1. Tell us a little more about what you’re studying at the moment and what your research focuses on.
My current research interests include employing the science of learning (e.g. collaboration, self-regulation, and digital information literacy) to empower K-16 students, especially students with low socioeconomic status and immigrant children to excel in formal and informal educational settings.
2. What are your general career interests or professional goals after graduate school?
I hope to become an academic faculty member and have the opportunity to collaborate with practitioners in developing curriculum and assessment of 21st century skills.
3. How has participating in the Graduate School’s professional development programs and offerings benefited your professional development? Is there a particular program or resource that has helped you the most or that you found to be especially valuable?
I would highly recommend PITAP, Effective College Teaching, and Academic Publishing 101. I think teaching and research are two indispensable skills that graduate students need to acquire to prepare for a position in academia, thus I am always on the lookout for training opportunities in teaching and data analysis.
4. Are there other steps you are taking now as a graduate student to prepare yourself for the job market/your industry?
I recommend keeping an eye on the listservs like the Graduate Professional Development Newsletter. Through such listservs, I have been able to find virtual training sessions and interesting articles to read.
5. What is something you wish you had known about professional development in your first year of graduate school?
There are two major things I wish I had taken advantage of in my first year. The first is that I wish I had found more mentors. I should have budgeted more time to visit professors during their office hours, and found more chances to communicate with people who are more advanced in my program, to serve as my peer mentors. In addition, I wish I had spent more time reviewing and reflecting on the trainings that I have been to. Going to professional development events is exciting, but it takes time and practice to internalize what is learned in the trainings.
6. Do you have any professional development or career planning advice to offer your fellow graduate students?
My only advice is to use the campus resources as much as you can. The Learning Center, Writing Center, Career services, Odum Research Institute, and Graduate School all have great training opportunities. I think using resources and talking to experienced peers and professors are one of the most efficient ways to make progress and open doors for ideas and opportunities. It also facilitates connection with people outside your program in other graduate departments. In addition, time permitting, try something new once in a while. There are so many great facilities on campus like the Makerspace. It is eye-opening, mind-expanding, and good for your mental health.