7 Reasons to Be a Graduate Assistant
Graduate assistantships provide students with tuition waivers and a stipend, allowing them to fund their education and gain invaluable experience. This can help reduce student debt and give you a leg up when applying for jobs.
A lot of graduate students struggle to balance their academic life with work, but it is possible to do both. The key is to find an assistantship that is in line with your goals and interests.
1. Get to Know the Professor and Staff
Getting to know professors and staff members in your field of study can be crucial for your success. Not only will they be able to offer you advice about your course, but they may also be able to give you tips on how to secure an assistantship. This is especially important if you’re planning on applying for graduate school.
2. Get Quality, Practical Experience
The best way to develop your career is through real-world experience. Fortunately, most graduate programs offer internships, so there is often plenty of room to pursue this type of experience.
3. Learn from Mentors
Being a graduate assistant is a great way to develop your career by working with experts in your field. This is especially useful if you are interested in a research-based field.
4. Build a Network
As Kantrowitz points out, it’s not uncommon for graduate assistants to be the first people a potential employer meets. That’s because graduate assistantships are a chance for students to meet professors and others in their field, which can lead to connections that could be useful in future job searches.
5. Become More Flexible
The ideal graduate assistant is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. This can mean running toward a coaching future, or it can mean working in the labs, doing research, or any other task that needs to be completed on campus.
In addition to teaching, grad assistants can also help run athletic programs. This can range from coordinating schedules to keeping statistics.
Depending on your university, assistantships can be very different, so it’s important to check with the college you are considering for more information.
6. Earn a Stipend
The average stipend for a graduate assistantship is $4,000 to $5,000 per year. This money can be helpful in covering expenses, including transportation costs. In addition, some schools offer additional benefits like subsidized or free food and reduced rent.
7. Save Money
Tuition for a graduate degree program can be costly, so it’s important to find ways to save money. This is especially true if you are going into a field that requires expensive equipment or supplies.
8. Keep Your Goals in Mind
Graduate assistantships can be a fantastic way to develop your career by gaining valuable experience, but they can also be stressful. For example, they can be time-consuming, requiring a high degree of dedication.
9. Ensure Your Time Management skills are up to par
If you’re a graduate assistant, you’ll have a lot of responsibilities and deadlines. You’ll need to be able to prioritize your tasks, manage your time effectively, and communicate clearly with your supervisors.