Welcome to the Graduate Mentor, where you will find survival skills advice and resources for success as a graduate student and new faculty member. In these roles you want to do more than survive – you want to thrive. We want to help.
The rewards of being accepted to graduate school and finishing a master’s or doctoral degree are enormous. But so are the time and effort required. Expectations are not always clear. And it’s not always apparent which questions you need to ask to learn the many new skills and tasks at which you must excel.
The information and resources offered here will help you identify the important questions and provide some answers to help you survive and thrive in graduate school and in your transition to a new faculty role.
Most graduate students will have an advisor or mentor to offer advice, support, and encouragement. Good mentors help you develop as a researcher and teacher. They provide evaluation and challenge. They help you network, advocate for you, and serve as a sponsor as you gain visibility as an emerging scholar or scientist. Mentors also socialize their students into the discipline and profession, provide introduction to their professional networks, and some eventually become your colleague, co-author, and collaborator.
But graduate faculty have their own heavy teaching and advising responsibilities as well as expectations to research, publish, and get funding. They even experience some of the same pressures and stress that you do as a graduate student – multiplied by the many roles and responsibilities expected of faculty at research universities.
As a graduate student you compete for funding, recognition, and jobs. And if you have a wonderful advisor and mentor – and we hope you do, you also compete for time and attention. So you must find multiple sources of information to help you be successful.
Your years in graduate school are a time of exciting intellectual and academic experiences. They also can include challenges and struggles, especially if this is your first time in graduate school or at an American university. We want to help you develop as a scholar and future faculty. Even if your career path is a non-academic one, developing your skills in research, communication and presentation, writing and publishing, fellowship and grant proposal writing, mentoring, and management – people, projects, and budgets – are critical to your success.
We wish you the best in your academic and professional endeavors.