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The New Student Programme PLUS MENTOR Groups

Student Experience Seminars

KEEPING THE COMMITMENT

GRAD SCHOOL – FROM CONSUMER OF KNOWLEDGE TO


PRODUCER OF KNOWLEDGE!

How different is Grad School?

! Grad school is not merely a series of classes.


! Purpose of grad school is to master your discipline through independent
reading and study.
! Apprenticeship Model - working closely with a faculty member on his/her
research.

REMEMBER: No one will hold your hand and walk you through. You
must provide your own motivation and in order to do that, it is essential
to remain connected to the university life.

Keeping the commitment.. ummm.... Does this issue really


come up?

Most likely yes! The sooner you can acknowledge it, the faster you can act
on it and move on. Being a graduate student, expectations from people
around you are generally more and the “You should know it already” attitude
is quite common. Additional responsibilities (TA/RA), a more intense
relationship with your supervisor, increased scrutiny of work and the last and
probably the most challenging situation that of feeling isolated from the
undergraduate students are a few instances of what a graduate student’s
university life could be. The trick lies in the fact that at no point any of these
should overwhelm you and make you lose focus of your work. Remember,
staying motivated is perhaps the most essential quality a graduate student
should have.

Characteristics of Graduate School “Superstars”


! Visibility - Be physically present in the department, during/after
working hours.
! Willingness to Work Hard – There is no substitute for hard work.
! True Interest in Research
! Relationship with Advisor/Supervisor
• Showing professionalism in your work
• Documenting your findings/reports effectively

Prepared By T. Dhot, Student Success Mentor, 2006-07


The New Student Programme PLUS MENTOR Groups
Student Experience Seminars

• Maintaining a log/journal of meetings


• Effective and clear communication
• Implementing feedback and criticism constructively
! Strong network with faculty members and experienced students
! Knowing your university well as well as knowing what all it can offer
apart from your faculty.
! Good stress management skills
! Good time management skills
• Following/maintaining a schedule – using a calendar system
(yearly, monthly, weekly)
• Using a To-Do List

Strategies for coping With Grad School Stress


! Prioritize your work and reduce your overall stress
! Spend extra time making decisions
! Plan ahead and take action during low-stress periods
! Plan effectively so that there is no cramming
! Don't cut corners on your health
! Hone up on your study skills
! Put stress busters to work - learn to relax your mind
! Stay fit and active - join the gym
! Make stress work for you
! Don’t cut on your sleep

All Work and No Play Makes Poor Jack – exhausted!!

Make a difference now – Tips from the Student Success Centre

Have you visited the new Gym, seen the new logo of Concordia, know
someone from another faculty, ever “Shuffle-d”, read The Link, discussed the
progress of your friend’s research work even though its not your field, gone
on a CISA trip, slept in the G-Lounge, wondered when Quartier Concordia will
come up, collected free calling cards from the CSU office?? And is the Dean
of Student’s actually an office??
The message is simple # GET INVOLVED!! Know your university, whats
going on, what are the resources available to you and how you can make
best use of them. Here are some very handy tips from the Student Mentors.

Tried & Tested # Highly Successful Strategies

Prepared By T. Dhot, Student Success Mentor, 2006-07


The New Student Programme PLUS MENTOR Groups
Student Experience Seminars

! Form a Study/Research group: Perhaps the most successful idea


suggested. Form a study/research group not necessarily consisting of
students from the same research area. In fact diversity here is
recommended. Meet up every two weeks and discuss the progress of
each other’s work. Try to get two people present something in every
meeting so that everyone remains involved. This will not only boost
your motivation levels but also act as a healthy information resource
on other topics as well. It will definitely help your research also.

! Join a professional society: Societies like IEEE, ASME, etc have a lot
to offer. On many occasions these societies have annual meetings,
invited guest lectures and other events in Montreal. Attend them. It’s a
great chance to network with experienced professionals from the
industry. Get free career guidance!
Apart from that, many professional societies/ organizations have
student chapters. Concordia is known for having a lot of them. Join
them. In this way, you will also make a lot of friends in university and
learn about other professional services available at Concordia for you.
Ex: IEEE Concordia, EWB Concordia, etc.

! Join a club/association: Most of the faculties have their


clubs/associations. Being a member of these clubs will also help you
remain connected with your faculty. Also being a member of a leisure
club will help you meet and connect with people you would otherwise
have never met.
Ex: Concordia Ski & Snowboarding Club, Students of Advancement of
Hip-Hop Culture, Concordia Football Student Association, etc.

Reminder: Visit the GSA office and get to know the executives. Also
the GSA has a student lounge, satellite TV, computers for Internet
access, printing service, etc.

! Get to know the services available in the university: A good


place to start finding information on it is the Student Success Centre
(H 481 & AD 101). Have your own copy of the Student Services
handbook. It is available online too.

! Attend events going around on campus whenever possible: Be a


part of what is going on around campus. So attending a concert at
Oscar Peterson, “Shuffling” from SGW to Loyola, volunteering at a
university event or just attending the career fairs, just be there and
talk to people. You will not only build connections but also pick up
valuable information.

Reminder: Many events at Oscar Peterson Concert Hall are free for
Concordia students with their Concordia IDs. Check their website to
find out more.
Prepared By T. Dhot, Student Success Mentor, 2006-07
The New Student Programme PLUS MENTOR Groups
Student Experience Seminars

! Subscribe to your faculty/university mailing list: Mailing lists are


helpful reminders of important deadlines, campus events, etc. Apart
from being on the mailing list of your faculty, subscribe to university
mailing lists like news@concordia, Majordomo, GSA, etc.

! Recreation and Athletics (Campus Recreation): The new


gymnasium is up and kicking. There are sports leagues, sports clubs,
dance classes, fitness and relaxation activities. Open the Department
of Recreation & Athletics website to know more or visit the new Gym in
the EV building.

! Counselling & Development: Apart from workshops, there are a lot


of other services offered by Counseling & Development. Academic
counselling, personal counselling, career counselling, learning services,
writing assistance, Career Resource Centre are just a few to name.
And all these services are free of cost to ALL students and that
includes Graduates students too. So if you want help updating your
resume or are having a relationship problem, you can drop by and
speak to a Counsellor.

Reminder: You might not always want to see a counsellor for


every small thing. If you just want help regarding resources in
university, a second opinion or a friendly chat, drop by the Student
Success Centre. Staffed by Student Mentors, we are aware of many
services available on campus. And yes, like you we are also
students at Concordia.

Drop by or visit our website to find out more about our services
Student Success Centre
SGW H-481, LOY AD-101 514-848-2424 ext. 7369
http://studentsuccess.concordia.ca

Prepared By T. Dhot, Student Success Mentor, 2006-07


The New Student Programme PLUS MENTOR Groups
Student Experience Seminars

KEEPING THE COMMITMENT

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR UNIVERSITY


Here is a small activity to test your awareness about Concordia. Lets see
how well you know your university. So lets get started.

1. List at least 4 clubs/associations at Concordia. CSU and GSA don’t


count here.

2. Does Concordia have a gym? If so, where is it located?

3. Where is the G-Lounge located? Bonus – what does the G stand


for?

4. Apart from workshops, does Counselling & Development offer any


services to graduate students? If so, how much do they charge?

5. What are the Stingers? Is it that much talked about research


project by the Biology department?

6. Is there actually an office by the name of Dean of Students? Really!


If so, how can they be helpful to me?

7. You are a bunch of super-intelligent grads who want to start a club


for astro-physics but how is it possible? And you don’t even have
any formal permission from your faculty.

8. List at least 4 services provided by Counselling & Development


apart from conducting Workshops.

9. You need help with your English. If there was someone who can
help check my English grammar and structure for my assignments,
it’ll be great. Is there any such service offered and how much does
it cost

Prepared By T. Dhot, Student Success Mentor, 2006-07