Ways To Be A Good Graduate Student
1. Take Your Work (And Yourself) Seriously
You might be continuing on right after undergraduate, or perhaps you're going back for an advanced degree after a stint in the working world. Maybe you've decided to go back for that Master of Information Systems to increase your earning power. Or, maybe you've arrived at a point in your life where the road to personal development is pointing towards higher education. Whatever your reasons for going to graduate school, honor them. Take the work of your program and your goals seriously so that you will get the most out of your experience and your investment of time and money in your program.
2. Attend Every Class
This piece of advice is especially aimed at professionals pursuing a degree on their (very limited) downtime. While it may be true that you can get away with skipping a class here and there, for the full experience, you need to show up for the full experience. Besides, and probably more importantly, you might keep up with all of the work on a day that you skip class, but you might miss out on valuable information a classmate or the teacher might pass along during the class meeting.
3. Be The Star of Every Class
Sure, maybe being the star of every single class might seem a lofty goal, but if you make it your own, you'll ensure that you are prepared for every class meeting, for one thing. Secondly, if you make sure you participate in every class, you will get much more out of the material because you will be actively engaging with it.
4. Go Above And Beyond In Your Assignments
Even if you can skate by, you should try your best not to. This graduate program is costing you money, right? Besides, knowledge is power. The more work you do on the assignments you get in and out of class, the more of a knowledge base you will build up in this field that you've chosen for advanced study.
5. Attend As Many Extra-Curricular Functions As You Can
So, you've found the extra time you need to excel in your assignments and in the classroom. Now, you should find the time to do as much as you can outside of the classroom as well. Whether you're attending graduate school for professional or personal growth, or both, much of the experience to be gained in graduate school comes from what you do and learn outside the classroom. Chances are that your program will offer lectures, presentations, films, and get-togethers that will help you expand your knowledge of your field and get to know your colleagues.
6. Get To Know Your Teachers
Get to know them before and after class, and at any extra-curricular functions they attend. In addition to helping you learn, they may be able to help you down the road with jobs or other opportunities in your field. Besides, they're probably very interesting!
7. Get To Know Your Classmates
Your classmates are not just the people you're sitting next to in your seminar today. They may be your coworkers in the field you're all studying tomorrow. Start building your professional network now.
8. Consider a TA or Tutoring Position
Especially if you're studying a field that will most likely land you in academia once you reach your terminal degree, start teaching or tutoring as soon as possible.
9. Volunteer Your Expertise
Whether you are doing graduate work to further your career or enrich your personal life, consider volunteer opportunities in your community that will help you share what you've learned with those around you.
10. Before You Graduate, See Where You'll Land
Talk to your professors, classmates, and visit the career services office before you graduate. See what opportunities exist for you now that you have an advanced degree, and see if you can secure one before you walk across that graduation platform.