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grad skool rulz – what should be in there?

I’ve got planned the remaining grad skool rulz installments:

  • getting published as a grad student
  • conferences/networking
  • how you know you are done
  • the job market
  • the job interview
  • filing your dissertation and the defense
  • a few words on starting your career

What other topics should be in the rulz? Here is the list of previous rulz. Please put your suggestions in the comments. Thanks.

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Written by fabiorojas

May 26, 2009 at 12:16 am

15 Responses

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  1. How about: should you be blogging as a grad student? Not that I am partial to the discussion, just curious…

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    Drew Conway

    May 26, 2009 at 12:30 am

  2. Drew: Nothing wrong with blogging as long as it’s professional. Rule of thumb:

    1. if it doesn’t look embarrassing and
    2. it doesn’t suck up your time and
    3. you are publishing/writing a good dissertation

    then it’s ok.

    Like

    fabiorojas

    May 26, 2009 at 12:56 am

  3. I’ve had a few ideas along these lines:

    1. Forming a dissertation group (slightly different from make some friends).

    2. How to use the time between general qualifying exams and finalizing a dissertation topic.

    3. Economics for economic sociologists

    4. Tips on finding a job in a tough market (or what to do if you do poorly on the market).

    Like

    seansafford

    May 26, 2009 at 12:57 am

  4. and maybe some slightly trickier topics:

    5. Having kids as a grad student pros and cons–women’s edition (you may want a guest blogger for that one)

    5.1 Having kids as a grad student pros and cons–men’s edition…

    Like

    seansafford

    May 26, 2009 at 1:13 am

  5. Sean: All good suggestions! I did write about kids in the “all in the family edition.” The others make for good future topics. Thanks!

    Like

    fabiorojas

    May 26, 2009 at 1:25 am

  6. Following up on Sean’s point #2, it may be helpful to talk about balancing getting published as a grad student versus working on qualifying exams, dissertation proposals, and other things students need to do to get through a program.

    Also, it may be useful to have a grad skool rulz about working groups, brown bags, or other forums within a department where students can present works in progress. While these may vary a lot from department to department, there are probably some common issues about how to form, join and participate in a group. For example, when is a working paper ready for such a group? How can these groups be best utilized to make everyone’s work better? What do you do if your work doesn’t quite fit any of the established groupings in your department?

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    Noah

    May 26, 2009 at 2:52 am

  7. to noah’s point… actually, i started my dissertation group right after we all passed our qualifying exams… the goal was to get through that no-mans-land between exams and dissertation. it was great; and i think a useful innovation.

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    seansafford

    May 26, 2009 at 5:27 am

  8. As a grad student, just wanted to say thanks for doing this series.

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    Trey

    May 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm

  9. Just a note to say that I’ve really enjoyed this series. Some of the advice may seem like “obvious” common sense (e.g. read the graduate manual), but I’ve seen lots of grad students get delayed or otherwise tripped up by not following some of this advice. I think this has been suggested before, but I’d like to second that this would make a great book.

    Like

    musa

    May 27, 2009 at 11:03 am

  10. A topic I have interest in is how do you go about getting a nice dissertation fellowship. What’s going to give a grad student an edge? What can be included in “the packet” that might not necessarily come to mind from the list of items the foundation may want?

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    Hillbilly

    May 30, 2009 at 12:13 pm

  11. way late to this party, but: can you do one on the logistics & theory of getting an outside reader? when to ask, who to ask, politics, etc?

    Like

    audrey

    July 27, 2010 at 8:40 pm

  12. Audrey: That can probably be tacked onto a discussion of committees. But my answer:

    Outside readers are usually pretty easy to add as long as (a) they are actually experts on the topic, (b) there are no obvious personal conflicts with current committee members and (c) the dept/university rules allow it. As long as the person is available for advice and occasional paper work, it’s just like having a regular committee member.

    Like

    fabiorojas

    July 27, 2010 at 9:17 pm

  13. thanks, fabio. at my university outside readers are actually required, so it sounds like you’re coming from a different system. but your answers help.

    Like

    audrey

    July 27, 2010 at 9:19 pm

  14. Thought you meant “outside” as in “from another school!” But the same applies for “outside” readers from other depts/programs. If your school requires it, it probably means that the faculty are used to requests. A long time ago, when I was a math nerd, I learned that statistics profs were used to being hit up to be outside readers by math students, since so few other faculty could do it. So just ask!

    Like

    fabiorojas

    July 27, 2010 at 9:22 pm

  15. the rule here is 1 outside reader required, who can be from another field in my university (Rutgers), or any field (including my own, sociology) at another university.

    Like

    audrey

    July 27, 2010 at 9:53 pm


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