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Top 10 Tips for Thriving in Graduate School


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Current UBC grad students share their hard-won wisdom and suggest ways to manage the highs and lows of graduate student life.

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Top 10 Tips for Thriving in Graduate School

  1. 1. Top 10 Tips for Thriving in Graduate School:  3 Student Perspectives Presented by: Ahmad Ashoori Blake Smith Luz Angélica Caudillo Mata
  2. 2. 2 Where to find this presentation and ALL THE LINKS! Before we begin…
  3. 3. 3 Blake Smith Ø  PhD student in Art Education Ø  Liu Scholar @ Liu Institute for Global Issues Ø  Artist & teacher educator Ø  Originally from Atlanta, GA, USA
  4. 4. Ø  PhD student in Geophysics/ Applied Mathematics Ø  Research Assistant at the Geophysical Inversion Facility Ø  Member of the Student Committee of the Institute of Applied Mathematics Ø  Originally from Mexico Luz Angélica Caudillo Mata
  5. 5. 5 Ø  PhD student in Electrical Engineering Ø  Former President of Thunderbird Residence Association Ø  Former Vice-president of ECE Graduate Students Association Ø  Originally from Iran Ahmad Ashoori
  6. 6. #1: Resources •  Inside UBC Ø  Departmental Ø  Legal Ø  Research & learning Ø  International House (“I-House”) Ø  Bookstore / SUB / AMS services •  Outside UBC Ø  SIN Number Ø  Driver’s license/BC ID/etc. Ø  Helpful websites 6
  7. 7. #2: Know the ground rules l  Rights and responsibilities l  Be clear about your work expectations l  Clearly define roles and expectations with your supervisor l  Life is unpredictable, so is graduate school... Remember! l  Don't take things personally l  It's your responsibility to make grad school one of your best experiences in life!
  8. 8. 8 #3: Communication & Building relationships Be proactive Givers & takers – which are you? Listen well, smile often J Build your team & community Important people & Gatekeepers Sharing is caring!
  9. 9. #4: Funding/Budgeting 9 •  Scholarships •  Research & Teaching Assistantships •  Outside of UBC - Grants, etc. •  Jobs Ø On campus Ø Off campus
  10. 10. Time management skills Know how you work! Free software Back up your work! #5: Getting Organized It’s easier to be organized when you have the right tools! Evernote
  11. 11. 11 #6: Degree planning & Career building Planning: Conferences Publishing Opportunities Milestones Vacations! Networking Resume vs. CV Online Presence Deadlines: Conference proposals calls for submissions, thesis/dissertation, ethics (BREB), funding, SHHRC/AF
  12. 12. #7: Explore all your options Build communities & get involved! Take advantage! You will be living in one of the most amazing cities in the world! Internships Clubs Volunteering
  13. 13. #8: Self-care & Stress management 13 •  Make yourself comfortable Ø  At home Ø  At work Ø  Carpal tunnel/Repetitive Strain Injury •  Work hard/play hard •  Be sociable •  Working out, hiking, soccer •  GSS Whistler trip •  Clubs/other resources
  14. 14. 14 #9: “Getting off on the right foot” Maintain your confidence Say yes within your limits Don’t live on an island Be assertive, not aggressive Self-advocate Be proactive Be visible Be you.  
  15. 15. 15 (and buy an umbrella) J #10: ENJOY THIS ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE. REMEMBER TO BREATHE!
  16. 16. 16 Today’s Top Ten Tips: 1 Resources 2 Know the ground rules 3 Communication & Building relationships 4 Funding/Budgeting 5 Getting Organized 6 Degree planning & Career building 7 Explore all your options 8 Self care & Stress management 9 Getting off on the “right foot” 10 Enjoy this experience!
  17. 17. 17 Where to find this presentation and ALL THE LINKS! Thank you! Questions?