Two helpful grad school advice books about the future

Hi all, taking a break from reading to say I’ve just finished these two excellent books, which have helped me wrap my head around 1) getting a job, & 2) writing a dissertation. If you have anxiety about the future (everyone in grad school?) these made me feel more in control of the big picture.

1) The Professor is In: This book hurts. Karen Kelsky is here to administer all the tough love you may not be getting from your advisor. Best advice snippets: don’t wait to be invited to do things (submit to conferences, submit to journals), you need to push yourself to put it all out there if you want a job; and try to identify 1 or 2 mentors outside of your department/elsewhere in your field, with tips on how to build relationships with them.

2) Destination Dissertation: This book is kind of the opposite of tough love. It’s more like, “hey, if you’re in the humanities/social sciences, here are 12 steps to write your dissertation, it will only take 12, we promise.” This book has calmed me down a lot about the impending dissertation. I picked it up early (I’m a second year PhD) and I’m glad I did because it was worth reading the chapter about picking a topic this early in my studies.

Alright, back to work. Happy Sunday all! Does anyone have more good grad school advice books they would recommend?

How to dress as a new graduate instructor

Q & A: What do I wear to teach or TA as a graduate student?

This was my first question when I was admitted to a Masters program–how fancy do I need to get? A few business casual items can go a long way toward building your teaching wardrobe. Some to start with:

Dress pants

3-5 button up shirts (polka dot, maroon, buffalo checked)

Comfortable shoes! (Flats, oxfords)

A nice cardigan (thrifted, here’s a good one), and a blazer

I basically mix these items in with my casual tees, dresses, and jeans for teaching purposes.

Conference packing: What’s in my bag

Conference packing: what’s in my day bag edition.

I usually spend 80% of conference time dealing with feeling bad. The mix of no sleep and lots of germs is never a good one. Here’s what I keep on me at all times: Advil, tums, bandaids, moleskin, foldable flats for when my shoes kill me, water, snacks, writing utensils and notebook, laptop, business cards, hand sanitizer, and oil blotting face sheets.