Texas Tech University

Professional Development


A successful career after graduate school requires more than academic knowledge and skills, whether you choose to pursue a job in an academic, industry, government or non-profit organization. You also need to build core competencies in critical thinking, leadership and management, domain-specific knowledge, communication, professionalism, teamwork, and ethics.


A cross-functional group, working together towards a common goal. Each member contributes a unique set of skills, knowledge, and experiences to further the common goal of the group. Successful collaborations are founded on respect, open-mindedness and effective communication.

  • Organization
  • Multi-disciplinary
  • Joint dedication to common goal 
  • Commonly understood vocabulary
  • Shared intent
  • Integration


The dedication to exert effort to achieve success in a self-approved cause. Whether committed to the goal by self-approval or appointment of another, it matters not. It is the self-approval and personal dedication that will commit oneself to achieving the goal. The magnitude of identification and significance strengthens resolve. There are various ways to commit, including mental, verbal & written commitments.

  • Intention
  • Implementation
  • Identification
  • Advocate
  • Endorse


Integrating compelling methods to describe or present an idea, product or philosophy to an intended audience. It includes selecting the most appropriate form of communication, whether it is oral, written or a technology-based outlet. The end goal is to provide clear communication, which lends itself to an informed audience.

  • Concise
  • Engage
  • Intention
  • Fluency


Drawing from personal experiences and talents to bring something unique and intriguing into the world by utilizing the four stages of the creative process: preparation, incubation, illumination and verification. Often, the perceived value is based on the novelty and usefulness of the creation.

  • Perception
  • Incubation
  • Illumination
  • Verification

Critical Thinking

The act of questioning accepted standards by utilizing cognitive processes and intellectual developments to gain a superior solution or enlightenment concerning a particular subject. Essentially, critical thinking is learning what questions to ask, how to ask them and analyzing previous experience and knowledge to find a better solution.

  • Clarify concepts
  • Explore complex problems
  • Debate issues
  • Problem solving


The avenue in which our upbringing influences our perception of the world and the people within it. Art, music, landscape, dance, religion, literature, lifestyle and architecture all influence who we are and how we think. Embracing our own culture, as well as cultures outside our own, contribute to a well-rounded and mature insight.

  • Appreciate
  • Respect
  • Contribute
  • Clarify
  • Connect

You should start developing these core competencies as soon as you begin graduate school, and professional development opportunities at TTU can help!

The Graduate School offers events, workshops, peer-mentoring, and social media profiles for enrolled graduate students. We also work with other campus groups – such as the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center, the Ethics Center, the Graduate Student Advisory Council, and the Center for Campus Life – to provide additional professional development opportunities and resources throughout the year. Follow the Graduate School's Calendar of Events for the latest offerings.

More Information

If you would like to learn more about the professional development opportunities available for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, please contact us. Your professional development beings today at Texas Tech University. From here, it's possible!