Although the initials PDP could stand for many things (People’s Democratic Party, Pretty Darn Practical), at Fletcher we all know it refers to Professional Development Program, the nine-week course offered by the Office of Career Services for new students each fall. Applicants often ask us about OCS, and I answer that students and OCS start working together almost from Day One. (To be precise — Day Four of Orientation.) Once classes begin, the focus of the OCS-student partnership is initially PDP.
I’ll be honest — some students think they don’t need PDP. They’ve held professional positions for several years and don’t see the value. But they’re nearly all quickly persuaded. If nothing else, they see that putting everyone on the same page is important to the smooth functioning of OCS. But most provide insightful comments on how PDP has helped transform their thinking about their new career/job hunt. Here are a few samples, kindly provided by the folks at OCS:
“Even though I have had significant professional experience, the PDP allowed me the chance to focus on my career in a way I would not have without it.”
“I’m glad you guys require these sessions – especially in the first half of the first term. It reminds us why we are here – as a key step in our careers.”
“The PDP forced me not only to think about what I want to do, but to develop a realistic path of how to get there.”
“While many of us know what we’re supposed to do regarding networking, interviewing, etc., PDP gave us the structured venue we needed to PRACTICE these skills.”
“Since I’m here at Fletcher to change fields, the PDP was helpful to start me thinking about how to most effectively market myself to a new industry.”
“I thought I had a good résumé, but the PDP made it MUCH better – I am ashamed to think of the document I used to hand out!”
“The PDP forced me to stop and think about what is important to me, and how best to market myself, and then gave me the opportunity to try out new approaches with peers.”
I’ve asked my OCS friends to provide more information about their work. I hope to share their reflections next week.