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182. How to Choose A Rotation Lab and Advisor

Lab rotations are a pretty sweet deal – you get the chance to work in a lab for a few weeks to see how it fits. Do you like the people? The project? The advisor? If not, try another lab and see if that one is a better fit.

But at the end of 3-4 rotations, you ultimately have to make a choice, and you’ll live with that decision for the next 3-5 years!

This week, we offer a checklist of ‘Things to Consider’ when making your decision, and a warning that many students prioritize the wrong features!

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181. Build Skills Before Grad School with a Postbac

A lot of aspiring trainees are ‘taking a gap year’ before applying to graduate school. Typically, they use that time to build skills and make connections that will bolster their applications.

This postbaccalaureate, or ‘postbac’, experience can vary pretty widely – from a course-heavy Master’s degree to a research-focused industry internship.

There are also a multitude of scholarships, fellowships, and grants to support whatever training you might need.

This week, we explore these postbac opportunities with Elizabeth Somsen, who recently finished her training as a Fulbright Scholar and wrote a user-friendly guide to postbacs.

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180. Becoming an Educator w/ Dr. Alaina Talboy

You’re in graduate school, so you’re probably pretty smart. You’ve learned a lot of material over the years, and managed to apply that knowledge in tests, papers, and projects.

But ‘knowing a lot’ doesn’t mean you’re ready to teach others. Becoming an educator takes time, dedication and attention.

This week, we talk with Dr. Alaina Talboy about the skill of teaching others, and how you can apply that in careers outside the classroom.

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119. Ten Tips to Crush Your First Semester (R)

It’s that time of year again – summer days are growing shorter, your friends are trying to fit in one last trip to the beach, and the backpack aisle at Target is about to be cleared out to make way for the Halloween costumes.

Yes, it’s back-to-school time. From toddlers to teenagers, this time of year instills foreboding about the school-year ahead. But as a first-year graduate student, you may have other feelings.

For most, it’s the start of a new adventure. For the first time, you’re pursuing the one subject in the world you love best, surrounded by other equally brilliant and passionate people.

It’s the end of being told what to learn and how to study, and the beginning of blazing your own academic trail.

It IS a new experience – different from your matriculation in high school or college – and it may be difficult to know what to expect.

This week, we lay out a ten-ish step plan for putting your best-foot-forward in that first semester of your graduate journey.

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179. Teaching Opportunities for Grad Students w/ Dr. Alaina Talboy

We’ve all met them – the unsung heroes of your Intro To (Biology, Psychology, History, etc.) class.

Sure, they don’t give the lectures, but that’s about the only responsibility they dodge. Instead, they’re leading lab sessions, holding office hours, proctoring exams, and grading papers.

They’re the Teaching Assistants, or TAs, and they’re a critical part of undergraduate education.

But who are these heroes without capes?

We learn more in this week’s show!

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