3 unconventional tips for new graduate students

Here are three unconventional professional development tips from my experience as a grad student that can help you be more a happier and more productive graduate student.

Write a book review: “Writing a book review is challenging, especially for a scientific journal. You have to do some research. You need to understand the author’s conclusions, and you need to read broadly within the field to place the book in the appropriate context. It’s an excellent exercise in research and writing.”

Ask for free textbooks: “As a graduate student, you’re not just a student, you’re also an educator. So if you see a textbook you might need, but don’t have access to it, send the publisher a letter asking if they’ll provide a complementary copy. The worst that can happen is they say no.”

Invest in a good Navy Blazer: “A good, high-quality navy blazer will cover just about anything short of a black-tie function. It adds a small degree of formality to just about any occasion and it’s incredibly flexible. It’s even a good idea to have a blazer with you during field season. For those times when you’re traveling with scientific samples and potentially suspicious-looking equipment, being dressed like a professional can make a world of difference.”

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