In undergrad, when a professor would announce a group project I always heard students complain. I definitely was one of those students. Coming to grad school I never thought I would be stuck doing group projects. Unfortunately 2 out of my 3 courses have required group projects. For one of my courses we have to write a 10-12 page paper and we have to give a presentation.
The paper is due next week, so this past week has been very stressful. I decided to take the leadership role; it is mostly because I am too much of a perfectionist. My group sent me all of their work, and I put it all together. This has not been a fun task, but someone needs to get it done. I have found group projects to be more difficult in grad school vs. undergrad.
In undergrad it was easier to meet with the people in my group because most of the students lived on campus. Also many students did not have a time consuming job, so meeting to work on the project usually wasn’t difficult. Most students in grad school have jobs, and a lot more going on besides courses. It has been very difficult to agree on a time for everyone to meet. Email has been our main source of communication. Although our paper is due next week, we still need to meet as a group to work on our presentation. I really hope we receive a good grade on this paper and presentation because this has been a stressful experience.
My recommendation to people doing group projects, try to pick people that will be committed and contribute to the work. Also, if possible, give the leadership role to someone that doesn’t have a time consuming job and is assertive.
If anyone has any tips or would like to vent about the frustration of group project, feel free to share!
The Washington job market is different than much of the rest of the country. In this area there are an abundance of jobs that either work directly for the federal government or work as contractors that support government operations. If you are in a career field that relates to the government, you should be aware of security clearances. A security clearance is a determination by the government that a citizen is suitable and authorized to access classified information.
Many jobs require an applicant to have a clearance. Unfortunately, these often need to be preexisting clearances where the company will not act as a sponsor for that new employee to obtain a clearance. Instead, those companies choose to only recruit from the pool of already cleared professionals. By being in this metro area, students have an advantage. Most organizations recognize that entry level positions and internships have to be staffed with people that are not yet cleared. This is because people with clearances must have had the job that cleared them and they are no longer entry level.
The government and many contracting companies have entry level positions and internships available to graduate students. These students can obtain a clearance through these positions and either complete their internships or work in these entry level jobs for a short while and then leave. They will be able to retain their cleared status for five or more years before needing to go through the process again. This gives them the option of looking for cleared work a few years later in the their career.
What are your plans for Halloween? Is anyone going to fright fest at Six Flags? Going to some Halloween parties either at work or a friends? Are you staying at home eating popcorn and watching horror movies? Or are you taking your child or younger sibling out trick or treating?
Halloween to me is one of my favorite holidays. I enjoy watching all of my favorite horror movies that comes out. One of my all time favorite movie that comes on during this time of year is Hocus Pocus. Nostalgia tends to kick in while I am watching this movie. I remember as a child always staying under the covers while watching this movie scared of Billy the zombie. Back then, I was such a scaredy cat, but loved watching horror movies. Now, I can recite the movie word from word and think nothing of it.
I also enjoy going to haunted houses. Well small haunted houses. Not really major ones only because I know I would get lost and really get scared hahaha.
What do you like to do during this holiday?
If your anywhere in Arlington you’ve probably seen people running through the streets. I like to joke what is everyone running from?
From my experience I have found that Fall by far, is the best time to run or start running. The temperature is nearly perfect, the leaves are falling from the trees, and there’s a slight breeze. With that said, it’s not always easy. Some the negatives of running in this area are that it is a bit hilly and there are cars everywhere! If you’re looking for some good places to run nearby besides the busy streets, there are a couple trails I would recommend. The Custis Trail is awesome! It’s also nice to ride bikes if you aren’t into running. I believe its relatively less hilly than street running and its pretty scenic through the woods and Arlington neighborhoods. Also if you’re feeling bold you can run along the GW parkway aka the Mount Vernon trail. It’s scenic and it’s alongside river!
So my real point is why are we running? Well with all this running you should be pretty fit by Thanksgiving right? That means you can eat whatever you want eat. Having a fun Fall event to celebrate and showcase your new hobby is a must. There are a couple runs I’ve done last year in the area I recommend checking out. There’s the turkey trot 5k on Thanksgiving in Arlington. Also if you’re up for a challenge there’s a 5 miler turkey trot in Alexandria. I do this one every year with my family.
But, one of my favor races of the year in this area is over in National Harbor it’s called, “The Ugly Sweater Run.” I believe it’s the first week of December this year. It is worth looking into and let me tell you why. You dress up in ugly sweaters they give you Santa hats and hot cocoa while you run through a maze of blow up Christmas decorations and fake snow while they blast Mariah Carey. It is the best. Also, like it can’t get any better, waiting for you at the finish line last year was a Sam Adams winter lager and cider beer garden. So if you love Christmas and beer this run is for you. Start training now! Basically we are in a great area to run, and we need to take advantage of this great time of year. Not to mention, running is a huge stress reliever and good for your heart and your brain!
The sun is out! The temperature is higher than expected. Oh my God, it’s over 70 degrees. I went out this morning and the sun beamed on my face it was great. Until I realized I have an Analytics mid-term on Monday. The task of converting numbers to words, memorizing the standard deviation chart, sounds exciting right? Does that mean I need to study outdoors? Maybe. But I could spend so much time pondering as the time continues to pass. So, let’s get to it.
The semester is going so quickly. Registered for classes and working on final papers. Time to dig in the heels and grind out the rest of semester. See ya around