At Western, you matter. We heard from doctoral students that more was needed to maximize your doctoral experience, so we came together to build this program exclusively for you.

Own Your Future is a curriculum-based professional development program designed specifically for doctoral students that provides you the opportunity to develop your abilities in six competencies:

These competencies, based on comprehensive research and consultations with potential employers, enrich your academic skills and prepare you for versatile careers. You have the freedom to explore each competency through participation in modules designed specifically for doctoral students.


Own Your Future guides your professional development by providing a self-assessment tool that is designed to help you reflect on your abilities as they relate to the six core competencies of the program. The results of your self-assessment will help you identify your strengths and opportunities for growth and will point you towards professional development modules available to help you improve your proficiency in each competency.




Participation in Own Your Future requires completion of foundational professional development modules, tailored specifically to doctoral students, to provide you with a basis in each of the six competencies. The program also offers optional elective workshops that build on the foundations of each competency. Create a personalized and focused professional development strategy by customizing your participation in elective modules based on the results of your self-assessment and your motivation for proficiency in each competency.


The curriculum-based structure of Own Your Future means that the opportunity is there for you to develop proficiency in each competency, but it’s up to you to implement your professional development strategy to maximize your professional growth. Your success in the program depends on your commitment to attending modules, your reflection on how your abilities change, and continued adaptation of your strategy as your interests develop and your abilities improve. We believe that your management of your professional development strategy ensures that you build the confidence to take control of your future!