Thy Thesis Come

So, you’ve have made it into graduate school and you’ve finished your course work, but there is still one more thing to do. Daunting, at the edge of your periphery, your thesis has been looming for the last two to three years, and now it is time to complete it. At this juncture, you have one of two options. One, you take every bit of knowledge you have been learning during your time in graduate school and start from scratch. You’ve earned your knowledge, and now you get to implement it. Or two, and this set-up is a slight misnomer, you have already been working on your thesis for the past two to three years.

Personally, I recommend option two. Use your classes, your course work, and  your assignments as templates for your thesis. Gear all of your work and your endeavors toward that final goal. This is NOT double dipping, it is working smarter, not harder. Some committee/departments will not allow you to do this, as they want your thesis to be entirely original, but for the most part, you will not find any roadblocks. This method saves you times, and in graduate school, time is everything.

Whatever option you choose, find your own way to tackle this process to make it easier.  Do not be lackadaisical in this endeavor, whatever your department says, remember, your thesis is a big ordeal.

In addition, discover your department’s guidelines before your final semester. Sometimes (cough, usually) your first draft of your thesis does not mean it is you final draft, regardless of whether your department likes it or not. You may also still have to take exams and have an oral defense over what you’ve written. In the end–and I’m saying again for emphasis–make sure you have time. Time is your biggest threat. I for one, only took thesis during my last semester of graduate school, and it still took me the entire 15 weeks to complete the process. Good luck and God speed!

Getting Your Hands on That “Mean Green”

Money money money money…some people gotta have it, some people really need it. It’s only fitting to begin this post with the lyrics of renowned soul group The O’Jays from their hit song For the Love of Money. These lyrics definitely describe graduate students’ sentiments regarding funding our graduate education. Graduate school is not cheap, and it sure is not free! But don’t be alarmed! What’s the best way to fund your education? SImple. Get someone else to pay for it.

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Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in STEM (Washington, DC. 2015)

Last month, I got an amazing opportunity to interact with some of the brightest researchers across the United States. I was part of the IU-team (Dr. Yolanda Treviño (the Assistant Vice President for Strategy, Planning, and Assessment), Dr. Garfield Warren (physics), Dr. Sara Skrabalak (chemistry) and myself) that attended the 5th annual Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) held in Washington, DC on February 19-21.

About 1000 undergraduate and graduate students presented their research at the ERN conference. Continue reading

Get a Hobby!: A Balance Between Work and Play

Along with being accepted into a graduate program comes so many false myths and hard-to-believe but tough-to-deny seemingly true realities. One of these ever-so-popular beliefs is that graduate school is all about work, work, and more work. Period. Why? Because you won’t have time for anything else. I am happy to inform you that this is far from the truth.

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Get Involved! Graduate Student Organizations

As an aspiring student affairs professional, if I have not learned anything else in my graduate studies, I have learned that ALL students should have diverse learning experiences that help them grow and develop holistically. Sometimes these experiences happen outside of the classroom in extracurricular activities. This does not only hold true for undergraduate students but for graduate students as well! It is so important to get involved in student organizations.

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Your Best Friend: Funding!

Funding is something very special. It is that thing you never think you’re going to get, and even when you do get it, you don’t believe it’s true. I just want to debunk the myths of the notorious “full-ride.” Funding is real, and it is important.

The most helpful advice I ever received when I decided to go to graduate school was about how I should look at graduate school. I was told that when people ask me why I’m continuing your education instead of getting a job, I should look them dead in the face and tell them, “Graduate school is my job.” Continue reading

A Better You Meets a Better Graduate Student

Wake up. Go to school. Go to work. Go to the library. Go home. Study and write some more. Wake up the next day. Do it all over again. Food? Sleep? Who needs those, right? WRONG! With the scholar grind at an all-time high as a graduate student, it is easy to get so lost in the hustle and bustle that we forget to look out for someone very important: ourselves. No matter how overwhelming the challenges, always keep YOU in the front of your mind. Sometimes, ok most times, this seems impossible to do, but it can be done! How…you ask?

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