The ultimate goal for every Harris student is to find a role of impact after graduation. Your personal and professional development is critical to ensuring the outcomes you want for yourself.

During orientation, participate in the following professional development seminars. The seminars will provide you with a more in-depth understanding of our philosophy for professional development, the resources available to Harris students, and how to begin positioning yourself as the ideal candidate for the internship and job market.


Foundations in Professional Development: Self-Awareness

Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 9:00 - 10:00 am | Keller Forum

The first key foundation in your professional development at Harris is your own self-awareness and your ability to understand your own unique talents and strengths. This seminar will help you refine your professional toolkit and help you develop a better understanding of how to leverage your natural strengths to accomplish your academic and career goals. The program will feature Nick Fahnders, Director of Professional & Career Development, and Alejandro Monroy, Associate Director of Career Readiness.


Polis Breakout: CliftonStrengths

Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 10:00 - 11:30 am | Throughout Keller

One of the key foundations in your professional development at Harris is your own self-awareness and your ability to understand your own unique strengths. CliftonStrengths is designed to help refine your professional toolkit and help you develop a better understanding of how to leverage your natural strengths to accomplish your academic and career goals.

All incoming students receive an access code to take the Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment and begin developing their natural talents into strengths during orientation. This online assessment identifies your “Top 5 Talents” and provides examples of how you may be able to build upon those natural talents and leverage them to maximize your fullest potential.

Results from the CliftonStrengths instrument are utilized during Polis breakout workshops occurring after the Foundations in Professional Development for Policy Makers seminar. Interactive exercises are used in the workshop to assist you in exploring your strengths, communicating them to others, refining your professional toolkit, and developing a better understanding of how to leverage them to accomplish your academic and professional goals.


Foundations in Professional Development: Leadership

Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 11:30 am - 12:30 pm | Keller Forum

The second key foundation in your professional development at Harris is your leadership capacity. This seminar will cover the core philosophy and framework behind the Harris Leadership Development program. You’ll learn how we define leadership differently and how that perspective can shape your time at Harris and throughout your future career. The program will feature opening remarks byWill Gossin, Associate Director of Student Leadership Development and Harris Lecturer and a special keynote by David Axelrod, AB’76, Harris Distinguished Senior Fellow and former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama.


Foundations in Professional Development: Networking

Friday, Sept. 22 | 1:00 - 2:00 pm | Keller Forum

The last key foundation in your professional development at Harris is maximizing networking opportunities and building a strong professional network. This seminar will explore how effective policy leaders navigate their networking experience, cultural norms and expectations when networking in the US, how to identify key individuals who are already in your existing network, and how to begin expanding your network connections. The program will feature Sanam Kazi, Associate Director of Career & Leadership Readiness, and a panel of Harris alumni/mentors.