to master, or not to master…

A question I get a lot is whether or not students should get their Master’s before going for their PhD. Some students might think they need to boost their college GPA by getting a Master’s first, others say they aren’t sure whether they can hack a PhD, so they want to test the waters. Usually these sentiments are accompanied by a little fear, uncertainty, and lots of questions. Trust me, I was there, too.

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why applying to grad school is not the same as applying to college

Hi there! Sorry for the radio silence. It’s been crazy over here. But, the good news is I passed my dissertation proposal! Now it’s off to the races; trying to finish all my analyses and writing it all up in the next 8 months. It’s going to be a busy year, but I’m excited to finally get this project underway. Being at this stage of graduate school makes me think back to when I first started. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I’m glad I have this space to help others with their process.

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What to ask during your grad school interview? (and how to prepare)

Hi friends. Many of your are or will soon be heading into the grad school interview deluge in the fall/winter months, so I figured I would arm you with good interview questions that are sure to impress your potential future advisors. These are the kinds of questions you could ask during a phone interview, video-chat interview, or during the in-person open house.

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Phone/Skype Interviews: Grad School Edition

Hi there! First of all, thank you so much for the positive feedback about that first post on  phone/Skype interviews – I’m so glad you all enjoyed it so much. Here’s the follow-up post about tips directly related to phone/Skype interviews for grad school.

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Phone/Skype Interviews – Jobs Edition

One of the most common questions I get is how to prepare for virtual interviews (i.e. Skype or phone interviews). It can be really nerve-wracking to interview with someone you’ve never met before as is, but add ever-failing technology and you’ve got a recipe for potential awkward moments. To give some background, usually video-chat or phone interviews are conducted as a first-round interview to see if the candidate is a good fit for the company. Some job interviews will then use this first-round of interviews as a weeding out process to choose who they want to bring in for an in-person interview. Needless to say, it’s really important to make a good impression during your first set of interviews, and here are my tips for tackling these pesky phone and Skype interviews:

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The research assistant

One of the suggestions I gave on the gap year post was to become a research assistant, or RA. I wanted to take some time to explain what that means. Institutions that conduct research (universities, nonprofit firms, institutes, etc.) require assistance at all levels of research from PhD level, to MA level, to even the BA level. These organizations will hire recent college graduates to work, full-time, on their research projects. The “research assistant” (some other places call them “lab managers” or “policy research assistant” etc.) level is typically for individuals who have a bachelors degree. On average, these jobs last between 1-3 years and they are literally designed as a gap year gig. That’s why I love them so much.

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How to…Stay Organized

We’ve all been there…you finally mustered up the motivation to get your desktop organized and suddenly you realize your inbox is COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL.

I know this feeling well, so I’ve compiled a list of quick tips for staying organized.

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How to…manage your network

Today’s topic – managing your network. I just came back from the SRCD conference in Austin, TX. And it.was.AWESOME. Not only was the weather in Austin absolutely incredible, the people who attended and content covered at the conference was just fantastic. I didn’t have anything to present this time around, so I just focused my efforts on networking, taking with people, and just taking it all in. I’m about a year out from graduating, so there’s a lot that I need to accomplish, and networking is what I focused on last weekend!

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