Register HERE for the Fall 2019 Graduate Orientation and Welcome (for students starting in the summer and fall)
Saturday August 17, 11:00am – 4:50pm in the Bryant Conference Center (click HERE for map)
GRaduate Orientation and Welcome (GROW) is designed to prepare incoming graduate students with the necessary information to make their time at UA a success. Your orientation to graduate school will likely consist of a variety of experience such as a Departmental Orientation, an orientation of your specific cohort, and the campus-wide GROW event sponsored by the Graduate School.
GROW is designed to supplement your departmental orientation experience and give you a well- rounded view of the UA experience through the graduate student lens. The Graduate Student Orientation will provide you with advice from current students and faculty and connect you to various campus-wide services and resources that are available to ALL graduate students.
GROW is sponsored by The University of Alabama Graduate School and the Graduate Student Association
11:00 Check in
11:30 am -12:30 pm: Eat lunch and network with other new students
12:30 pm -1:30 pm: Resource fair and networking event in the Bryant Conference Center lobby
1:30 pm – 1:50 pm: Welcome to The University of Alabama
1:55 pm – 2:40 pm: Student Panel – What to do at UA and Around Town
2:45 pm – 3:30 pm: Student Panel – Classes, Conferences, and Assistantships
3:35 pm-3:55 pm: Break – Desserts and Snacks
4:00 pm-4:45 pm: Faculty Panel – Expectations
4:45 pm-4:50 pm: Closing Remarks
You deserve to be here.
You were accepted into the program, so believe in your abilities.
You are not alone.
Graduate school can be a very challenging process. It helps to know that you are going to experience many of the same ups and downs as your classmates. Challenges are to be expected. Keep going!
It’s a process.
Developing good research skills and understanding the jargon takes time, so be patient. You WILL get it!
Seek help and ask many questions.
Keep asking questions and don’t give up. Seek advice from trusted colleagues, professors, and professionals in your field of study.
Write every day.
It can really make a difference. Working out your “writing muscles” on a consistent basis will pay off.
Find your passion.
Your writing is YOUR voice, so find something you can live with for a long time. Don’t be afraid to stand behind your passion and beliefs.
Do not be afraid to say “no” to people. You have to focus on what is best for YOU.
Develop friendships and study groups in your classes.
Your classmates may become like family members by the end of this process. Becoming a part of a study group or cohort can be extremely helpful. It can help you stay on track. Take time out to recharge your batteries. Do something you enjoy!
Work as though you are already a professional in your desired field.
Try to do things that will make you a viable candidate for your desired job. If you want to be a professor, find out what first year professors are expected to do and attempt to do these things. At the graduate level, you are considered to be more than just a student. You are a professional, future scholar, and potential colleague. The way you present yourself inside and outside of the classroom is important.
Consider ahead of time what you might say when others ask what you do or what you are studying. Though you don’t want to sound as if you are following a script, you want to practice this so it will flow naturally.
You are there to meet new people. If you arrive with a few friends, remember that splitting up to mingle might be the best way to meet others.
Be positive and smile. Stand straight, but be relaxed.
Shake hands firmly (but not too firmly). If you are unable to shake hands for cultural or medical reasons, briefly explain. A smile is always a nice greeting.
Listen closely to each person you meet. Maintain eye contact and contribute to the conversation. • If initiating conversation, avoid topics typically considered to be inappropriate for small talk. Focus on topics that are upbeat and not too personal.
Don’t be shy about approaching a group of people who are already talking. When someone in the group makes eye contact, smile and introduce yourself.
Include others in conversation and introduce them to the people you have just met. • Repeat a person’s name once introduced to make sure you heard correctly and to help you remember it. Include the person’s name when ending the conversation.
Be aware of body language—if someone’s eyes are wandering, they may be ready to end the conversation and move on or they may want to say something if you have been talking for a while.
Don’t be a salesman
Never try to sell yourself. Try to make a connection through friendly conversation and professional behavior. • Depending on the connection made, consider following up with the contact soon after you meet. You might email to say that you enjoyed the conversation and hope to touch base again soon or that you simply enjoyed meeting them and wish them a great semester.
For the contacts you want to maintain, find ways to do something for them. You might send them the link to an article they would find interesting or offer to assist them with something.
Please visit the New Graduate Student Checklist