How to succeed

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Published on October 2, 2007

Author: Arley33

Source: authorstream.com

How to Succeed in Our Learn-by-Doing Graduate Programs:  How to Succeed in Our Learn-by-Doing Graduate Programs Lisa Jacinto, Masters Programs Manager (jacinto@west.cmu.edu) Deniz Lanyi, Associate Director of Educational Programs (deniz@west.cmu.edu) Be Proactive and Take Charge of Your Learning!!!:  Be Proactive and Take Charge of Your Learning!!! You are not an empty vessel sitting passively to be filled with knowledge. Don't expect to be lectured: you must ask the questions. You must take responsibility for your own learning. Contact the faculty early and often. It’s your responsibility to schedule meetings with them. Don’t be afraid you are “bothering” the faculty by emailing, asking for a call, etc—they are there to help YOU. All official communication will come through your CMU email. The more you put into the program, the more you’ll get out of it. Good time management is essential:  Good time management is essential Part-time students should commit at least 15-20 hours per week. These programs were designed based on 15-20 hours of work per week. If you notice a large variance in this number, contact your coach—perhaps your team isn’t working as efficiently or effectively as possible. --This is VERY important! Up to 50% should be devoted to basic educational activities. Good processes will help you succeed; invest time in creating and following them When you find that you can’t do it all, scope is negotiable, but quality is not Make a fact-based case to faculty. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE….Trust us! Good time management is essential -- Advice from your CMW peers:  Good time management is essential -- Advice from your CMW peers Do not under-estimate the time required to complete tasks Almost all activities take longer than you think Do scope definition/negotiation early Start out with better planning for deliverables Plan around life events (family and work) Make sure your employer fully supports your effort Do more reading (devote adequate time to learning) You may not be able to read all the required readings, so splitting readings may be an option Buy books and software NOW before you need them. Remember, scope is negotiable but quality is not. Working effectively as a team -- Advice from your fellow peers:  Working effectively as a team -- Advice from your fellow peers Take the time to become a team Get to know your team, have lunch together (if possible)! Develop and maintain trust Learn how to be comfortable together Continue to build the team dynamic Establishing a team process is paramount It’s difficult It takes longer than you think. It may morph a few times before you get “it” Make sure everyone gets on the same page with respect to deliverables, especially presentations Peer Review Rehearse Play Devil’s Advocate. Respect each other—treat others as you would like to be treated Other advice from peers….:  Other advice from peers…. Your new hobby is homework – basketball and climbing will need to be put on the back burner until you graduate. Think out of the box. Regardless of your education and experience, you know absolutely nothing. The purpose of learning by doing is to make a mistake and learn from it. The transition to graduate school and learn by doing is tough at first. Ask questions and be proactive, collaborate with your fellow students. You are free to discuss assignments with other teams. Take initiative by scheduling "classes" with Subject Matter Experts. They are excellent and will help you really get the most out of the program. If things go wrong:  If things go wrong Surface team-related (and all) problems as soon as possible Talk to your team members Talk to your team coach We will try to get the team to work it out We have an organizational psychologist who serves as a teaming/communications coach – Dr. Al If that doesn’t work, we’ll take other actions, as appropriate, as one would expect in your “real job” Hint: you won’t know your team’s capabilities so negotiate initial scope carefully. Become a self-directed learner; always begin with a learning plan:  Become a self-directed learner; always begin with a learning plan What are you being asked to do? What knowledge and skills are required? Which ones are you lacking? How can they be acquired? Assuming there’s too much to be covered, how will you divide it up: According to interests, strengths, weaknesses? Across teams? How will individuals share their learning with the team? When will you meet? How will you meet? Revise your learning plan as needed and try to stick to it! The first semester – a “foundation”:  The first semester – a “foundation” Adjustment period: Welcome to grad school! Begin to balance school, work, and life Provides an initial experience with “the CMU way” Provides broad exposure to key subject matter of the program Establishes personal and team baselines for measuring future progress Helps you learn more about working effectively in teams. How we assign grades:  How we assign grades Your base grade is a grade for your team’s work. It is based on: Quality of work Meeting negotiated scope Satisfying of requirements (e.g., task checklists) General professionalism. We reserve the right to adjust individual grades based on: Deliverables traceable to individuals Peer reviews Interactions with faculty Who to call if there’s a problem:  Who to call if there’s a problem For program-specific problems: Start with your team coach Escalate to program faculty Escalate to program director For general problems or when you feel that other things haven’t worked: Contact Deniz, Lisa, Ray or Martin That said, welcome to Carnegie Mellon!

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