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Category: Graduate school

Childcare Options for the PhD Candidate

Childcare Options for the PhD Candidate

Though you are technically in school, a PhD program is going to be much more work intensive than an undergraduate or even master’s program.  You will need a full work week to dedicate to your studies every week.  I know we all want to be seen as super moms and dads who can of course watch the kids, study, write an award-winning book, and bake beautiful cupcakes on a lazy Monday, but reality is to focus you must have some…

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Corporate skills in the PhD: Project pipeline

Corporate skills in the PhD: Project pipeline

I spent 3  years working in a corporate office before I started my PhD.  The corporate world is a different breed of work than the PhD, but many of the skills learned are transferable to a successful PhD.  I will to do a short series on what I learned in my experience in corporate work and how I use these skills every day in my PhD. When you work in a corporate office, common phrases about productivity can be foreign…

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Corporate skills in the PhD: Scheduling

Corporate skills in the PhD: Scheduling

I spent 3  years working in a corporate office before I started my PhD.  The corporate world is a different breed of work than the PhD, but many of the skills learned are transferable to a successful PhD.  I will to do a short series on what I learned in my experience in corporate work and how I use these skills every day in my PhD. The first topic I will tackle in scheduling.  Most corporate offices have relatively strict…

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‘Is the father involved?’ and 3 other phrases uttered to the PhD student mom

‘Is the father involved?’ and 3 other phrases uttered to the PhD student mom

When I started my schooling, I knew I needed to be my own cheerleader and champion.  I walked into the classroom purposefully and tried my hardest to excel early on in my grad school career to quell any fears that I was going to be a lesser student due to my outside commitments.  Despite my own confidence, I still heard and overheard many comments that made me absolutely cringe.  If I had not already resigned myself to the existence of…

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Better presentations without Powerpoint

Better presentations without Powerpoint

Powerpoint is the powerhouse of presentation software.  Everyone uses it because for a long time it was the best, most portable tool available to make professional presentations.  In the recent years, several competitors have emerged which produce equivalent or even improved presentations without the hassle of large ppt files or the cost of Microsoft Office.  Here are just 2 free options for clean, powerful presentations without Powerpoint: 1.Beamer  Anyone who has used LaTex for their documents knows it’s advantages.  Equations…

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How to tell your advisor you’re knocked up

How to tell your advisor you’re knocked up

I started my PhD 3 months pregnant. I already had a child, so being pregnant again was not a surprise to any of our friends or family but it was a shock to my PhD cohort. A pregnant PhD student? What is this blasphemy? Being pregnant and having a child should not be a negative experience.  Many PhD students are in their mid to late 20s, prime child bearing years, and yet having a child while doing a PhD seems…

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Baby steps for the pregnant PhD student

Baby steps for the pregnant PhD student

So you just found out you are pregnant?  Congratulations, that’s so exciting!  But you are a PhD student?  Don’t panic, it’s not the end of the world.  Everyone reacts to pregnancy differently, especially if it is unexpected. Though it seems as if the world of academia is not suitable for the pregnant woman, you can have a baby and be an academic.  Here are some of the first steps you should take when you find out you’re expecting: 1. Breathe…

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Grad school for all the wrong reasons

Grad school for all the wrong reasons

I worked a full time job for several years before I decided to go back to grad school.  Some of my reasons for returning to grad school were traditional, including a desire to expand knowledge in my subject and the opportunity to become an academic, while others were less conventional.  I was already a mom when I applied to grad school and welcomed the lifestyle of a grad student.  Here are some of my “bad” reasons to return to school:…

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Schedule of a mommy PhD candidate – with the kids at home

Schedule of a mommy PhD candidate – with the kids at home

Getting work done when the kids are home is never an easy task.  But sometimes, it just needs to get done.  I keep my kids home with me 2 days a week when I am (supposedly) working.  In order to get things done, I need to keep a strict schedule and yet be open to mishaps or changes as necessary.  I never leave important tasks to times when the kids are home, so if something is due Wednesday and the…

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Social life as a mom and PhD student

Social life as a mom and PhD student

It is not unlikely that you will be the only mom in your PhD cohort. Though being a mom and a PhD candidate is unusual, it is not unheard of and does not mean you are less equipped than your colleagues, but it does mean you may have less in common than you did with your undergraduate classmates.  It is hard to navigate the social world of graduate school knowing your other life waits for you at home. One thing…

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