Grad School Year Two Part One
So my last post was just me being a flustered mess as I began my second and final year of grad school. I had no idea what classes I should take, what direction my research should go in/ how the hell was I going to finish it in less than a year, and the biggest concern of them all - JOBS! Since I’m going through this now, I thought I’d share with you all in case there are some people out there wanting to do the grad school thing while hoping to look ahead as much as possible.
I have gotten my shit together enough to where even though I don’t have all the answers, I’m not freaking out… yet. I got into the Marketing Strategy course at the School of Management and am really enjoying the content. It was very weird starting my first and only class of the semester in the middle of October but it gave me a great opportunity to get ahead on my research, which is also going quite well.
As for jobs, I’m being torn in multiple (AMAZING) directions. Something that I haven’t mentioned yet is that I’m working on a skin care start up (details maybe to come). However, if I don’t get much investment before graduation, mama needs to get a job to pay the bills until I can figure something out. I started looking for jobs already so as not to relive post undergrad graduation where I had to work at Hollister part time for 6 months because I couldn’t find anything. The opportunities are so interesting and honestly a dream, but they are not all in my career path. Basically, if start up stuff must be put on hold, there might be a chance I will be making a slight career change from scientific to corporate. EEK!
Here are my thoughts on how to go about your final year in grad school once you get your feet under you.
Don’t prioritize getting perfect grades over networking. I do some form of networking at LEAST once a week. Yes, it’s hectic and no, I’m not the star of my Marketing Strategy class. But what matters most is making sense of the material you learn (don’t slack entirely) and using it in your conversations with potential employers. You are in grad school for better jobs at the end of the day.
Consider opening your mind to different job opportunities. This is your chance to go on a new career path if you’re not totally into what you’ve been doing. It’s so much easier as a student because you can take classes that give you new skills that you can apply to these new jobs if you haven’t had prior experience. Career changes, at any stage of life, are totally normal. You’re not a flake if a few years after trying one thing, you’d rather try another. Also, if you want to work for a particular company but your dream position is unavailable, having that flexibility could get your foot in the door until that position opens up.
If you are thinking of starting your own business, exhaust your grad school resources. It’s amazing, depending on your program, how much funding is available to you. See how much you can get and build a post-graduation plan for yourself that can help you maneuver around quitting. I’m no expert on start ups by any means but I think it’s important for fellow entrepreneurs to lift each other up and encourage each other to keep going for that dream 100%. I have constant mentorship, funding application deadlines to be mindful of and meetups with other people interested in entrepreneurship. Build your network, it’ll push you to keep going.
Give yourself a break. If you’re not doing something that relaxes you/ makes you happy once a week or so, you’re doing it all wrong. It’s never worth being on edge all the time. It makes you screw up and puts you in a funk after a while. It can also make you lose sight of your passions. Thinking that in the future I’ll make a post about the different ways I relax myself.
It’s still somewhat like undergrad. You need extracurriculars! Join clubs, be a leader in a club, play an intramural sport. Do something else besides school and work that can boost your resume because we all know how much employers like well-rounded candidates.
Yale is full of high strung overachievers. As much as I like to be able to compete with others here, I’d like to do so in a way that maintains my sanity and allows me to get at least some sleep at night xD
Thank you for reading! Please inbox me on Instagram if you ever have any questions you’d like me to address about grad school! Or fashion, of course.