Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CRA-W for Graduate Students

After a pretty busy day, I would love to share few lines.  Graduate student, this is for you!
  • Write down a timeline (specially if you are a PhD student), but remember every year  is different and every time you are facing different situations. Then, you should be goal-oriented and check your goals constantly (goals achievable).  
  • Develop short-term goals and plan how to address each goal.
  • Demands come in waves. Sometimes you will have time to procrastinate and relax, but also times in which you may think you don't have time even for eating!.Do not allow that happen to you, Eat and Sleep well.  Then, learn to manage your time. 
  • Be organize, keep a calendar always with you.
  • Start thinking about research topics since the first year. Don't worry if they don't work out, but thinking about them will help you to decided what you want to do. You do not wait until finish your coursework.
  • Find times and places when you can have your work done, such as: public libraries, public coffee shops) Avoid the lab and home if you easily get distracted in those place. If you are a morning person, great! Be a morning person and work early, if you don't great too!!..the morning person will be sleeping when you are working. Just find the right time and places to work.
  • Enjoy the process, get internships, go to Conferences, those are wonderful places to learn and get to know people. 
  • You have to evaluate your progress. Talk with people who can help you with that task. Specially where things instead of getting better they are just getting different. Ask yourself: Am I holding my goals?...if things are not getting better maybe you are being too perfectionist about something. Let it go! then you can move on.
  • Appreciate your achievements. Celebrate them! 
  • One thing that can help you to manage your insecurities is identifying what are the things that help you to pass this period. Find someone that you can trust and talk with.
  • Books that might help you.  "Getting things done" by David Allen.  "Finish your dissertation once and for all!" by Alison Miller 
  • How do we build our professional network?  Making professional connections and doing it wisely (Academia + Industry + Social).  Make yourself known.
  • Prepare your "Elevator pitch" and rehearse it . Your elevator pitch is one or two sentences that explain what I do/what I am going to do, why it is new area/cool.
  • Advisor - Advisee relationships are forever. Choose a good match. There is no a bad advisor, there is a bad match. Then, look for a good match for you.
  • A research team (group) offers many advantages for your research.  Participate and help yourself and others. 
  • Read papers, talk to experts and attend to talks. Start questioning assumptions made by previous work. Then you will become an expert in your area.  
- Priscilla.

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