At the 2016 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference, I published a tips and tricks paper about successfully completing a Ph.D.  In this paper, I summarized resources I found useful during my doctoral studies, some advice I was given, and lessons I learned along the way.  The full paper can be accessed from the ASEE website.


Successfully completing a doctorate degree takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, and determination. Throughout my time as a doctoral student, I searched for the key to success. I read books and blogs; sought advice from mentors; and learned through trial and error. In this tricks of the trade paper, I will summarize what has worked for me and the resources I found helpful. The skills that helped me succeed in undergrad were not enough for graduate school. While pursuing a graduate degree, time is much more flexible. Depending on your habits, this can be a blessing or a curse. One of the takeaways from this paper will be time management tricks that I have found to be useful. A budget in graduate school could mean several things: the number of years of your funding, the grant that is funding your research, or your emotional health. The first two are straightforward; they are about managing a budget of time or money to achieve goals in your graduate career. Your emotional health might not be as straightforward to manage, however with the tolls of stress and rejection and the highs of success in research your emotional health is not something you should ignore. Taking time for yourself is important during your graduate school career. The second takeaway from this paper will be tips on managing your financial and emotional budgets. A goal for earning your doctorate should be preparing you for your career in either academia or industry. The final takeaway from this paper will be about exploring opportunities that will help you attain that goal as well as how to sell the entire experience on your C.V. or resume.


I co-presented an untraditional paper session with another group of authors that had a similar paper.  The resulting Prezi we used is below.


R.M. Reck, "Engineering success: Delivering your Ph.D. on time, on budget, and ready for your career," 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, LA, June 27-29, 2016. DOI: 10.18260/p.26668

CC photo by: Aaron Hawkins.