First-Year SURGE Fellows

IMG_0652Welcome to Grainger Engineering!  

Below are recommendations to help 1st year SURGE Fellows acclimate to Illinois. These help ensure a smooth transition and allow you to develop connections that will serve you professionally and socially throughout your time with us and after you graduate. If, at any time, you feel lost, have questions that are not being answered, or need other advise, know that you can always stop by 401 Engineering Hall to visit with Liz Johnson (or email her).

It’s never to soon to work on building your professional network to support and develop you throughout your doctoral degree. Attend seminars and other networking opportunities within your home department, in the college, and throughout campus.

Ask lots of questions to learn more about policies and procedures in place to help you succeed. Visit the Graduate Programs Office in your department to understand the milestones you need to complete for a doctoral program.

If you don’t already have a thesis advisor, visit with the faculty to explore possible collaboration.  It is important to set up meetings with faculty to learn more about their research, scholarship, and management style. It is important to find an advisor that meets your interests and preferences (more hands-on, more hands-off, meets with students often, etc.)

Visit with current graduate students to learn about their research projects, their relationship with their advisor, the culture of your home department.  These conversations may help you in selecting the advisor that would be right for you.

Develop a healthy balance between work and life. Find organizations or groups to join that nourish your social life and provide meaning also outside of research and courses.

Check the following locations to learn about weekly or occasional seminars on topics of technical or general interest to you, including professional development and well-being.

For more information, follow the links on the Resources tab.