Getting ahead on the first day of graduate schoolChen Wan Lim
Famous inventor Alexander Graham Bell once said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”. Starting graduate school is important as you will be meeting fresh faces from all walks of life. There will be the fresh graduate who is pursuing a Master’s degree without any working experience and there is the fifty year old CEO who has worked in five different countries throughout his or her career. Therefore, start your semester right by abiding to these few simple tips to get ahead on your first day of graduate school:
1. Get to know the teaching faculty
Make it a point to get to know all the teaching members of your faculty. Most postgraduate teaching staff including lecturers, professors and tutors have prior industry working experiences or might still be active in the industry. Getting to know them and getting them to know you are beneficial to gain the most out of your postgraduate experience. Feel free to distribute your name cards to them and even meet them up for coffee during their consultation hours.
2. Study your course structure
Study the course structure well and get to know the timetable. This will allow you to plan your time accordingly and also to know how much time to allocate for each subject – this is especially important if you are working full time and undergoing part time graduate school. In addition, the course structure will inform you of any additional reading materials which are important. Though these optional reading materials are not made compulsory, reading them and understanding the contents will allow you to have an in-depth understanding on the subject matter.
3. Know your course mates
Spend time to meet and greet all of your course mates. These are the people you will see and get close with for the next two years of your life. Getting to know them outside class is also important as you will be working with them closely for course assignments. Knowing their professional background will also be important for you to choose your team members well and to exchange knowledge during discussions.
4. Make good first impressions
Dress well on your first day of class. You will want to form a good impression on the teaching staff and your course mates. If you hold a senior position in your organisation, keep in mind that you also represent your company in the class. But be sure not to be overdressed or you might just be the odd one out.