Welcome Week Tips

So, having just completed our welcome weekend for prospective Ph.D. students, I think I might have suggestions for anyone going to one in the future.

1. Try to have fun. It can be a wild, stressful, busy few days. But, above all, you should be trying to figure how much you like the people you’re with.

2. Balance breadth and depth. Yes, you may want to work with only a few people, but departments are communities. Not only professors, not just grad students, everyone makes that up together. So, yes, try and talk to your PoI and their students. But, branch out a bit, if you can.

3. Be open with what you’re looking for. There is nothing more frustrating than boilerplate answers and coached responses. Try and be yourself, not your application.

4. Academics aren’t salespeople, nor is the entire weekend only a sales pitch. Feel free to ask honest questions about the potential drawbacks or problems.

5. If you’ve made up your mind, don’t be coy. It’s alright to come out and say “ah, this isn’t what I was expecting” and know that. However, keep an open mind and a willingness to make friends, even if you don’t want to end up where you are touring.

I hope that someone out there finds this useful, cause I sure could’ve chilled out for my weekends.

imported from: yetanothergeographer