Friday, July 10th, 2020...6:14 pm

Reflecting on Leadership: How to build skills for that future job through the Leadership for Grads summer series!

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By: Michelle Bancroft, GradLife Ambassador

Often, I will see position postings that say “must have leadership experience”, but what does that mean and how do I as a graduate student gain that type of experience?

Picture from Student Life Website (

Luckily, UofT has a great program through Clubs & Leadership Development that focuses on helping graduate students gain meaningful leadership experiential learning. They offer workshops in Leadership for Grads (L4G) each semester, including this summer and fall there is a special online version of the sessions! There are many workshops that you can attend, and if you attend 2 workshops and complete a self-directed learning reflection or 3 workshops, you are eligible for a credit on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR).

My fellow Workstudy student, Kayla, who is helping to organize these workshops, explains that;

“Our Leadership for Grads (L4G) programming dives into topics like facilitating teams, communication and conflict resolution, equity, and identifying your strengths. Using leadership theory and experiential learning, the L4G program supports students in developing key leadership skills. Although these workshops are normally run in person on campus, the leadership programming is now being offered online. What’s more, is that the new online workshops have been tailored to the nature of the current climate.” 

Picture by Markus Spiske, from

 Last fall, I was able to attend a Leadership for Grads Full Day Workshop which featured amazing breakout groups like ‘Making Meaning of your Leadership Journey’, ‘Facilitating a Team’, and ‘Organizational Communication’. These were very insightful interactive workshops where I was able to learn useful techniques to be a better leader in academic and workplace settings.


Currently, these workshops are all online a fun way to learn more about leadership, as well as interact with peers who may have similar interests to you!  I met one of my close friends during my first Leadership for Grads workshop. She is doing her Ph.D. in a completely different program than me, but we are both passionate about health and wellness and leading organizations to take better care of their employees. I have even made connections that have led to some part-time work through these connections.

Curious about which courses are available and when they are offered? Check out the below list of sessions for this summer. However, there could be some changes so always best to check clnx and the Student Life website for the most up to date information!

  • Communication & Conflict Resolution 2 (July 28, 10-11am; August 7, 1-2:15pm)
  • Group Dynamics & Team Building in a Virtual World (July 15, 1-2pm)
  • Communication & Conflict Resolution 3 (July 20, 1-2:30pm; August 11, 11am-12:30pm)
  • Facilitating Virtual Meetings (July 16, 11am-12pm; July 30 10:30-11:30am)
  • Exploring Your Strengths: Leveraging Your Natural Talents During Challenging Times (July 29, 10:30-11:45am)
  • Self-Awareness (August 12, 9-10:30am)
  • Equity 101  (July 28, 2-3:30pm)
  • Understanding & Responding to Microaggressions (July 29, 3:30-5:00pm; August 5, 9-10:30am)

Let us know how your experience is with these programs in the comments below!

L4G Student Life Website Link –>

CLNx Site Link –> 


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