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GradHacker

A Blog from GradHacker and MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online

April 7, 2013 - 7:47pm
I can hardly believe it; after ten straight years in graduate school, I will be graduating. There were definitely times in my graduate career when I thought this day wouldn't come, but it's just a few short weeks away. Graduation is a special event that calls for a bit of preparation, including some things you might not consider. Here are a few reminders.
April 2, 2013 - 9:38pm
Last week, I successfully defended my dissertation. (Yay!) It’s a huge milestone, and I am exhausted and happy and proud. But my degree isn’t quite finished yet. As much as I would like to just bask in good feelings and watch some cartoons, there are a number of tiny details to finish, from submitting the final dissertation to signing the right forms.
March 31, 2013 - 9:12pm
Does the following situation sound familiar to you? Your supervisor gave you some papers to start exploring your topic. You start reading, excited to learn more about the subject. Then you start looking up all the references and continue reading from there. You follow a few journals in your field and print out all the recent relevant publications on this topic. Meanwhile, the number of publications you want to look at keeps on growing
March 28, 2013 - 8:15pm
One of the most exciting aspects of grad school is the opportunity to engage with senior scholars in your chosen field. For grads of color, this can also be an opportunity to meet one of the few professors in your field that not only shares your research interests, but might or might not look like you, talk like you, or share a similar background. Using African-American professors as one of many groups of color, we can see that the academy has a different structure for people navigating it from this specific social location.
March 26, 2013 - 9:18pm
The academic job offer is the moment you've been waiting for; after working for who-knows-how-many-years, you've finally been invited to take a real, grown-up place at the academic table. Once you get an offer, you may be tempted to say "yes" right away--after all, negotiating the academic job market is a harrowing, stressful process which can have the unfortunate side effect of crushing your self-esteem. You may be tempted to grab that offer and hold on for dear life with no thought as to what might or might not be included in it.
March 25, 2013 - 9:08pm
During the Fall 2012 semester I was diligently working on my annotated bibliographies for my comprehensive exams, a task that often takes a full year of preparation if not longer. My goal was to finish analyzing the 150 sources, write them up, take the exams, and, at some point in that semester, also write up my dissertation proposal. The hope was that I’d be ABD (all but dissertation) by the winter break, or at least mid-way through the Spring semester.
March 21, 2013 - 8:41pm
The dreaded written comprehensive exam. Many graduate students will have to pass some form of comprehensive exam at some point in their program. This can often include putting together a multi-page grant-style project proposal. Putting one of these together can be a daunting process if you are unprepared. But have no fear, there are ways to make crafting a solid document far less painful.
March 19, 2013 - 9:06pm
I've done a number of bootcamps and workshops on managing your digital identity and learning different social media technologies. While I find that grad students are fairly quick to learn the tools and have the intuition required to figure out a lot of the problems, there is one problem I see repeatedly: grad students don't understand why they should be doing it. If I had a dollar for each time I heard someone say "Well, I've got an account but I've never really used it...", I would probably be able to pay off a very small portion of my student loans.
March 17, 2013 - 10:34pm
In the grand scheme of grad life, teaching responsibilities loom large. Teaching is an important part of the professor’s career and yet learning to teach every student well is a process. In academic spaces, mentioning the word “inclusion” to grads and faculty has eye-turning effects. Some faculty and grads do not glance over to the people of difference in the room to check if in fact, they are still female, differently-abled, bilingual, working class, homosexual, non-White, Jewish, immigrant, bi-racial, or atheist; yet many do.
March 14, 2013 - 8:32pm
At the most recent conference of the Association for Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), held last November, representatives from several academic presses and scholars who had recently published monographs based on their dissertations held a roundtable dedicated to giving current grad students tips on what they should prepare for if they intend on turning their dissertation into a book.

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