UW Graduate School

Ask the Grad School Guide


April 19, 2019

UW Scavenger Hunt: Letter for Visa Edition

This post has been adapted from the Grad School Guide’s recent exchange with a student. Dear Grad School Guide, I am an international student who earned my graduate degree last fall. I attended the UW on a fellowship with a J1 visa, so after graduation I returned to my home country. Now, I would like…


January 31, 2019

Writing Resources & Techniques for Grad Students

Recently we’ve received several letters from students struggling with writing. Students tell us they struggle with focusing on competing projects, managing nebulous deadlines and distilling complicated ideas to in a clear and concise way. As Your Grad School Guide, I know can be difficult to find motivation and avoid procrastination when faced with such writing…


January 16, 2019

Your Grad School Guide: Developing leadership skills

Hi, reader! We are excited to announce that going forward, this column will no longer be called “the Grad School Guru” and is now “Your Grad School Guide.” Our new name reflects that while the blog is written by a single, anonymous author, we are culling information from sources across the UW to provide you with…


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, Your…



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