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Mason Grad Insider

Service Isn’t Just for Undergrads

April 26, 2021

By Shauna Rigaud, PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies

I’ve always understood that community sustains me. When I was a kid, I was involved in all the afterschool programs I could find. Not just because I knew my mom would not allow me to just hang out at my friends’ house or randomly go to the mall afterschool, but because I saw the unique opportunity those programs offered me to find friendship, give back and learn in untraditional ways. I didn’t always think that was the case (I really just wanted to hang out with my friends), but each opportunity that I became involved with helped to build my appreciation for …

Finding Balance Between School, Work, and Life

March 3, 2021

By Kerry Hentges, Programming and Administrative Coordinator for University Life SciTech, pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture at George Mason

I decided to apply for graduate school 6 years after graduating with my Bachelor’s of Fine Art. I had decided I wanted to be an art teacher, and graduate school was the next step in that process. I was excited to get back into art-making and learn new techniques.

The first thing I was told upon entering graduate school was that I was going to make bad art. The next thing I was told was that I wasn’t even going to have time to sleep during the next …

“Am I on mute?” Interviewing for a Job in 2021

February 4, 2021

By Kristin P. Leonato, Associate Director, Strategic Initiatives, University Career Services


“Job interviews are the worst,” shared one of my University Career Services colleagues when she interviewed for her current role. Perhaps you agree? Interviews often feel like “the worst” for the people on both sides of the hiring process; hiring decisions have long-term impacts on an organization and for the person being interviewed. Yet interviews are also an opportunity for everyone involved to learn more and think critically about the best way to move forward.

For some, virtual job interviews feel even more complicated or overwhelming compared to in-person interviews. Adding the layer of technology can create …

Networking During a Pandemic Offers Graduate Students an Opportunity to Inform Recruiters

October 21, 2020

By Victoria Suarez, Assistant Director Employer Development, University Career Services 


An unexpected outcome of the current, social distancing reality in which we all find ourselves is that many organizations, institutions, and individuals have granted themselves the grace to try something unique.  It has been said that “necessity is the mother of invention,” and, in many cases, companies have wanted to dabble in virtual internships and remote offices spaces; however, only with the weight of Covid-19 demanding innovation have executives authorized these unproven initiatives. 

Of course, this phenomenon is not limited to companies; you, too, are innovating during the pandemic.  Whether in your role as a parent, student, employee, or friend, consider the myriad, previously inconceivable, actions …

Welcome to the Mason Grad Insider Blog!

September 2, 2020

By Nikita Thadani and Austin A. Deray

We would like to welcome all new and continuing graduate and professional students to the 2020-2021 year! We know classes and campus operations may not be how you had imagined this semester, but we are confident that we will all make an amazing experience out of it nonetheless. The Mason Grad Insider blog is sponsored by Graduate Student Life and will feature great content, with contributions from colleagues in departments across campus. This blog was created to give graduate students a voice and be a guide and resource during their graduate career at Mason. Mason grad students can expect to find a wide …

Interpersonal Skills: A Key to Job Success

January 29, 2020

By Sydney Glass

Interpersonal skills can be described as those that allow you to successfully interact with and convey information to other people.[i] Regardless of our program or degree level, all graduate students can benefit from improving these skills, especially those of us preparing to enter the career world soon. With graduation coming up in May, I am constantly thinking of ways to enhance my resume and set myself apart from other job candidates; bringing attention to my interpersonal skills is a great way to do this. While others may have the same credentials and technical knowledge as you, many may not have these skills, which can lead to more …

Going Abroad, Is It Right for You?

April 3, 2019

By Sydney Glass

While study abroad is highly encouraged in undergrad, it is not always given the same attention in graduate school. Because grad students are so busy with their academics, work, and personal lives, we often assume that study abroad or other forms of international education will not fit into our schedules. During my undergraduate education, I was fortunate to have the opportunity not only to spend a semester in Spain, but also to work with the study abroad office at my university. These experiences sparked my interest in and highlighted the importance of international education. In this post, I will share with you some general ways that …

How to Break into a New Industry

November 14, 2018

By Sydney Glass

Whether you are just starting your graduate career or preparing to finish, as graduate students, we are all focused on preparing for our career after graduation. For many who are going to graduate school to break into a new field, this task can be more daunting than our studies, as it takes time and effort to find the perfect job, especially when each listing requires or strongly recommends 1-2 years of experience. To make sure that everyone is equipped to take the career world by storm, I am going to share tips that can help you gain experience in your field of study/industry and land your dream …

What Can Career Services Offer You?

September 19, 2018

By Sydney Glass

With the stress of completing assignments and looming deadlines, it is easy to overlook or push career-related activities to the side or wait until you graduate. Doing so often leads to a demanding environment as many grad students underestimate the amount of time and effort that goes into finding work after earning their degrees. Or you are on the opposite end of this spectrum and have started the job search early, but have gotten stuck on the next step you should take. Without the proper guidance, you can find yourself in an endless cycle, wasting your valuable time.

Here is where a visit to University Career …

Professionalism for Grad Students: Four Ways to Build Your Career Readiness

March 21, 2018

Raechel Timbers, M.Ed. Associate Director, Student Professional Development, University Career Services

The National Association of Colleges and Employers identified professionalism/work ethic as one of the  8 career readiness skills most valued by employers. Your ability to effectively demonstrate this skill is vital in your transition from an undergraduate to graduate student. So, what does professionalism mean? Below is how NACE defines these ideas.

Professionalism/Work Ethic: Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and …