UW Graduate School

Ask the Grad School Guru


November 18, 2018

Professors on Pedestals – Updated

Is there a place on campus where I can learn how to address/talk to professors? I have been in the US for about six years now, but I am originally from a culture where one is supposed to show respect to people older than you. I therefore still cannot bring myself to address a professor…


November 8, 2018

How to study for general exams

I could use some advice on how to study for General Exams in the social sciences. I’m especially having trouble getting through all the reading I’m supposed to do! Any tips on *how* to read for exams? How about studying for generals, more broadly? –Anonymous *A version of this question and the subsequent student answers…


October 29, 2018

Creativity: Maybe she’s born with it; maybe it’s something she learned?

Is it possible to learn creativity and originality? Why are some people more creative than others? I find it hard to generate original ideas and research questions. I learn things because they are interesting but I find it hard to take it one step further and develop a follow-up research project. Is this because I…


October 18, 2018

Learning to Let Go of Perfectionism in Grad School

I am a perfectionist by nature, but the professors have told us not to be that way in grad school. How do I shut it off? – Anonymous  Some of the content from this article was first published by Core Programs. It has been revised and updated.  Dear Anonymous, Thanks for writing in! I applaud your self-awareness…


June 14, 2018

Phase three of the job search: Assessing the job search strategies

Note: This article is the third in a series of posts about job searching. You can find the first post, on self-assessing your application materials, here. And be sure to check out the second post, on assessing your career interests. The academic year has flown by, and some grad students are graduating and approaching an exciting new…


May 31, 2018

Identifying your career interests: Phase two of three in the job search

Note: This article is the second in a series of posts about job searching. You can find the first post, on self-assessing your application materials, here. The academic year has flown by, and some grad students are graduating and approaching an exciting new phase in the working world: others are continuing their education and looking…


May 17, 2018

Self-assessment: Phase one of three in the job search

The academic year has flown by, and some grad students are graduating and approaching an exciting new phase in the working world: others are continuing their education and looking for summer work in-between. But what if you don’t have a job lined up, and are unsure of how to get started? Lucky for you, the…


May 3, 2018

Where to find mental health resources for graduate students?

I would love to find mental health resources specifically for graduate students. I am on medicaid, and have had trouble finding a long-term counseling in the area. However, the counseling center also has a long wait time for appointments. I’ve considered going to support groups, but would prefer to be with people who are similar…


April 19, 2018

Lonely and Isolated in Grad School

I am a first year Ph.D. student and feel lonely all the time. There are several days when I go without any human contact except with students in my office hours. It’s strangely suffocating. I am still not part of any lab, so there are no labmates to hang out with. My classmates go to…


April 5, 2018

When the mentee becomes the mentor

As a grad student, you may have the opportunity to mentor an undergraduate student, or even a beginning grad student. But how do you make the most of this opportunity? As a mentor, you are in a position to provide intellectual, professional and social guidance to your mentee. If you are working with an undergraduate…



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