Women in Academia: So You’ve Been Accepted to Grad School

Official graduate school acceptances are flying through the (e)mail like so many focused pigeons. If you spent your fall and winter honing your cover letter, resume, and essay, this is a particularly exhilarating and stressful time of year. After all, soon you will have to choose which program is right for you, if any. So what do you do after you have been accepted? Read More Women in Academia: So You’ve Been Accepted to Grad School

Women in Academia: Notes from a New PhD on the Best Advice Received in Graduate School

This space is for discussion about the experiences of women in academia. I try to provide a  broad perspective, but as a lone scientist, unless I hand the microphone over to some other brilliant people, I am only really providing one. Enter Dr. Carly Kocurek, a newly-minted PhD in American Studies. Recently, she reflected on her experiences throughout graduate school, and here is the wisdom she has picked up from years of hard work, hard schooling, kicking butt, and taking names.  Read More Women in Academia: Notes from a New PhD on the Best Advice Received in Graduate School

Words to Live By: Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Grandma Philososaurus is apparently infamous for this phrase. Unfortunately, I appear to be the only grand child who didn’t hear these words of advice, and perhaps the one most in need of them.

I started my MA program at my dream school three semesters ago. I’m nearly done now. I’ve established myself socially, traveled abroad to present my work, and have built relationships with my professors. Since coming into the program, I have received praise and reassurance from peers and faculty, not to mention my wonderful support system cheering me on. Nonetheless, I’ve spent nearly three years thinking, “alright, today is the day they realize I’m fooling these bastards and kick me out of the program.” Never mind that this would be the first time in the history of ever someone was kicked out mid-semester, despite managing excellent attendance and straight As. Never mind all the qualifications and support I’ve mentioned above…. Nope, it doesn’t matter at all. Read More Words to Live By: Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Dear New Graduate Students

Welcome! I hope you’re settling in OK. Whether you’re sharing an office with a whole gaggle of fellow grad students, or you’re living in the lap of luxury, AKA a quiet place to call your own, get settled down. Put up some pictures. Get your chair angled just right. Find the best coffee place and if they give you a discount for bringing in your own mug, make ample use of it. You’re in it for the long haul and you’ll need the caffeine (and cash). Read More Dear New Graduate Students

Women in Academia: Conversations About the Unexpected

No matter how well prepared someone is for starting graduate school, some surprising obstacles and challenges pop up along the path to that MA or Ph.D. I asked six graduate students what unexpected challenges they face, and their responses, ranging in topic from surprising fees to disillusionment with the grad school culture are illuminating. Read More Women in Academia: Conversations About the Unexpected

Getting into Graduate School: 101 ““ Part 3

In our first Grad School: 101 post, Kim left a question in the comment section that is a perfect segue into this week’s topic: researching graduate programs. Read More Getting into Graduate School: 101 ““ Part 3

Getting Into Graduate School: 101 ““ Part 2

This week we’re talking about extra-curricular research and activities in Grad School: 101. And really, I cannot emphasize enough just how important that first point is. Read More Getting Into Graduate School: 101 ““ Part 2

Getting Into Graduate School: 101 ““ Q&A

In the last Grad School: 101 post, I opened myself up to questions and comments, and you Persephoneers delivered! In this installment of Grad School: 101, I answer three good questions from the comments. Read More Getting Into Graduate School: 101 ““ Q&A