Graduate School is hard, but here are some helpful tips we have collected from our students to help you through your journey.
- Classes are discussion based. This means that during class, not only will you be learning from your professor, but you also will be learning from your peers! Many of you have worked in the field or have lived what you are learning. This is valuable knowledge and should be shared with others.
- Feedback takes time. When submitting an assignment, it is typical that you do not receive a grade for a couple weeks. Do not worry! Professors just have a lot to grade and grading takes time. If you have any questions about your grades in the class, you can always talk to your professors by emailing them or going to their office hours. They are here to help you and guide you through your thesis and reading assignments, so don’t be afraid or nervous to speak to them!
- Provide feedback to the program, your professors, and your peers. Everyone could benefit from feedback in order to make things better. The important thing to consider is how you are providing others with feedback. When providing feedback, always come from a place of care instead of judgement. If you need help navigating how to provide feedback to the program, your professors, or peers, contact Aide Rodriguez, MIMS Program Manager, or previous students. Aide and students of previous cohorts are able to help you navigate these conversations and determine best practices for success.
- Use your professor’s office hours. There are times each week that your professor has dedicated to being in their office. Even if it is just to check-in or discuss the material presented in class, go to their office hours. They are there to help you and only want to see you succeed!
- Cura Personalis is important to USF. Cura Personalis–care for the whole person–describes the care and respect USF has for every individual’s intellectual, physical, and spiritual health and autonomy. To sum it up, USF cares about your holistic development, and understands that there is more to you than just being a student. Many of you have various responsibilities and being a student is only part of your identity. We understand that. That is why there are various resources on campus to help you.
- Graduate school is not easy. Although class schedules tend to accommodate traditional working hours, the amount of course work reflects that of a traditional graduate program. This means that you will have a rigorous course load. Try speaking to previous cohort members to hear their experience!
- Believe in yourself and lean on your support system. Although challenging at times, remember you made it to this point in your life on your own accord. During challenging times, lean on your support systems, peers, professors, and staff. If you need more support, consider reaching out to CAPS for mental health and psychological services (see below for details)
- Get involved! Although classes and coursework will keep you busy, use events, programs, and other opportunities to supplement your education. Learning in the classroom is great, but, getting first-hand experience also helps you learn. So, get involved! Attend local rallies, protests, and get involved with local organizations. Even just showing up helps supplement your learning. San Francisco has so much to offer!
9. Use University resources! There are plenty of resources at USF to help you succeed. All you need to know is exactly where to go.
Need help working on your interviewing skills, building a resume, or finding a job? Schedule an appointment with Career Services. Career Services can be found in the University Center on the 5th floor.
Need help finding an article for a research paper or figuring out how to cite properly? Ask a librarian by email, phone, in-person, or chat 24/7 on the library’s website.
Need help editing a paper, preparing for an oral presentation or finding what studying method works best for you? Schedule an appointment with the Learning and Writing Center (LWC). The LWC can be found in the Library on the Lower Level.
Need help with outside scholarships, loans, or school payments? Go to the Office of Financial Aid located in Lone Mountain on the 2nd floor.
Need help navigating stress, anxiety or your general mental health? Schedule an appointment with Counseling and Psychology Services (CAPS). CAPS is located on the Lower Level of Gilson Hall.
Need help requesting accommodations during your time at USF? Schedule an appointment with Student Disability Services (SDS). SDS can be found in the Lower Level of Glee
Need help figuring out where it is best for you to live during your time at USF? Schedule an appointment with Off-Campus Housing on the University Center on the 5th floor.
Need help starting a club, connecting to other graduate students or getting involved on campus? Visit Student Leadership and Engagement in the University Center on the 4th floor