UPO/Psi Chi February 7, 2011 Meeting: The Graduate Student Experience

7 graduate students attended the meeting and sat on a panel in which officers and members asked them questions pertaining to their lives as graduate students.

  1. What was 1 thing you did/didn’t do in preparation for grad-school that you regret?
  2. wish would have made more contact to grad-schools in general
  3. underestimated grad-school application processwish had more time to realize that the processes were different for different schools
  4. make sure to get a head start as to what you want to research in grad-school
  5. contacting people about who is accepting grad-students early on
  6. being involved before grad-school is important
  7. don’t underestimate yourself based on your GPA, GRE score, be confident in what your research is going to be about
  8. be prepared for interviews as to what interviewers are doing research on (make sure their information is updated if found on their websites)
  1. What type of studying did you do for the GRE?
  2. Kaplan CD program/Power prep. CD
  3. Princeton review book for a semester
  4. online test bank/practice tests (timed)
  5. study parts of speech for the verbal sections
  6. youtube GRE parts/parts of speech
  7. practice Math section if haven’t had any math courses in a few years (although GRE not predicted to determine how well you will do in grad-school)
  8. Does it make a difference if you take time off between undergraduate and graduate years?
  9. depends on each person
  10. if plan to take a break then keep in touch w/letter writers
  11. make sure you have a good/solid personal statement
  12. be sure to ask if letter writers will/can write a good letter of recommendation for you

-the earlier the better to contact letter writers and provide them with folder of information on yourself, classes taken with them, grades, etc. (also provide them with stamps, envelopes, addresses to schools, etc.)

  1. What did you do in preparation for Interview Weekend?
  2. cold callslet go to voicemail if don’t know the number, have flashcards with information for phone interviews ready and bookmark the institution of interest’s website(s)
  3. in-person interviews watching every move you’re making all faculty and grad-students critiquing you all weekend
  4. dress professional (dress for the job you want)
  5. recommends people you put in personal statement that you’re actually interested in and know what the faculty does you want to work with
  6. be yourselfadmit when you don’t know stuff and when you do (don’t be fake)
  7. be sure you have something to add to faculty’s research
  8. have some specific ideas of research in mind for interviews
  9. What does your typical day look like?
  10. normally 9-5pm/M-F and often one weekend day
  11. varies if in classes or not, assistantship, teacher-ship, and type of lab you’re working in
  12. writing/classes/meetings
  13. can pretty much schedule your own hours and where you complete your work
  14. Master’s vs. PhD programs?
  15. good idea to do Master’s program if you need research experience
  16. research assistant/volunteer research good to have for PhD or if you don’t know for sure what you’re interested in
  17. grad-school enables a lot of flexibility
  18. R-A-ship/T-A-ship can switch during PhD program, often fund grad-students
  19. university covers tuition and health insurance and stipend (where you pay student fees, books, and cost of living)
  20. take out student loans to pay for cost of livingbe sure to also have FAFSA prepared