Graduate School Survival Skills Rachel Pottinger and Tiffani Williams

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Graduate School Survival Skills

Graduate School Survival SkillsRachel Pottinger and Tiffani WilliamsWho are you?How many of you are:UndergraduatesMSc studentsPhD studentsOtherWho are we?About RachelIm an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia (in Vancouver, Canada, eh)I got my PhD at the University of Washington and my BS at DukeIm married to a tenured UBC CS teaching track faculty member, Steve, and we have a 4 year old daughter,Naomi

About Tiffani

Why are you here?No, really, why are you here?Why are you at this workshop? Why are you in grad school?Turn to the person next to you and talk it over for the next 3 minutesWhy people are hereYou cant get what you came for unless you know what you came forIf you came to learn how to do researchYou need to figure out how youre going to learn that:Meetings with your supervisorLab meetingsClassesGoing to talksReading papers

Manage your advisorLearn from your peersPay attention to whats important in classes and its not necessarily getting the best gradeGo to talks. Theyre how you learn whats really interestingHow many of you have ever struggled to read a paper?10If you came to get a job when youre doneFigure out which job you really want:Do internshipsTeachFind out how to get the skills you needResearch (see previous slide)WritingPublic speaking but what if youre not getting what you came forThe most important thing is to realize that this is sadly fairly commonSee if you can figure out how to change whats bothering you. Some common ones:Advisor problemsYou hate your researchYou hate your groupThe biggest thing: find someone to talk toWhich leads us directly to12List the 3 most important people in your graduate school careerLets get together in small groups and discuss among yourselves who are the important people in grad school.Be ready to share with the larger group.I changed this to 3, since people will probably automatically come up with the fact that thesis committees generally need 3 members, and it might be easier to cover. Obviously, you can do what you like13List 3 important people in your graduate school careerSurely, your graduate advisor is on your list?For better or for worse, your advisor holds the key to the next step in your career.If you are getting a PhD, you will be forever linked to your advisor.This is one of the reasons picking an advisor is serious business! List 3 important people in your graduate school careerSurely, you are on your list?You are important. You are to be respected and valued.The way people treat you is a function of how you expect to be treated.You have the most to gain and lose in your graduate school career. What to do when you run into trouble?Dont ignore it. The problem will only get bigger. Early detection is the key.Summarize the facts of the issue.Discuss the facts with a trusted friend.Develop a plan of action.

16What to do when you run into trouble?Consider the following source of help.Your graduate advisor if they are not the issue.Women groups in computer science and engineering.Professors you have taken a class with and had a good rapport.A trusted resource from your undergraduate institution.

17Graduate school isnt all work. You must find time to play.We all know about Oprahs favorite things. Here are ours.Rachels favorite things:Spending time with my husband and daughter, reading, cooking and eatingTiffanis favorite things:Doing nothing, playing sports, reading, talking, laughing, and eating

18All set?Having said all that, theres one thing wed like to leave you withIn order to make the most of grad school, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and be boldIn short: You cant be afraid to make an idiot of yourself.So, with that in mind, its time for a sing alongTo be sung to the tune of I will SurviveAt first I was afraid, I was petrifiedThinking I could never do research, Id have to hideI spent so many nights thinking all I did was wrongI grew strongI learned how to carry onNow my grooves back!From a dark place.I just walk in and people leave with love of my research tasteI have changed the way I workNow I know that was the keyAnd I know for just one second Grad school doesnt bother meOriginal lyrics:

I Will Surviveby: Gloria Gaynor[[At first I was afraid, I was petrified,Kept thinkin I could never live without you by my side,But then I spent so many nights thinkin how you did me wrong,And I grew strong, and I learned how to get along,

And so you're back, from outer space,I just walked in to find you here with that look upon your face,I shouldve changed that stupid lock,I shouldve made you leave your key,If I had known for just one second youd be back to bother me,

Oh now go, walk out the door,Just turn around now, cause youre not welcome anymore,Werent you the one who tried to hurt me with desire,Did you think Id crumble, did you think Id lay down and die,Oh no not I, I will survive,Oh as long as I know how to love, I know Ill stay alive,Ive got all my life to live; Ive got all my love to give,Ill survive, I will survive,Hey, Hey!

(musical)

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart,Just trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart,And I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself,I used to cry, but now I hold my head up high,And you see me, somebody new,Im not that stupid little person who's still in love with you,And so you felt like droppin in and just expect me to be free,Now Im savin all my lovin for someone whos lovin me,

Oh now go , walk out the door,Just turn around now, cause you're not welcome anymore,Werent you the one who tried to hurt me with desire,Did ya think Id crumble, did ya think Id lay down and die,

Oh no not I, I will survive,Oh as long as I know how to love I know Ill stay alive,Ive got all my life to live, Ive got all my love to give,Ill survive, I will survive.Ooooh

Oh now go, walk out the doorJust turn around now, cause you're not welcome anymoreWeren't you the one who tried to hurt me with desire,Did you think I'd crumble, did you think I'd lay down and dieOh no not I, I will surviveOh as long as I know how to love I know I'll stay aliveI've got all my life to live, I've got all my love to giveI'll survive, I will surviveI will survive

musical

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart,Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart,And I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself,I used to cry, but now I hold my head up high,And you see me, somebody new,Im not that stupid little person that's still in love with you,And so you felt like droppin in and just expect me to be free,Now Im savin all my lovin for someone whos lovin me,

Go on now go, walk out the door,Just turn around now, cause you're not welcome anymore,Werent you the one who tried to hurt me with desire,Did ya think Id crumble, did ya think Id lay down and die,

Oh no not I, I will survive,Oh as long as I know how to love I know Ill stay alive,Ive got all my life to live, Ive got all my love to give,Ill survive, I will survive.I will surviveoh!

20Once more with feeling!And now Ill go! Walk out the doorIm turned around nowDoubts not welcome anymoreI used to feel so very hurt that I could cryI thought Id crumbleI thought Id lay down and dieOh no, not I!I will survive!As long as I know how to thinkIll make it out aliveIve got all my life to live Ive got all my thoughts to giveAnd Ill surviveI will survive!Hey, hey!