Tips from the Graduate School Trenches


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How to survive graduate school as a working professional without alienating your family, friends and work colleagues.

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Tips from the Graduate School Trenches

  1. 1. Tips from the Grad School Trenches How to make graduate school work with your life Suna Gurol UW Master in Communication in Digital Media Web Producer, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  2. 2. Two things you lose when you are in graduate school: 1. Time. You don’t have any. 2. Sleep. You won’t get any.
  3. 3. Two things to make you things easier in grad school:  Communication skills – over-communicate with everyone in your life if necessary  Being kind/grateful/appreciative – because you being in grad school and working and trying to have a life is going to kinda suck for everyone else.
  4. 4. 1. Work  Be clear about expectations.  Get your key co-workers on board, invested  If your graduate school work relates to your work, share with your team.  Map out goals with your manager and keep them up to date with your school progress.  See if you can dial back work a bit. Work from home on days you have class, schedule for days off when you have papers due.  Make as many school projects as you can work-related.
  5. 5. 2. Family & Friends  Absolutely essential – get your partner on     board. Their support is everything. All relationships need care & feeding – Target ways you can make an impact with your family and make them feel taken care of. (Vacuum. Play catch. Post to Facebook – really!) Make a clear study schedule so they know what to expect. Take-classes-at-my-pace v. Git ‘er done schedule – depends on the family. Work around family time (again, no sleep)
  6. 6. 3. School  Be courteous and nice to program staff. Because something will go wrong and they will be the only ones who know how to fix it.  Be upfront with your group members about your schedule when it comes time for projects Google Hangouts/Skype.  Be a mensch. These are people you will spend a lot of time with.  Go to department happy hours/gatherings if you can.
  7. 7. 5. Stuff happens  Death  Life
  8. 8. Questions? Suna Gurol T @SunaG E