Gopal interned with the Weldon Cooper Center researching community leadership and assisting with the development of a workshop for strengthening the skills of local leaders in Southwest Virginia.
“While aspiring to be a faculty is wonderful and good use of your training, PhD Plus can also help you meet colleagues and professionals in non-faculty positions with a fresh perspective."
Gopal's PhD program was in the Education-Administration and Supervision program at the School of Education and Human Development; he was working on his dissertation on leadership meetings when he completed his internship.
What is your post-PhD career aspiration?
I would like to continue working on strengthening leadership, which brings together my PhD skills and my 18 years of work experience across banking and education. I may explore this area either through faculty positions or diverse careers beyond the professoriate.
What projects did you work on during your internship?
I applied to PhD Plus internship for experience on leadership development outside the School of Education. During my internship at the Weldon Cooper Center, I researched community leadership and co-developed a workshop for strengthening the skills of local leaders in southwest Virginia. The workshop was conducted in October of 2019. PhD Plus internship program was helpful in getting a broader perspective on leadership development, in developing a social and professional network of colleagues and contributing to the community.
What have you learned as a result of your internship?
I strengthened my leadership, self-management, and initiative. Also, through my internship experience, I have a better understanding of workshop designs and research on community leadership.
Has your experience at CSR helped you in your academic studies, given you skills you can use in a future career or helped you to think differently about your academic and/or career path?
The internship gave me a broader perspective on the diverse applications of the research and analytical skills that I developed during my PhD journey.
What advice would you give your peers on utilizing the PhD Plus program for career development?
Think broader and bigger in terms of your PhD skills. This will help you see another arena of meaningful work where you can leverage your research skills and even further understanding of your research area. While aspiring to be a faculty is wonderful and good use of your training, PhD Plus can also help you meet colleagues and professionals in non-faculty positions with a fresh perspective.
*This bio is from the PhD Plus website.