Graduate School Survival Skills Jamika Burge and Rachel Pottinger
CRA-W Programs inspire and increase the success of women & minorities in computing 600+ students & PhD researchers every year from 250 U.S. institutions
What does CRA-W do? Individual & Group Research Mentoring Undergrads: Undergraduate Research Experiences Undergrads: Distinguished lecture role models Grad Cohort: group mentoring of graduate students Grad Students: Discipline Specific Research workshops PhD Researchers: group mentoring early & mid career @ CMW, CAPP, Grace Hopper & Tapia Graduate Students Undergraduates Academic careers Industry/government labs 600+ students & PhDs a year
More information on programs available at table right outside and CRA-W booth in exhibit hall
Who are you? How many of you are: Undergraduates MSc students PhD students Others ?
About Rachel I’m an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia (in Vancouver, Canada, eh) I got my PhD at the University of Washington and my BS at Duke I’m married to a tenured UBC CS teaching track faculty member, Steve, and we have an almost 7 year old daughter, Naomi
About Jamika PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 2007 CS: Human-computer interaction, computer-mediated communication Senior Scientist DARPA Technical Consultant Co-chair, Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC), cdc-computing.org Programs develop and support a diverse computing research community Change Agents Council of The Computer Science Collaborative Project (CSCP) Brings together key stakeholders in broadening participation in computing across K-12 For fun: laughing, traveling, family & friends
You can’t get what you came for unless you know what you came for
If you came to learn how to do research You need to figure out how you’re going to learn to do it: Meetings with your supervisor Lab meetings Classes Going to talks Reading papers
If you came to get a job when you’re done Figure out which job you really want: Do internships Teach Find out how to get the skills you need Research (see previous slide) Writing Public speaking
… but what if you’re not getting what you came for The most important thing is to realize that this is sadly fairly common See if you can figure out how to change what’s bothering you. Some common ones: o Advisor problems o You hate your research o You hate your group The biggest thing: find someone to talk to
List the 3 most important people in your graduate school career Let’s 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.
List 3 important people in your graduate school career Surely, 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 career Surely, 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? Don’t 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. Don’t be afraid to do what’s best for YOU
What to do when you run into trouble? Consider the following sources of help. Your graduate advisor – if she/he is not the issue. Women groups in computer science and engineering. Professors with whom you have taken a class and have good rapport. A trusted resource from your undergraduate institution.
Graduate school isn’t all work. You must find time to play. We all know about Oprah’s favorite things. Here are ours. Rachel’s favorite things: Spending time with my husband and daughter, reading, cooking and eating Jamika’s favorite things: Spending time with friends, doing *nothing*, making time to laugh, traveling
All set? Having said all that, there’s one thing we’d like to leave you with In order to make the most of grad school, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and be bold In short: You can’t be afraid to make an idiot of yourself. So, with that in mind, it’s time for a sing along!
To be sung to the tune of “I will Survive” At first I was afraid, I was petrified Thinking I could never do research, I’d have to hide I spent so many nights thinking all I did was wrong I grew strong I learned how to carry on Now my groove’s back! From a dark place. I just walk in and people leave with love of my research taste I have changed the way I work Now I know that was the key And I know for just one second Grad school doesn’t bother me And now I’ll go! Walk out the door I’m turned around now Doubt’s not welcome anymore I used to feel so very hurt that I could cry I thought I’d crumble I thought I’d lay down and die Oh no, not I! I will survive! As long as I know how to think I’ll make it out alive I’ve got all my life to live I’ve got all my thoughts to give And I’ll survive I will survive! Hey, hey!
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