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Building Your Individual Development Plan (IDP): A Guide for Undergraduate Students

716By C. Gita Bosch, PhD

The Question

Do you know with certainty that you are on track to graduate from your undergraduate program armed with the skills you need for the next step in your career? This question is not only about academic/vocational preparedness, it is also about professional preparedness to take that next step. In addition to your instructive curriculum, you need to be armed with professional competencies that are not career specific, but rather those needed to function in any professional setting. These skills, also known as transferable skills, include proficiencies such as oral communication, writing skills, public speaking, conflict resolution, giving and receiving feedback, teamwork, management and leadership skills, organizational skills, and time management, among many others. You also must be competent in setting goals and prioritizing.

The Answer

An effective tool that you can use help ensure you acquire the academic foundation and transferable skills is to develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP), which will help enhance and improve academic and professional performance by identifying goals, assessing strengths and weaknesses, defining didactic/technical and professional skills necessary to reach those goals, the available opportunities to optimize reaching those goals, and the skills gaps that can derail your goal-oriented strategies.

An IDP serves as a strategic plan, not only for your undergraduate years, but also for your continued educational and professional careers. It can provide motivation and serve as a roadmap to your success by helping you establish realistic goals, strategies, milestones, and timelines to reach those goals. An IDP requires ongoing evaluation and assessment and is thus a dynamic document that is regularly reviewed and updated.

Individual professional development plans have been used in the corporate arena for a very long time. They are part of Performance Appraisal systems that are used to provide feedback and to set goals for individual employees. In recent years, IDPs have become an integral part of postdoctoral training in many institutions in an effort to help prepare fellows for their next steps and future careers. Recent years have also seen an increased use of IDPs for junior faculty.

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How will your service lines enable you to win larger, higher-value contracts and what are your plans to develop them? What specialised skills are customers looking for?

Given the information in this article :
Breakfast: long cooking oatmeal with skim milk and a banana and raisins.
Lunch :Minestrone soup, soda bread and berries with fat free cool whip and walnuts.
Dinner :Stir fry with very little natural oil [loads of veggies and some seasoned skinless chicken],brown rice a fruit of your choice.
Snack:Popcorn or apple with pb,veggies with hummus or any fruit.
Good luck.

Related facts

  • Career portfolios are used to plan, organize and document education, work samples and skills. People use career portfolios to apply to jobs, apply to college or training programs, get a higher salary, show transferable skills, and to track personal development. They...

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