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I hope that you all have had a great trimester so far. We’re in the second half and this is the last PGSA column of 2016. I would like to take the time to discuss the postgraduate ‘body’.
One would hope that you, the postgraduate body, feel that you have exactly the same rights to support services as undergraduate students do (counselling, study skill sessions, etc.) VUW has support systems specifically in place for postgraduate students but you’d be surprised at how much “free money” and “free food” goes unclaimed every year. The PGSA actively tries to develop a sense of community for the postgraduate body. Take advantage of opportunities including events, conference grants, awards, and more (go to http://www.vuwpgsa.ac.nz for more information).
Even if you’re not interested in the above, there are still ways to improve your education. You have a chance to consider how to be a more effective postgraduate, whether that’s through smarter study, better networking, or another initiative.
Some students can feel isolated—especially those undertaking their PhD and those who regularly sleep in their offices or undertake their course remotely. If you don’t create opportunities to chat with people engaged with study, you miss out on what has traditionally been a part of the postgraduate experience.
Sometimes you may not like the people you have consistent face time with. Don’t be shy to ask to change your supervisors or office mates. This is your research, and you should pick the appropriate people that will help you reach your goals.
Being a postgrad is all about being self-directed. No matter how many people you have around you, you’re the one doing the work. There’s pressure to deliver and you may feel that you should be working all of the time, but take the time to switch off and recharge. Quality is better than quantity (unless your worth is dictated on how many papers you have published).
Check out the events below and recharge:
Attend the Postgraduate Interactive Forum on September 28 at 4pm in SU217 / 218. Learn about new research that is happening at VUW and enjoy free pizza!
The PGSA AGM is on October 3 at 12pm. Enjoy free pizza, learn about what the PGSA has been up to, and elect your new representatives.