Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
eggs.pdf

Workflow Preparation for Graduate School

Recommended Posts

Hello! 

I'm starting grad school in the Fall, and I could use some tips on getting my thoughts organized as I've been out of school for four years. I would like to go in as prepared as possible in terms of reviewing my notes and preparing an organization system so that I begin my work smoothly. I'm fortunate enough to have the next two months mostly free and would really like to maximize my free time to prepare for my PhD.

I'm currently reviewing my notes from undergrad, reading my advisor's/relevant people's work, and reading a textbook recommended to me by my advisor as a refresher. I'm organizing all of these documents using Zotero so that I can get the hang of the program. I'm also learning how to use LaTeX and OneNote.

Are there any other steps I can take to minimize the amount of "oh shit, I wish I did this when I had all that free time!" moments I encounter in the first few months? I know a lot this will come to me as I begin working, but if there's anything I'm missing/any programs you really benefitted from in your roster that can be set up prior to the school year/any general preparation tips, please let me know. I'll be entering a psych research PhD, if that helps narrow down any field-specific programs.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, eggs.pdf said:

Are there any other steps I can take to minimize the amount of "oh shit, I wish I did this when I had all that free time!" moments I encounter in the first few months? I know a lot this will come to me as I begin working, but if there's anything I'm missing/any programs you really benefitted from in your roster that can be set up prior to the school year/any general preparation tips, please let me know. I'll be entering a psych research PhD, if that helps narrow down any field-specific programs.

From what you described, I would say you have done more than enough to get ready for grad school. The only thing I can think of is getting the paperwork ready for your studies, especially the ones where you need to recruit participants (if your advisor hasn't done so). If the paperwork is there, it would be good to start recruiting, as it takes time to get the numbers. 

Otherwise, please spend more of your free time to do something you enjoy, e.g. plan a good trip, as life gets busy and stressful once you start. It's rare to have a 2-month break! 

Take it easy. You will get there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's actually pretty hard to plan this out in advance, as you often have to test out any system that you plan and sometimes the system you select ahead of time doesn't really work for you. Learning how to use Zotero and OneNote ahead of time are good tasks so you're not wasting brain power doing that mid-stream. You may want to check out other reference managers to make sure Zotero is the one you want to go with (Mendeley is a common favorite). I'm not sure that LaTeX is necessary, although it depends on your work style and also what field you're in. (I have a PhD in psychology and did not find it useful.)

I'll actually go out on a limb and say that you might want to spend this free time just relaxing and doing some fun stuff. Your time is about to become greatly constrained, and graduate school can be a very stressful experience. When you look back, I'm willing to bet you'll be more likely to regret not enjoying yourself in your last months before graduate school than you are to regret picking up some small skill that can be easily picked up in graduate school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.