These 4 Ingredients May Be the Perfect Recipe for Graduate School Success

These 4 Ingredients May Be the Perfect Recipe for Graduate School Success

Ingredient List:

A dash of social networking

A full package of knowledge of current happenings in your field

2-3 Tablespoons of financial responsibility

3 Cups Time Management

Serving Size:

1 Successful Graduate Student

Directions:

Develop A Strong Social Network: It may seem counterintuitive to include a social networking account on our list of ingredients needed for graduate school success - after all, Twitter and Facebook are notorious time wasters. But the proof is in the pudding, and many graduate students swear by the usefulness such services provide. Considering how much graduate school success depends on proper networking, you may want to create opportunities to connect with your colleagues online. In addition, the encouragement socially connected students can share with each other in real time over the Web may serve as a source of motivation and comfort.

Use RSS feeds to Stay Current on the Latest Developments In Your Field: You've got your textbooks for your required reading, but graduate school is all about deepening your knowledge of your specific subject matter. That means that if you want to remain competitive, you've got to keep your knowledge current. Fortunately, the Internet is awash with academic journals and articles that can provide you with the most recent happenings in your respective field. As Ph.D. candidate and graduate school blogger Kenny Chiu pointed out, Google Reader, or a similar article aggregator can be a great tool for helping you stay abreast of the latest academic breakthroughs.

Stick to a Budget: Academic challenges aren't going to be the only struggles you face in graduate school - you'll also need to be on top of your budgeting game as well. Keeping a tight leash on your finances is crucial, and there are many software programs or even smartphone apps that can help you do this more efficiently. Frugal students can also take advantage of resources such as Groupon, which may offer significant savings on a variety of products and services.

Manage Your Time: Juggling studying, writing papers and taking care of home life all at the same time can leave students wishing they had a time machine at their disposal. While that particular scientific breakthrough is a few years off, you can still take steps to make the most of the time you do have. There's a wealth of free online time management tools such as Trello, and these are useful for breaking your days out into manageable, task-based chunks so you can stay on top of everything.

About the Author: Laura Morrison earned an MBA from the Rutgers School of Business in 2010.

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