Republic. Darwin Aquino is internationally recognized as one of the top rising Latin American conductors in both symphonic and opera fields. He studied composition at the Conservatoire National du Strasbourg in France and served as composer in residence for the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic. He received a Master’s in Music in Orchestral Conducting FIU, where he received the Graduate Performer Award. For the 2018-2019 season he is the Music Director for Winter Opera St. Louis, Music Director for the Música Sacra concert series in Santo Domingo and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Missouri. He is also the Conductor in Residence for the Washington University Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Bryan Dewsbury

Assistant Professor, The University of Rhode Island

Bryan Dewsbury was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. He received a BSc in Environmental Studies from Morehouse College, and a MS and PhD in Biology from FIU (2006, 2014). At FIU, Bryan explored several interesting questions in marine ecology and ecological economics, and developed various teaching approaches and programs related to social belonging and higher education. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Rhode Island where he leads the Science Education and Society Research Program.

Dr. Amanda Bullough

Associate Professor, Management & Global Leadership

Co-Founder & Research Director, Women’s Leadership Initiative

University of Delaware’s Lerner College of Business and Economics

Amanda Bullough is an associate professor of management at the University of Delaware. Her research and teaching span the subjects of global leadership, organizational behavior, women and gender, cross-cultural management, international business, entrepreneurship, multicultural teams and professional development. Dr. Bullough publishes in premier journals and serves on the editorial review board for Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice.

Dr. Bullough won the 2020 E. Arthur Trabant Award for Women’s Equity from the University of Delaware and was honored as a 2019 Women in Business Awardee from Delaware Today magazine. She has consulted for organizations such as the World Bank, OECD and the Global Business School Network (GBSN). She has also been the academic director for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship training programs in Afghanistan and Peru. Dr. Bullough is a past president of the Women in the Academy of International Business (WAIB).

Dr. Bullough received a PhD in Management and International Business and an MA in International Studies both from Florida International University.

Dr. Michelle G. Thompson

Office of the Vice Provost for Research Postdoctoral Fellow School of Social Policy & Practice

Dr. Thompson will discuss her research, the transition from graduate school, and her post-doctoral experience. She is a proud FIU Alum (x3!) and identifies as an Afro-Boricua with southern roots by way of Mobile, Alabama. Dr. Thompson earned her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, and her Master’s and Bachelor’s in Psychology from FIU’s School of Integrated Science and Humanity. She is a licensed Mental Health Counselor with more than a decade of experience in clinical practice. Dr. Thompson is currently a 2nd year Vice-Provost Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and is continuing her research exploring the sociopsychological impact of discrimination on the mental health of emerging adult sexual minority people of color.

Gönül Tol

Director of Center for Turkish Studies, Middle East Institute

Gönül Tol is the founding director of the Middle East Institute’s Turkey program and a senior fellow for the Frontier Europe Initiative . She ta ught at George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies and was also an adjunct professor at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University. She has taught courses on Islamist movements in Western Europe, Turkey, world politics, and the Middle East.

She has written extensively on Turkey-U.S. relations, Turkish domestic politics, foreign policy, and the Kurdish issue. She is a frequent media commentator.

Dr. Charles A. Kamhoua

Senior Electronics Engineer, Army Research Laboratory

Dr. Charles A. Kamhoua is a Senior Electronics Engineer at the Network Security Branch of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in Adelphi, MD, where he is responsible for conducting and directing basic research in the area of game theory applied to cyber security. Prior to joining the Army Research Laboratory, Dr. Kamhoua held research positions at AFRL and at the University of Oxford and Harvard University. Dr. Kamhoua has co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers and has been recognized for his scholarship and leadership with numerous awards, including the 2021 IEEE-USA Harry Diamond Memorial Award “For contribution and leadership in the area of blockchain and game theory for cybersecurity while in U.S. government service”, the 2020 Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award “for outstanding leadership and contribution to game theory applied to cyber security” and several others. He received a B.S. in electronics from the University of Douala (ENSET), Cameroon, in 1999, an M.S. in Telecommunication and Networking from Florida International University (FIU) in 2008, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from FIU in 2011.

Broader University Resources and Collaborations

Centers and Programs

The university offers various campus resources with whom we partner to assist students in their career development. Students can also directly access these programs and services throughout their time at FIU. Among them are the Center for Excellence in Writing, the Communication Studio, Career and Talent Development, Center for the Advancement of Teaching, and Center for Leadership and Training Academy of Leaders (AOL).


Micro-Credentials and Badges

Increase your competitiveness in the job market with Micro-Credentials. Micro-Credentials can be earned online, in-person, or hybrid formats, and are taught by members of the FIU faculty and staff. Completion of a Micro-Credential earns you a digital badge that can be displayed on your LinkedIn, resume or digital portfolio.  

External Funding

Grant writing and seeking research funding can be essential to a graduate and academic career.  Here is information on our “Office of Training and Fellowships”.

Start Up FIU

Student entrepreneurship exposes students to the entrepreneurship skills, tools, and mental frameworks required both to adapt and thrive in a fast-changing global landscape.