Category Archives: Uncategorized

Collaborate to Advance Your Career

I once had a prominent scientist tell me that “it is better to share a cake with others than to eat a cookie alone in the corner” in regards to academic collaboration, and it has stuck with me ever since. Sure, we all did some mandatory group work in undergrad, but that was completely different from a truly professional academic collaboration. In many cases you might not know what your collaborator looks like as everything takes place online, but don’t let this perceived distance fool you. Effective collaborations are some of the most beneficial activities you can engage in, especially early in your career. Continue reading Collaborate to Advance Your Career

Five Quick Tips for More Effective Public Speaking

This post originally appeared at on May 10th, 2013.

One of the major aspects of academia is sharing your research throughpublic presentations. While public speaking can be stressful, it is a great opportunity to communicate your research and ideas to a wider audience and can be quite satisfying.  No matter what kind of subject matter you are covering, there are a few simple hacks that you can use to improve you public speaking abilities. Continue reading Five Quick Tips for More Effective Public Speaking

Surviving the Comprehensive Oral Exam

Matura (oral part) - during exam.
You may be asked to diagram you ideas, so be prepared. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article originally appeared at on April 26th, 2013.

While my last Gradhacker post focused on the written aspect of comprehensive exams, for many graduate students there is another, equally dreaded component: the oral examination.

For even the most prepared students, this can be an intense and difficult experience. However, with enough preparation and the right mindset the oral examination can actually be an enjoyable experience where you get to talk about your ideas with members of your committee.

Having just completed this hurdle myself I’d like to go over some of the things that worked and those that I wish I had known before undertaking this process. This advice is the most relevant for those of you defending a written document that you’ve had time to prepare, but some of this will be applicable to more generalized oral examination formats. Continue reading Surviving the Comprehensive Oral Exam