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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 …

Quick Tips to Being a Mentor to Undergrads!

March 25, 2021

by Austin A. Deray

 

Good day, Mason graduate students! I hope y’all are having a good Spring 2021 and beginning to enjoy the warmer weather. Today’s blog was inspired by a conversation I had with one of my many writing groups (y’all know I love a writing group: “Virtual Writing Communities: How Can We Work Together, while We Stay Apart?”), and I decided to bring it to everyone this week on Mason’s Grad Insider… so let’s get to talking about mentoring. 

A lot of time in grad school, we talk about finding a mentor (“What to Look for in a Mentor”), but recently, one of  my writing groups had …

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 …

Backwards Design for Maximizing your Time in Graduate School

February 17, 2021

By Shannon N. Davis, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology

Edited by Austin A. Deray. Leadership and Advising, Graduate Student Life

 

It seems kind of silly but a question that many people ask new graduate students is, “When are you going to finish?” You begin your graduate program with a goal in mind and possibly even a deadline by which that you anticipate completing your degree. But how about we think about this differently. Think only about having your degree as the endpoint. Don’t you want your time that you spend pursuing your degree to yield not only the degree but also launch you into a successful …

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 …

Overcoming Procrastination

November 13, 2019

By Yasamin Rahmani

The Webster’s Dictionary definition of procrastination is “to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.” Although the definition is quite broad, it does hit close to home. Whether this intention of putting off is at work, school, or our personal life, it is no stranger to us – at least not to me.

Procrastinating can also be looked at as a habitual stress relief that can be done inadvertently, hindering one’s success. It is no surprise that having the habit of procrastination affects productivity and the ability to plan ahead to achieve short-term and long-term goals.

The reason I chose to write this …

Study Groups: The Thing to Do in Graduate School

October 9, 2019

By Austin Deray

Since coming to Mason, I have been asked the same question repeatedly from other graduate students coming to our offices’ events: “What should I do as a graduate student?” I must confess it always takes me by surprise, and then I find myself propelled back in time to 2013 when I was working on my master’s. I remember being given two pieces of advice by my professor and mentor at the time, Dr. Jane Rago, both of which were ironically enough supported by research that she had no idea existed: lean on your cohort and connect with a study group. I have written about the importance of …

Breathe In, Breathe Out: Surviving Finals and Planning for the Summer

May 2, 2019

The spring semester is coming to a close, which means that summer break is almost here. We are sure that you are as excited as we are to take a break from the everyday routine of classes and assignments. While often not as demanding, the summer is an opportunity for many of us to move forward in our graduate education by taking extra classes, gaining practical or professional experience in our field, spending time writing our thesis or dissertation, and/or advancing our research skills. For the last post of the year, we want to share with you some techniques for de-stressing as the final exam period approaches and tips for …

Start the Year off Right!

January 23, 2019

Welcome back all Mason graduate and professional students to the spring 2019 semester! I hope that everyone had a chance to relax and recharge over winter break.

I believe that part of having a successful year is in how you choose to start the year off. Thus, I have compiled three strategies that I myself have found helpful and that I think will put you in the mindset to finish the academic year successfully and prepare you for any challenges that may arise.

Make SMART Goals

With the start of a new year, many people choose to make a list of New Year’s resolutions in order to make their goals …