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Deanna Montgomery's blog

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Unusual Advice: Take a Class Outside Your Field

As a third-year Ph.D. student, having finished all of my required courses and much to the confusion of many of my friends and colleagues, I decided to take an additional class during a semester when I already had little time to spare. While there were times that my schedule regretted it because of my love-hate relationship with over-commitment, I found this experience of my graduate career to be one that I would not trade.

Here are some of the reasons why I stand by my decision and encourage you to consider doing the same:

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I Changed Research Groups and the World Didn't End - Part 2: Limbo

During my first week as a graduate student, I was inundated with resources from about a week of orientation sessions. Among the stacks of papers that I accumulated that week was a hardcopy of this mentoring guide published by Rackham. I remember thinking it looked potentially useful and briefly thumbing through it. But instead of being closely studied, the guide ended up in the middle of a stack of other papers which I had accrued at the same time, and my busy grad student life went on. As a burgeoning Ph.D.

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I Changed Research Groups, and the World Didn’t End - Part 1: The Divorce

If you’ve been in or around the world of academia for long enough, you’ve probably heard the analogy that joining a research group is like getting married. I’ve even heard research rotations explained as akin to dating. So, at the risk of stretching this metaphor too far, that would make leaving a research group the academic equivalent of divorce.

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