My GradSkills

We connect grad students with training and opportunities for professional development, internships, experiential learning, communication skills and more.

About us

The Faculty of Graduate Studies established My GradSkills in 2012 under the leadership of Dr. Tara Christie, PhD. My GradSkills is one of Canada's first professional skills development programs for graduate students. Some of our initiatives include the groundbreaking Transformative Talent Internship program, graduate skills workshop endorsement, training in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking, and the University of Calgary Three Minute Thesis competition.

Meet the My GradSkills team

Dr. Tara Christie, PhD


Tara Christie, alumna of the Universities of Manitoba and Calgary, always had a passion for teaching and the biological sciences. She spent 12 years of her life preparing for her ‘Plan A’ of securing a faculty teaching position. While her cv was packed with teaching experience, graduating with her PhD in Molecular Biology during the economic downturn of 2008 led her to consider other career paths as teaching positions were few and far between. A serendipitous conversation with one of her PhD committee members raised Tara’s awareness that her skillset was applicable to many jobs outside of teaching and research, and ultimately lead her to securing her first role outside of academia, helping to develop and manage the graduate and summer undergraduate research programs at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Tara currently manages the University of Calgary My GradSkills professional development program for graduate students. Working together with groups on campus and across Canadian Universities she is passionate about helping graduate students in their skill development as they prepare for jobs both within and outside the academy. Outside of working at the University of Calgary Tara also enjoys teaching and performing Highland Dance and dabbling in graphic design.

Tara Christie in Ireland

Natalie Wilkinson-Houghton

Business Development Specialist

Born and raised in Calgary, Natalie earned both a BA in history and an MBA at the University of Calgary. She joined the My GradSkills team in March 2018, bringing over twenty years' experience in the private and not-for-profit sectors to her role as Business Development Specialist. Natalie is responsible for creating awareness among graduate students, faculty and the business community about the value of graduate student internships, and she administers the My GradSkills Transformative Talent Internship program. She's a fierce supporter of Dinos women’s soccer, and is (more than) just a bit of a Tolkien geek.

Natalie Wilkinson-Houghton