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Summer Is Here

2 May 2018

By Austin Deray

Happy end of semester, y’all,

I just wanted to take the opportunity wish everyone well on their finals: exams, comps, papers, fields and/or thesis/dissertation defenses. It is that time of year again and we are wrapping everything up here at Mason’s offices of Graduate Student Life and University Life Arlington. On behalf both units, I would like to thank everyone for a great year here at Mason and congratulations to everyone graduating with their master’s or doctoral degrees this May.

We have had 12 great new blogs this year and 11 blogs Way-Back-Wednesday posts that highlighted past important material, covering the topics of academics, professionalism, well-being in …

Featured Day Trip: Baltimore, Maryland

Andrew J Quillen 04/25/2018

In the midst of balancing work, school, and family life, sometimes you just need a change of scenery. Luckily, we have a plethora of escape options from Northern Virginia and DC. The last day trip I covered was Charlottesville, Virginia; this week I’ll introduce you to Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore’s vibrant culture hosts a multitude of incredible restaurants and remarkable attractions—at only an hour and change away, it’s worth the trip.

Baltimore, founded in 1729, is the most populous city in Maryland, and one of the largest ports in the Mid-Atlantic. Having seen the American Revolution and development of the Union, Baltimore offers visitors a rich dive …

Living Life on a Graduate Student Budget!

By Vanessa DeShane, Financial Literacy Counselor, Office of Student Financial Aid 28 March 2018

I have completed two master’s degrees in my lifetime and fully understand the challenges of budgeting (and surviving) during graduate school.  Each experience was unique and presented itself with challenges particularly related to finances.  My first trip around the block was completing my Master of Studies (MST) in Education.  As any education major knows, it is difficult to balance classes, student teaching, building lesson plans, and life outside of school.  One major challenge is that students in education are often prohibited (or strongly dissuaded) from working full-time, or altogether, while in school.  Unfortunately, for me, I …

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

Raechel Timbers, M.Ed. Associate Director, Student Professional Development, University Career Services 21 March 2018

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 …

Leveraging Mason’s Resources to Save on Textbooks

Andrew J Quillen 7 March 2018

Textbooks are expensive. Whether you use Amazon, Chegg, the Mason Bookstore, or another service, class readings can cost a pretty penny—and if you’re like most grad students, this can leave you scrambling to scrape together funds. I’m here to offer some free, legal options to knock a few books and articles off your shopping list for upcoming semesters.

George Mason’s libraries offer a range of options to cut down on your book costs. Beyond traditional library services, you can access books from university libraries across Virginia, the DC metro area, or online. If the library doesn’t have access to your books, there’s always Google …

Dining in the DMV: Mason Grad Insider’s Top Suggestions

21 February 2018

Happy Hump Day, y’all! In response to positive feedback to last year’s “To Brunch or Not to Brunch” post, we at Mason Grad Insider are making it a series. Last week, we highlighted last year’s brunch recommendations,  and this week’s new post is going to tell you about some of the best places to eat in the DMV(a fun researching opportunity for me and my friends).

Whether you’re having dining with your family, friends, classmates, or coworkers, dinner is important for both your physical and mental well-being. Last October, Limeade, an employee engagement company, wrote a blog on why communal eating is important for personal and professional …

A Grad Check In: Five Mason Grads Discuss Overcoming Obstacles

January 31, 2018

Happy second week of classes, everyone. I hope you’ve enjoyed your first weeks of class and are excited for the term, because we here at Mason Grad Insider are.

Before I write a blog post for a given week, I discuss the post’s topic with a group of fellow grads who work for Mason’s University Life in various departments. This week, I planned to write about general stumbling blocks graduate students often face, and as I turned to my friends for their thoughts and opinions, I realized what came from the discussions was even better. I liked the idea of giving the stumbling blocks a …

Grads, Give Yourself Permission to Nap

Austin A. Deray December 05, 2017

Fun Fact 1: Question, can you guess who wrote the following in his memoir?[i]

Nature had not intended mankind to work from 8 in the morning until midnight without the refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts 20 minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces.[ii]  

Yes, you are correct: it is Sir Winston Churchill. He napped daily during World War II. Why can’t we as graduate students?  We need to nap, too! During graduate school, when we are trying to balance the multiple demands of school, work, and personal lives, it can be tempting to think …

Featured Day Trip: Charlottesville, Virginia

Andrew J Quillen 11/15/2017

There’s nothing better than getting out of the house and making new memories; one of the best ways to do this is by taking a daytrip. George Mason is perfectly located for a number of fantastic daytrips: Harper’s Ferry, WV, Annapolis, MD, and Charlottlesville, VA, just to name a few. For this post I will focus my attention on Charlottesville. With its vibrant, friendly feel and close proximity (two hours via car, bus, or Amtrak), Charlottesville, Virginia is a perfect day (or weekend) trip.

I’m from the Charlottesville area, so I know and love its incredible restaurants, breweries, tours, and sights. While C-Ville’s to-do list is …

What to Look for in a Mentor

November 1, 2017 By: Austin A. Deray

Last year, I called the library one of the keys to graduate student success. I’d like to change the metaphor to be one of the feathers in a graduate student’s bowler or bob hat. We began our bowler’s feather collection with the green feather of libraries; now let’s add the gold feather of effective mentoring. One of the most important relationships to cultivate in graduate school is your mentor.

Three quick notions to dispel from the get-go: 1) a mentor and an adviser are two different things; 2) your mentor does not have to be found in the realm of academic; and 3) …