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Mason Grad Insider

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 …

Top Five Tips to Help You Become an Organized GMU Grad

October 31, 2018

By Sophie Gorshenin

As graduate students we have a lot going on. The majority of graduate students work part or full time. On top of work we have families, social obligations, study groups, readings, papers, and exams. It is a lot to keep track of, and sometimes it just really feels like there is simply not enough time in the day to conquer it all.

It is incredibly important to learn how to organize all of your responsibilities in order to achieve a healthy work-life-grad school balance. One of the greatest things you can do for yourself is get organized! Here are our top five suggestions for organizational skills …

Goal Setting and Motivation

January 27, 2017

By Katrina Dunlap

How many of us set goals for the academic semester or year? Goals are important to getting things done and moving forward to advance both our professional and personal lives. They serve as a motivational tool to keep us on track and focused on the many smaller tasks that lead up to achieving our desired outcomes. Goal setting is a foundation upon which to build your personal and professional development. Goals should encompass short-term, long-term, personal and professional.

 “Begin with the end in mind.” – Stephen Covey

As a graduate student, consider the obvious goal – graduating. To envision this goal, one must examine the many steps …

Making the Most of My Graduate School Experience

October 15, 2015

By Kate Shaw

I began graduate school for the same reason a lot of people do — I was making a career change. In my case, it was from publishing into higher education administration, and I wasn’t sure how well I’d transition back into academic life after being out of school for a few years. For my first semester, I just stopped by campus for class and then left. I was really enjoying my classes, but as the semester went on, I realized that I craved more of a connection to the campus. I sought out opportunities at Mason and eventually applied for and won a position as a graduate assistant for Graduate Student …