Points to Consider About Potential Graduate Programs Before You Enroll

 Modified: December 3, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Despite “The 3 Most Important Questions Every Prospective Grad Student Must Face,” an article published on October 16, 2019, being geared towards a scholarly, academic discipline other than English, it was worth the time it took to read and reblog about. I know I would like to go to graduate school, something that neither of my parents did, and it sometimes seems somewhat daunting without a sort of direction to guide me for how to select a school besides figuring out what I want to specialize in, even this early on while I am about to start my second bachelor’s degree. I will be at grad school down the line and should try to give myself every advantage for its preparation and completion that I can.

After reading this, I see how it totally makes sense to not only research the coursework and specializations for graduate and Ph.D. school, but, like this article mentions, a key point to focus on is how I and potential advisors and faculty interact with each other to determine if we are good fits (he mentions if it feels right in your gut). To regroup myself, keep my life and work/school spheres centered and balanced, and get some downtime to recharge, relax, and keep my mental health going strong, the article also points to how one should assess external factors like the climate and environment around your graduate program, and even talk with current new and senior students to get a feel for how things are on campus from the student’s perspective.

For LGBTQ+ that are seeking special housing arrangments and accommodations, it is likely wise to inquire about those particulars during a campus visit or in a conversation with a housing coordinator.

Thanks, Ethan Siegel for “The 3 Most Important Questions Every Prospective Grad Student Must Face (the link opens in a new tab). Follow Ethan at his Twitter @StartsWithABang  (the link opens in a new tab) and his website startswithabang.com  (the link opens in a new tab).

Are We Even Allowed to Work Outside of the University While In a Graduate Program?

 Modified: October 18, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Posted under the tag “career advice,” the article “More grad students should be allowed to take jobs outside academe (opinion)” published on Inside Higher Ed, “The Need for Outside Jobs in Grad School (the link opens in a new tab) that was posted on July 3, 2019, by Zeb Larson  (zeb.larson@gmail.com ), applies to should we allow or should we not allow outside work (work other than teaching and working on the dissertation) while in a graduate program. The dilemma of being a graduate student, while also holding outside of university work, is a current reality. Income has to come from somewhere while in school and it is likely a more common than not solution to try and look for a job outside of the university while in your graduate program. It appears that some programs frown on this solution. “Many graduate departments have some kind of rule in place to prevent graduate students from taking on outside work” (Larson). It appears that some programs will only allow the students to work an internship or teaching assistantship program and not hold non-educational employment because outside work is “often seen as an unnecessary distraction” (Larson). What about those of us that are in-between undergraduate and graduate programs and need to work to survive for the time being until they get accepted into a grad program? Are we supposed to tell our boss or supervisor when applying, “Hey, thanks for allowing me the opportunity to join your team and make a positive contribution to the business, however, in the near future, to be honest, when I pursue my education further and get accepted into a graduate school, I will not be able to work for you anymore because it is a school requirement?” That’s crazy, right, or is it just me?!

In theory, all of these concerns sound like good reasons to make sure that students don’t end up overburdening themselves with work outside of their teaching and dissertation. But in practice, such restrictions increasingly do not serve a useful function for graduate students or graduate departments. They no longer match the reality that many graduate students face either professionally or financially. (Larson)

🤔 It will be interesting to see when I enter graduate school if my program will allow me to hold outside work while completing my studies. I will definitely prefer to take an assistantship or educational job if one comes around, though with the growing popularity of the times in online master’s programs available as a valid option to students for their degrees, is educational graduate on-campus work a realistic proposition when enrolled in an online master’s program? The meat of Larson’s article supports great reasons to not try and look for outside work if we, as students, can help it. Personally, while I try to accept that I may need to work outside the teaching realm while in school, I shut down and become rather disturbed thinking to try and formulate myself a plan b with the scenarios that my graduate studies will not land me a teaching job or professorship. There is always that reality that the degree will not provide the desired work, and, moreover, I know this to be true from some of my time in non-educational employment as an undergraduate student. I will cross that bridge when – and if – it happens, using the best resources I have at that time. It’s a true statement that we don’t all end up working where we want, but, hey, one can still put in the effort to get where they want, right? Not to leave on a down and sour note, but, to stay in a balanced perspective, Larson closes his article with an opinion on our supposed precarity, the state of having insecure employment or income, that “given the precarity most of us young academics face, letting people take outside jobs would give us a leg up on the ‘alternate’ careers most of us will have” (Larson).

The references from the above article were on 24 July 2019 from Inside Higher Ed at https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2019/07/03/more-grad-students-should-be-allowed-take-jobs-outside-academe-opinion  (the link opens in a new tab).