Five Tips to Help You Find a Job/Scholarship in Graduate School
One of the main questions in the mind of a student joining graduate college these days is how to find an hourly job or how to find some form of assistantship. As woes of recession deepen and more and more hourly jobs/scholarship dwindles, it is not easy to find one especially during first semester of your graduate study. Here are five tips that can help you land up in a job after you join for your graduate studies.
1 – Arrive at least three weeks early
If you are in F1 visa, you are allowed to come four weeks before your classes actually start. Try coming at least 3 weeks before the classes start so that you have time to apply for whatever hourly jobs remaining in your school. If you land in the school say 1 week before the classes start then forget about the hourly jobs as most of them may have been already taken.
2 - Networking
When I joined grad school in Fall 2001, I came almost three weeks in advance and I started applying for most of the hourly jobs posted in the school website for almost two weeks. I was not even getting any interview calls. Finally I got a job in the football stadium. I even didn’t send my resume for that job. A friend of mine who already has that job recommended me. I got my second job – a front assistant in a dormitory also through the recommendation by another friend working there. So even for getting an hourly job networking is a key. So I suggest anyone coming to pursue graduate studies to start networking even before you land up in US for your studies so that you have good contacts by the time you are here that can “potentially” help you find a job.
3 – Knock All Doors
Knock all possible jobs. You don’t have to feel shy about that. You never know from where you are going to get a job from. You may know a Professor working in your area of interest who don’t have any openings now but potentially will have projects in the future. Communicate with him constantly showing your interest to work for him/her. When he/she finally gets a new project and wants to hire a student you name should automatically come to his/her mind.
4 – Choosing Classes Wisely
This is one of the best ways to land in assistantship. You know a Professor doing research in your area of interest. Sign up for a class offered by that professor and do extremely well in that class. If you could impress him/her in the class with your skills there is a good chance that when you approach that professor next time he may offer you some assistantship or help you get some thing.
5 - Getting Good Grades in First Semester
I have seen this happening a lot. Get good grades for all the courses you take for the first semester and then approach various professors and you have a lot better chances of getting some assistantship.
Having said all that “luck” plays a very important role at least initially in getting an hourly job or assistantship. I know a lot of students who have done all those I mentioned above and still don’t have any assistantship for the entire length of their graduate study. But these five tips are something that any graduate student can pursue that can enhance his/her chance of getting a job/assistantship.
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