You've Got To Know Before You Start

When I was accepted to graduate school, I started my assistantship a month early with New Student Orientation. I was very eager to start working and learning more about the campus. I also wanted to make sure that I understood my job duties and responsibilities fully so when classes began I wouldn’t struggle juggling two completely new roles.

Although my position required me to research the campus and become familiar with the names of the different buildings, which resources were located in each, how to navigate the grounds, and even tidbits like the fight song and campus history; I would have researched those anyhow and would recommend that to everyone starting a new program at a new institution.

I worked with New Student Orientation for a full year before switching to another department. Although I am still a graduate assistant in my new position, I am able to help students and colleagues more effectively because I am aware of the resources that are available on campus. By knowing where things like the Quality Writing Center, Advising Center, and best study spots are on campus not only help me as a graduate student but then I can share these resources with others that are needing them.

When you start graduate school, I strongly recommend spending time browsing through the institutions website, speaking with students on campus, and spending time walking the grounds and in to each building to see what resources each has. By having this knowledge, not only will you succeed in graduate school but you will also be looked at as someone with a wealth of knowledge at the university or college you are attending (which can look very favorable on your behalf). Also, by knowing and understanding the college you are attending, it will give you more pride which can make for a happier time in graduate school.

Jonathan Davey

Student Affairs - the First Years

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