Blogs: How To...

The Myth About Inbox(0)

Learning to manage my unmanageable email inbox in graduate school

JAN 2020
by Sam C.
Mechanical Engineering
After extolling the logistical heroics of Alexander the Great and his Macedonian Army, my military history instructor turned to the class and declared, “Good generals study tactics; great generals study logistics.” To my fellow graduate students, I offer a customized message: “Good graduate...

A Well-Kept Secret for Finding a Job post-PhD

Reducing graduation stress by putting off your full-time job search with short-term consulting

JAN 2020
Biological Engineering
During my PhD, I performed a lot of exit interviews with graduating students and learned that finding a job is often the most stressful part of graduating, and among the most stressful in the entire PhD. After my own defense, however, I was able to avoid some of that stress by discovering a...

The Vicious Cycle of Boston Leases

New Year, New Lease

DEC 2019
Mechanical Engineering
Raise your hand if you hate moving!  The Greater Boston Area, especially lovely places such as Allston, Cambridge, and Somerville, can be quite a painful place August 31st when most housing rental leases end. For one night, until the new lease begins on September 1st, many people become practically...

When Science Is More Art than Science

Or how I learnt to start worrying and stop loving science

DEC 2019
Maybe climate change is a hoax and vaccinations cause autism. Maybe 9/11 was an inside job, the earth is as flat as my grandma’s pancake, pineapple belongs on a pizza, and you should switch to Geico. Just maybe. Being the curious species that we are, we have to entertain all possibilities, even if...

Making the most of Cambridge's amazing salsa scene

Plus a story of how I went from ballet to salsa

Oct 2019
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
Thankfully, life at MIT as a grad student is not ALL about research. For me, one of the greatest breaks from lab is dancing. Growing up, classical ballet was part of my daily routine. Classical ballet requires physical resilience, a focused mind, and musicality, but above all, it requires...

The Unofficial Guide Book for the Grad School Applicant

If you have no idea what to do, you’re well on your way!

SEP 2019
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
I made the decision to apply for graduate school in mid-September of my senior year of college. With application deadlines only weeks away and the GRE looming in the distance, I spent one month scrambling to familiarize myself with the application materials that some of my peers had been refining...

On Becoming a Professional Student

How I emerged from the chaos of undergrad to embrace professionalism in my graduate career

SEP 2019
by Sam C.
Mechanical Engineering
If you are an academic masochist who constantly enjoys being over-involved and under pressure, then your undergraduate “career” was probably something like mine. My (pre-grad) college years regularly felt like a frenzied, unorganized attempt to accomplish the umpteen items on my mental to-do list....

Being Strong in Strong Situations

Having agency even when your choices aren't fully your own

SEP 2019
Technology and Policy Program
At my undergraduate institution (one of the three big U.S. military academies), every cadet was required to take a class called “The Behavioral Science of Leadership”. In this class we discussed something called strong situations. Strong situations are environments in which a person's options...

Giving Back to Society

How I got involved in service activities at MIT

AUG 2019
Mechanical Engineering
The ultimate aim of all the jobs the world has to offer in today’s time, whether in the field of entertainment, business or research, is to ultimately serve the human civilization. While none can claim to be better than others, some have a more direct and faster impact. These include service...

How to Craft a Personal Statement

Some practical tips and perspective

AUG 2019
Biological Engineering
There’s one part of any application that can always make you freeze: the dreaded personal statement. Writing about yourself is an exercise in embarrassment, anxiety, and existential doubt. Don’t worry; I’m here to help! Let’s get one thing out of the way first. The point of a personal statement is...