Category: Succeeding in Graduate School

Articles about professional development and seminar announcements.

Productivity and Technology

Academics are lucky – they get two (or three if you count summer) chances to start a fresh leaf every year. Each new start is an opportunity to re-energize yourself and be more productive.  Are you looking for some inspiration on how to use technology to be more productive?  If so, check out these two resources:

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dissertation

This article from Inside Higher Ed’s blog will show you how to love your dissertation (or thesis). Writing can be an overwhelming task, and everyone can use tips on how to manage the writing process and motivate yourself to do just a little bit every day. These tips also apply to any large-scale project, like writing a proposal or journal article.

One of the pieces of advice that we often give students is that the best dissertation is a finished dissertation. Focus on completing your degree and starting the next stage in your career rather than seeking perfection.

Maintain Your Lit Review, Maintain Your Sanity

A good literature review is one of the foundations of your thesis or dissertation.  Most students complete a thorough literature review as part of their Research proposal examination, but the final dissertation might be a year or more away in the future.

This article from the Gradhacker blog has some tips on how to keep your literature review up to date using technology to automate as much of the process as possible.  Learn how to:

  • Keep track of search terms
  • Use Google Reader to stay up to date
  • Use the media to stay current

You’ve Got Mail. And Better Things to Do.

With smartphones, tablets, and computers surrounding us every day, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by new information. This essay from the Chronicle offers some great tips about how to manage your e-mail and time better to help improve your productivity.

One tip, for example, is to have an e-mail strategy – and stick to it.  How often will you read your e-mail? How often will you reply? Setting aside specific times to answer e-mails will allow you to focus on other tasks during the rest of the day.

Some articles from the Chronicle require a full subscription to read. Michigan Tech students, faculty, and staff will have full access when they access articles from a campus IP address.

Day 1 of the Semester

Whether you are teaching this fall for the first time, or fiftieth time, there are some great tips in this article from the Chronicle about how to put your best foot forward on the first day of class.

Learn why it’s important and how to:

  • Be yourself-but a little bit better
  • Dress for success
  • Strike the right tone
  • Convey key information

Some articles from the Chronicle require a subscription to access.  Michigan Tech faculty, staff, and students will have access when accessing the Chronicle from a Michigan Tech IP address.

Strategies To Help Women Thrive In STEM Careers

Karen Purcell has written a new book entitled, Unlocking Your Brilliance: Smart Strategies for Women to Thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  In the book, she shares her struggles and successes in her career as an electrical engineer.

In this Q&A, she shares why she wrote the book, some strategies for success, and the importance of a mentor.

Conferences: Do Not Hide Under a Bushel

Whether you’re going to your first conference, or fiftieth, there are some great tips in this article from Tomorrow’s Professor to help you get the most out of the experience. A few tips on how to spend your time well at a conference, according to Christopher (2011) include:

  • Attend talks that will strengthen your specific research topics.
  • Attend talks that will broaden and enhance your research.
  • Learn how to have fun at the conference venue.
  • Interact with peers from other universities and organizations. Networking with your peers pays huge dividends. Peers today,
  • leaders tomorrow!
  • Finally, set aside some time to talk to potential mentors and some of the icons of the field. Most senior researchers enjoy interacting with graduate students.