PhD in Progress Podcast

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PhD 015: Financial Basics- Priorities, Budgets, and Credit with Patricia Berhau

September 10th, 2014

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Patricia Berhau is an ISLES Asset Building Coordinator who works primarily with moderate and low-income people. She encourages graduate students to remember that their income-level is only temporary as their income potential is much higher in the long-run.

[Episode Card uses a Flickr image by epSos.de under Creative Commons licensing]

Important reminders:

  • It’s all the irregular things that are budget busters.
  • Budget! Knowing where your money goes is crucial to being financially healthy.
  • Mint.com for organizing your accounts and budgets
  • Get a copy of your credit report!
    AnnualCreditReport.com You’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the bureaus per year. Your credit report and score dictate your borrowing potential.
  • If you feel that you want to borrow money at some point, be conscious of your credit handling.

“Make a Resolution to Budget? Here Are Some Apps to Help” by Tara Siegel Bernard – New York Times – Jan 3, 2014

 

Popular Financial Advice:

The PhD in Progress Podcast Feed is Restored!

September 8th, 2014

SEASON 2 starts this week! We’re back from crazy summer studies and travels. Get ready for some discussion on financial basics, mental health, and Imposter Syndrome.

If you’d like an e-mail when the newest podcast episodes are posted, register here.

 

And more good news:
Have you had an issue seeing all of the episodes in your iTunes, Stitcher, or other podcast feed? We have too.

That issue has been fixed! Thanks for sending in your comments on that problem. You probably have not missed any new episodes but check just in case.

 

IceBucketFinally, I wrote an article for the GradHacker blog called
“Learning from #IceBucketChallenge: Views of a Biomedical Researcher”. I’ve gotten
great feedback saying that it summed up the thoughts of many of my peers concerning the recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

I hope you had a great summer. Let the semester begin!

Best,
Jason

[Image by Flickr user Anthony Quintano and used under the Creative Commons license]

 

PhD 014: “12 Years A Graduate Student” with Parag Gupta

August 15th, 2014

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This week, Jason talks to Parag Gupta, 12th-year materials science and mechanical engineering PhD student at Northwestern University about his perspective on graduate school and learning from mistakes.

Resources:

PhD 013: Parenting and Raising a Family as a Graduate Student with Jessica Rowland Williams

July 17th, 2014

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This week, Jason and Kelly talk to Princeton University graduate student Jessica Rowland Williams about starting graduate school with a child and deciding to raise a family.

Resources

DO YOU have 10 seconds to help us acheive our goal? We would love 50 reviews and ratings in the iTunes store. When we reach 50 reviews or 100 ratings, we’ll release a bonus outtake episode to everyone AND one reviewer will be randomly selected to either join us on the show via Skype or we’ll use his or her topic suggestion.

PhD 012: Tools, Tips, and Strategies to Increase Your Productivity (Part 1)

July 9th, 2014

We have a new goal only YOU can help us achieve: we would love 50 reviews and ratings in the iTunes store. When we reach 50 reviews or 100 ratings, we’ll release a bonus outtake episode to everyone AND one reviewer will be randomly selected to either join us on the show via Skype or we’ll use his or her topic suggestion.

Productivity Web Tools for Graduate Students

July 4th, 2014

“Productivity” can be a hairy subject. The goal is to get the best results out of your time investment but not become a fully automated robotic cyborg with the sole mission of completing task after task. With this in mind, we want to introduce a few resources we find useful in our own searches to get the most out of the time we spend working and living.

Why be “more productive”? What are the pitfalls? Doesn’t it seem a little pointless?
I recommend visiting A Year of Productivity, where Chris Bailey chronicles his experiences of living out different methods of being productive. Not everything works but it is interesting reading his thoughts while living in nearly complete isolation for 10 days or drinking only water for a month.

We recommend not trying a full makeover in a short amount of time. This might cause burn out and much discomfort in your personal life. Try a method or a tool for a bit, see how it might fit into your life and your goals, then move on.

Software and Website Tools

  • Papers (34 for students) http://www.papersapp.com 

    PapersIconThis was my first PDF management program and I loved it. My friend called “iTunes for academic research”. If your research articles are all over your computer or just lazily thrown into a single folder, Papers can help you organize it by reading the metadata of the PDF files. It can rename your files (e.g. “Smith_2014″) and you can place them into different reading lists.
    The program started off as Mac only and remained the best Mac solution for a while. If there is something much better, let me know!
    The full retail price is €71 but it is 34 for students.  Again, I have not used this program for the last few years but it now available for PC and can be used cross platform with your current iOS devices.

 

  • Mendeley (free) http://www.mendeley.com/
    After I switched to my MendeleyIconcurrent Windows PC laptop, I bemoaned the fact that Papers for Windows really was not that great. However, people used Mendeley. I’m happy to say that over the last 2-3 years, Mendeley has become a MUCH better program than it was.
    Mendeley and Papers both fill the same functional role: organize and catalog all of your PDF based resources. Mendeley, however, is free. You can save your library to the cloud and then have your iPad or other computers sync with it. When I travel, now I load up on research papers and just have to bring my iPad.

 

  • Google Calendar (free) https://www.google.com/calendar/
    GoogleGoogle Calendar is invaluable. There really are way too many uses for it, whether it be tracking your work or coordinating dinner with your family.
    There are a ton of articles out there on taking advantage of Google calendar

 

  • Mint (free) https://www.mint.com
    MintPeople who are uneasy or scared about their financial situation are often distracted and cannot do their best work.Are your finances all in a mess? Do you even know how much money you have to your name? No fear, Mint’s web application (which also syncs with your mobile devices) can help set you straight.
    For me, the budgeting tool has been a great asset. By staying on budget, I cut down on the amount of choices I need to make on a daily basis, and direct that brain power towards achieving my goals.One warning: If you’re worried about much of your personal finance information being on one site, you may prefer the numerous other offline products available. I have personally not run into any trouble with Mint.com but I’m also aware that nothing is ever completely safe on the internet.

 

 

Vacation Time!

July 3rd, 2014

Dear Listeners/Readers!arf-captain-america

We are celebrating the birthday of our nation (USA) by taking a week off from the usual Thursday release schedule. This “vacation time” will give us a chance to catch up on our own research and give YOU the opportunity to catch up on the last few episodes.
However, don’t worry! Next week we will be back with Episode 12, which will kick off a 2-part series on productivity.

If you want to help us out, leave a comment on your favorite tool, tip, or strategy for being productive and we’ll try to discuss it in Episode 13! Or e-mail us here.

kitten5

 

 

 

 

Enjoy your weekend,

Jason, Nikhil, Abigail, and Kelly

 

PhD 011: 3 Topics in Dating and Maintaining Relationships in Grad School

June 25th, 2014

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Ep011_cardWhat dating challenges and mistakes do grad students face?

  • How do you start dating as a graduate student?
  • Should you using online dating services?
  • How can you maintain a relationship while in grad school?

This week we discuss having a love life as a grad student. After a long discussion, we only end up scratching the surface! We’ll be sure to return to this broad subject.

Have you ever searched for love in the liquor store?

Dating: Online vs Offline
Relationship
Sharing interests
Complementing traits and interests
Intellectual intimidation

Let us know what you’d like to hear more in depth. (If you are a bear or a lumberjack, Kelly would also like to hear from you)
Comment at http://phdinprogress.com/love
E-mail us feedback@phdinprogress.com
Interact with us on Twitter @PhDPodcast
or Reddit /u/PhDPodcast , /r/gradschool

 

*Sorry for the audio quality. I’m working on making it better! -J

 

PhD 010: “Drug and Substance Use Among Graduate Students” with Oren Gur, PhD Candidate in Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago

June 19th, 2014

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This week Nikhil interviews PhD candidate in Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Oren Gur. They discuss Oren’s research on drug and substance use among graduate students and the challenges associated with his dissertation work.

You can e-mail Oren Gur for more information at ogur2@uic.edu 

NOTE:
While drug and substance use and/or abuse is a serious subject, the hosts and guest decided to keep true to the show’s  unique voice. We integrate levity and a sense of humor into discussion of an important topic of academic research. Jokes made in this show should not be confused with endorsement of illegal/harmful drug use but should promote thoughtful dialog.

Goals for Networking at a Conference

June 16th, 2014
The following entry is from Jason’s personal site jasonmcsheene.com, written as a follow-up to Episode 9 of the PhD in Progress Podcast.
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I am not naturally a very outgoing person. However, that does not negate one important thing I learned: it is important to put on a good game face, be social, and talk with as many people as possible (i.e. NETWORK!).Ep009_card

This week I will step out of my comfort zone by attending the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO) conference in Washington D.C. I will not know anybody there and the field of artificial internal organs is brand new to me, as I have no direct experience in it . So why even go? 

  1. Comfort is the enemy of progress. This is a perfect opportunity to push those boundaries and grow. As mentioned before, going to the ASAIO meeting will force me out of my comfort zone. It is easy to go to a meeting with a bunch of your co-workers and close yourself off to new experiences. Instead of doing this, I encourage everyone to keep themselves open to communication.Go to the talks that might not directly relate to your work but sound interesting to you. Ask a “stupid” question. Talk to that person who seems intimidating.
  2. The conference is the perfect venue for learning! What is the current state of various technologies? Where is research and production being performed? Who is on the cutting edge? How can I position myself for entry into the field?
  3. Networking. If you listened to Episode 9 of the PhD in Progress podcast, you understand the importance of networking. Because I’m in the process of career exploration, meeting new people and learning about their career paths is vital. It will help me understand what some companies expect and how I can better augment my skills and experience.

With all of this, it’s also important to set goals and expectations. It would be a huge mistake to wander around for a few days just expecting to get the most out of the experience. So here is what I hope to accomplish at this meeting:

  1. Identify current research. Obviously, I will going to each talk session and poster session in order to learn more about the field. It is entirely possible that my future work will be related to something I hear at the conference.I will learn about 20 technologies in-depth and develop follow-up questions for each.
  2. Introduce myself to everyone. Alright, not every single person, but I should not be sitting quietly by myself for more than a few minutes. This, without a doubt, will be the most beneficial yet draining goal. I want to hear about what people think, what they do, and what their own goals are. By initiating conversation, I’ll create opportunities for learning, teaching, and helping. Plus I might have a few new friends to enjoy a drink with at the end of the night.Besides, interacting with hardly anyone for 3-5 days is never fun. I did that at a meeting in Montreal once. Never again!I will start a conversation within the first 2 minutes of down time.
  3. Investigate the companies/institutions doing the work. At the end of the week, I want to know the major players involved in bioengineering of biological tissues. I should be familiar with the companies, understand their products and/or services, and have the contact information people who work in R&D there. While I am doing this for my own career search, it should be a goal of anyone trying to improve their position within a field of choice.I will be very active at poster sessions and networking events by asking about the research itself, the employees, and the companies.

The key for me is that people universally want to feel valued, helpful, and interesting. Additionally, people do not want to be bored, unimportant, or invisible. By initiating conversation, you give someone the chance to fulfill all of those needs and quench those concerns.