Guide to Grad Life | Professional Development

The goal of the GSA’s professional development team is to help graduate students build skills beyond those used in the classroom and laboratory; skills which better prepare them for the competitive job market . We also seek to broaden students’ familiarity with career opportunities, both within academia  and outside it.

Our primary responsibilities include:

  • Facilitating relationships and interactions with alumni, bringing valuable real-world experience back to current students.
  • Coordinating  with employers to bring awareness of job opportunities to students, and promoting the talents of Rice graduate  degree recipients.
  • Identifying areas for improvement of professional skills within the graduate experience at Rice (e.g. communication, leadership, exposure to a variety of career opportunities).
  • Planning and coordinating the logistics of events to achieve the above points.

We are always interested in hearing your ideas, thoughts, and suggestions. The feedback of current students is an essential part of improving the graduate experience for all of us. Contact the VP of professional development at gsadevelopment[@]

If you would like to subscribe to a mailing list that distributes professional development events and opportunities, subscribe at

Campus Resources:

Center for Career Development (CCD)

Also, join Handshake!

Handshake is CCD’s job and internship database.  Unlike other job search websites, employers who post in Handshake are specifically looking for Rice students and alumni. Use Handshake to:

  • Apply for jobs and internships
  • Apply to on-campus interviewing positions
  • Research and connect with employers
  • Schedule appointments with counselors
  • RSVP for events
  • Access a variety of Career Development Resources

Over 14,000 jobs and internships were posted in Handshake during the 2016-2017 school year.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS)
  • Succeed workshops bring in guests to help us work through how to develop as graduate students
  • GradStarter offers funding opportunities for new events that enhance the graduate community
Association of Rice Alumni (ARA)
  • Find special interest groups like REA (and like them on Facebook)
  • Check out their events listings

Also, check out Sallyportal!

The Sallyportal is a networking and mentorship hub exclusive to Rice. It is the premier way for Rice students to seek mentorship from interested alumni, and connect to fellow Owls professionally. The GSA maintains a group on the site, so be sure to join.

Here is a link to the alumni Linked-In page.

Center for Written, Oral, and Visual Communication (CWOVC)
  • Make an appointment to perfect a poster, practice a talk, get feedback on presentation style, and much more!
  • Look for their fantastic collaborations with Succeed workshops and Final Fridays!

Doerr Institute for New leaders (DINL)

The Doerr Institute is committed to the early development of leader abilities in Rice students, and unlike other programs, are not focused on experienced students in leader roles. We help develop all students at Rice who want to increase their capacity to lead, no matter how young or inexperienced they might be.

*The Doerr Institute was ranked No. 4 by Global Gurus as the World’s Best Leadership Development Program for 2020.

Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL)
Offers classes and certificates in engineering leadership.

Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepeneurship (lilie)
One of many Rice organizations focusing on starting, and building buisnesses from new ideas.

Rice Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE)
Offers certificates and classes for improving pedagogy and teaching skills

Contact GSA VP of Professional Development,, for any questions!