January 2019

Recognizing, building and articulating skills: The Foundations experience

Professional Skills Foundations logo

In summer 2019, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs celebrated the first completions of Professional Skills Foundations (Foundations), including those by Irina Oltean and Swakshar Saha. To learn more about what it’s like to participate in Foundations, I checked-in with Irina and Swakshar to hear about their experience.

Keys to research productivity: Work-life balance in the Waterloo Region

Rocks balanced on the beach

How does one avoid burnout in grad school, and maintain a high degree of personal effectiveness in one’s “GRADventure?” The answer to that is “don’t forget to have fun” – relaxation is key. ... Take advantage of what is around. There are many things one can do in Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas.

GRADventure profile: Angela Rooke

Angela Rooke

Angela Rooke, manager of graduate and postdoctoral experience, launched GRADventure in 2015 shortly after she began working in Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs. Recently, Angela was interviewed as part of the TRaCE PhD project, and shared about her PhD experience and her career path.

Internship 101, Part 1: Are graduate students too smart for internships?

Few graduate students, especially those in PhD programs, pursue internships during their graduate studies. Are graduate students too smart for internships? Having completed an internship during my PhD, the short answer is, “certainly not.”

Gaining perspective through interdisciplinary collaboration

Simron Singh, Audrey Chung, Justin Carpenter, George Dixon, and Jeff Casello at GRADtalks

We are Audrey Chung and Justin Carpenter, two PhD candidates at the University of Waterloo, and we were the speakers at Beyond 60: The Promises and Realities of Artificial Intelligence. We’re from different disciplines — Systems Design Engineering and English — and, as a result, approach the topic of artificial intelligence quite differently.

The Lake Shift: An interview with Becky and Tariq

Becky Anderson and Tariq Aziz

In July 2018, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs sponsored two PhD students, Becky Anderson and Tariq Aziz, to attend the Lake Shift writing retreat. Hosted by Queen’s University, the Lake Shift is a thesis writing retreat for doctoral students from Ontario universities held at the Queen’s Biology Station on Lake Opinicon. I checked-in with Becky and Tariq to hear about their experience at the Lake Shift:

Tell us a bit about yourself. What program are you in and what is your research focus?

Adding fun to your grad life: Connect to your residence community

Ekin Eray holds a gingerbread house made during a community event.

When I first moved to Waterloo 3 years ago for my PhD studies, I didn’t know much about life in Canada. I decided to stay in residences for a term to be close to campus and to get used to the city, and then look for an off-campus options. But I enjoyed living in Columbia Lake Village (CLV) North so much that I never left after I moved in.

What grad school taught me about startups

Lichen Zhang and Lucas Liepert pose with a $5,000 cheque for PriveHealth

As I work toward the end of my grad studies, it only recently dawned on me how similar the process of building a thesis is to that of starting a startup. If you had told me this two years ago, I couldn't have imagined two paths that I thought were more different.

Research dissemination as an academic ethos: Reflections from a PhD candidate

Jason Lajoie and Caitlin Scott at GRADtalks

I have the unusual distinction of being the first person to be a finalist or selected speaker in all three major graduate research dissemination events at the University of Waterloo: Three Minute Thesis (3MT), GRADtalks, and, most recently, GRADflix. When I was told this, I joked that the University should come up with a name for this category, like the EGOT label used by the American entertainment industry for those who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.

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