"The Graduate School asks every graduate student to complete an exit survey when they finish. At the end of that survey, we ask the question, 'What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just beginning their graduate studies at Michigan Tech?' Below we share some of the responses that we have received over the past two years. We have separated these into specific topics."
- It will be challenging at times, but you just need to pull through those times as it is well worth it.
- Graduate school will be tough so you need to find the right support to help you go through it.
- Work hard and smart, enjoy your stay at MTU and get ready for snow!!!
- I would tell them to be eager to learn from veteran Michigan Tech professors!
- Use your google calendar!! It's my favorite.
- Choose a topic for your research early and use each class to build on that research, creating components of your Thesis or Report along the way. Write a draft of your report or thesis two semesters before you plan to graduate!
- Don't take a position for the sake of a degree -- actually like the work you do.
- "Talk and meet with your program advisor often".
- If you are an accelerated master's student do everything you can to avoid 12 credit semesters.
- Find ways to improve your education outside of class. You can’t learn everything that way and you need to make yourself appealing for jobs.
- Get acquainted with your professors and go talk to them about questions on homework or grades or anything. They are here to help you succeed.
- In the MS Applied Statistics program, practice coding in R as much as you can. If working full time while pursuing the degree, start assignments well ahead of time whenever possible.
- It can be a lot of learning on your own, but that is a good thing in my opinion
- Treat the class work like a job.
- For CS, please focus on coding, code daily because this is the most important thing that will get you a job out of university
- Plan ahead for your courses. The courses that you want to take can be pretty restricted by course offerings, schedules, and other requirements. Seek out administrative information about these requirements early.
- Don't get behind in coursework.
- Expect to put the work in and work hard at the beginning of the semester and set yourself up for a good grade early. Still work hard during finals (of course) but if you set yourself up earlier in the semester finals become less stressful. Also, learn from your peers and have fun!
- To select your coursework based on your plans after Graduation, like if you want to be in industry or go for Post Doctorate.
- Don't underestimate your classes, especially if you are switching majors. Adjusting to switching from biology to biomedical engineering was quite difficult for me, but was nevertheless quite rewarding in the end.
- there are really good professors here- take classes from them even if you aren’t necessarily interested in the subject because it is better than taking a course you think you will like with a bad professor.
- Be sure that your research is funded.
- Take advantage of all opportunities that come your way. Attend conferences, give talks, promote your research and your department.
- Make sure you and your advisor are a good fit. (Note from Dr. Cantrell: Some version of this statement was the most common advice for this topic.)
- Talk to your advisor and program director and always have a plan. You never know what will change.
- Departments don't know the process of a thesis very well. Specific deadlines and classes like the Research Conduct ones are best learned about from previous graduate students.
- Set the right expectations with your advisor, they will probably only set aside time for you if you set aside time for them.
- Get involved early, and push to publish. Writing on what you've done is a fulfilling experience and makes defending much less stressful.
- Make sure your advisor has funding for your project before you start. It is very challenging to find funds on your own once you have started and it can prevent you from moving forward in your degree.
- Do not be lazy, work hard every single day. Life is extremely unpredictable, you never know when you'll be slammed with things in your life that will prevent your ability to properly conduct research. Trying to catch up for time lost in the beginning of your career as a graduate is a futile and very draining thing to do.
- Engage with the faculty- not just the ones you work for, but all of them, and in different departments. Find some common interests (even if they are hobbies) and develop some mentors (in addition to your advisor or committee). They will help you when you feel like quitting, or give you ideas from outside the box of your own department.
- If you are trying to be in research group, find a professor who isn’t tenure and will ensure that they want you to graduate quickly.
- Know what the workload you are expected to do is. I worked many more hours than required.
- Be open to new opportunities, even as a coursework option you should look into helping with research or GTA/GTI.
- If you plan to be a GTI, be prepared to manage your time more efficiently. Teaching takes up a LOT of your time. Learn to prioritize your own research over teaching.
- Understand your general timeline and when deadlines are - there are a lot of forms you need to fill out and it can get very confusing very quickly.
- Please talk to your faculty, department staff and grad school staff as often as possible if you have a question. The management is as friendly as it can be.
- Pay attention to your My MTU checklist and ask your GSG representative if you have any questions and concerns at first if you have any questions.
- Email the department if there are ever any questions. Some of the processes are set up where that is the only choice and that is not always clear at first.
- Try to reach out to your cohort and build a relationship with them so it is easier to explore the degree and its expectations in a team setting. You learn more and have a more enriching experience at Tech.
- If you can, it's also sometimes helpful to sublease somewhere just to meet people and take more time in finding a place to live
- Interact more with researchers and get involved in research activities.
- Find balance in life outside of work
- Don't be afraid to get involved in something different. Even if it isn't the most interesting to you, it's a great way to network, meet folks in your department, and maybe you'll even learn that you really enjoy it!
- For someone just beginning graduate studies at Michigan Tech: Go above and beyond when it comes to networking with people on campus. Whether that be faculty or other students. Having a strong relationship with those around you makes the entire experience less stressful and much more enjoyable.
- Participate in GSG activities, explore the different research on campus, and enjoy the Keweenaw while you're here! Stay for the summer!
- If able, try to get outside. Try to get into hiking, birding, skiing, walking.
- Enjoy every moment of the journey at Michigan Tech, it is a great school with a lot of opportunities. Also, don't forget to go out and enjoy this amazing place (the beautiful UP)
- Get outside. It's rare you get to live in a place like the Keweenaw.
- Do some form of a winter activity to keep you sane because the combination of graduate school stress and persistent winter can really wear on your mental and emotional state.
- Be ready for a lot of snow.
- If you come from areas without snow, please take skiing lessons in your first semester.
- Be strong to withstand the extreme temperature but summers are great to compensate for the winter. Keep working hard! Library and coffee are a great combination!
- Be ready for the cold wintertime. You can efficiently study here. Very powerful education and research programs are available. A fantastic student lounge with gorgeous scenery is not always available in many universities, but here we have it.
- Set a professional goal and then work for it.
- Fix your career path at the beginning so that you won't be diverted/confused about where you want to go.
- Think about how your studies will apply to the job market and focus on strengthening skills that are commonly desired by the jobs you want to have
- I would suggest they start approaching faculty of their interested field for projects and research opportunities. Hands-on experience is most important in the job market right now, and all avenues of obtaining that have to be utilized at Michigan Tech.
General - Positives
- Don't lose focus, even though MTU may seem to be too isolated and sometimes far from friends and family, it is a great school with a welcoming community.
- Just keep faith in Tech's history and education system and do your best! We have a legacy out there in industries!
- You have made the correct decision, and you are going to start a wonderful journey.
- Be tenacious.
- It's going to be ok.
- Grad school is rigorous. Rest when you can.
- The advice will be that, grad school is hard! You come half way across the world (if you are an international student) and have to deal with things you never thought of. Everything will seem hard, difficult, depressing at start, but just hold on, enjoy the journey and keep that hope, that fighting spirit alive!!
- Put forward your best effort every single day and you will be rewarded. There may be days, weeks, months where you make no progress. But you cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pocket, so do not give up trying."
- get ready for a roller coaster ride
- Explore all of your options - the department and the grad school is great about helping you develop your own pathway.
- The university gives many opportunities and provides many resources to help develop our self, so I would suggest to work as hard as one can and make the most of it.
- Explore and use the resources available to you including other students.
Online students - Distance Learning
- I am an online masters student working full time. I would advise similar working professionals who enter the program to be prepared to work hard, but it is all worth it.
- Visit the campus if DL student
- The (online) classes go fast. Don't fall behind on the work.
- However much time undergrad took per class, double it.
- Don't trust other's judgment blindly, even if they are ""above"" you."