MTSU Graduate Professional Development Day Receives Rave Reviews


A first-time event for the MTSU College of Graduate Studies has organizers already excited about future Graduate Professional Development Days.

A capacity crowd of 80 students attended the recent event, held in Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building.

Hosted by the Graduate Student Association and sponsored by the College of Graduate Studies, the professional development day featured presenters providing career insight, guided assistance with theses and dissertations, curriculum vitae/resume writing and how to connect with fellow alumni through the MTSU Alumni Association.

“It was a huge success with all 80 slots filled and a waiting list,” said David Butler, dean of the College of Graduate Studies, who acknowledged students attended despite stormy weather. “The graduate students showed up strong to hear a spectacular lineup of speakers, who gave their time to help these students succeed through and beyond their graduate program at MTSU.”

Dushyant Joshi, an MBA health care management master’s candidate, said it was “a perfectly executed first graduate professional day that was really helpful.”

Keshav Paudel, a doctoral candidate in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, said the program of speakers proved “very fruitful for me. … I was really proud to be one of the participants.”

Speakers included:

• Charles Apigian, MTSU Computer Information Systems chair, who discussed “Job Opportunities in the Growing Nashville Market.”
• Janet McCormick, MTSU communications studies and organizational communication professor, speaking on “$tart $mart Workshop — Negotiating Your Salary and Benefits.”
• Jennifer Way, Way Solutions founder, career management expert and human resources consultant, spoke on “Networking and Job Searching — Connecting Locally and Abroad.”
• Kia Jarmon, MEPR agency founder, a leading Nashville entrepreneur and public relations and brand strategist, presented “Personal Branding — Discover and Manage Your Personal Brand.”
• Jeff Porter, a director in the MTSU Office of Research Services, discussed “External Grant Funding” — ways to competitively seek out and apply for grant funding.

Kimi Conro, Graduate Student Association president, said her fellow students dove “into a robust schedule of lectures and hands-on workshops presented by influential Nashville-based professionals, MTSU professors, department chairs, program directors and accomplished graduate assistants.”

“Rooms were full of students engaged in and feverishly note-taking on the wisdom and guidance that held promise to bolster their confidence and efficiency in transitioning into the professional realm,” Conro added.

Butler said because of “the overwhelming success of the event, the College of Graduate Studies will partner with the Graduate Student Association to have regular events to help graduate students at MTSU succeed to their fullest potential.”

For more on the Graduate Student Association, visit

To learn more about the College of Graduate Studies, call 615-898-2840 or visit The college is located on the first floor of the Ingram Building.

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