The Prospectus Blues and Burnout

Many students I speak with say something like, “I made straight A’s in my courses, so why can’t I get my prospectus approved?”  It’s a common, and frustrating, circumstance. One reason is that classes are time-limited, you have colleagues to help, and you have one instructor. The dissertation process is just the opposite. There is

Pride, Ethics, Trust, Too Early, and Money: What Stops You from Getting Support?

Recently, a prospective client told me he was not prepped for his comps, and sure enough, just 2 of 15 in his cohort (13%) passed their comps. I then asked if he was prepped for his dissertation. Nope. Well one doesn’t have to be a student of history to know how this story turns out.

What is the Real Cost of Staying in School?

I was thinking about the financial and human cost of staying in school another two quarters. What are the real costs I wondered. Let’s deal with the financial first. Most graduate students pay roughly $4,000/quarter. So, a couple of semesters is $8,000. With a 15-year repayment schedule at 2017-2018 rates of 6%, the interest is $4,151.54.

Remember Who You Are

As the story goes, Beethoven was to have given sheet music to the 1st violinist in the orchestra. The violinist said, “Maestro, you can’t expect us to play that.” Beethoven replied, “the music is for another generation, just play the notes on the page.” The same Beethoven was to have asked a friend at his deathbed,

ABD Status = Liability

I speak with ABD students every day, 5 days a week, for the past 22 years.  ABD is the acronym for All But Dissertation. What I’ve learned is that an ABD status is a liability. It’s a liability to you ever completing your degree. There are three big reasons for this: life happens, committees change,

Hope is Evil

Hope is Evil may seem heretical to those who want to install hope in ourselves and in others.  Trained in Clinical psychology, with an emphasis in existential philosophy, the installation of hope was something we gave to clients.   I now think that was wrong.  What I plan to lay out is a more effective way

Almost 50% of all Doctoral Students Don’t Graduate

The Council of Graduate Schools produced a study on the PhD completion and attrition.  The study looked at 49,000 students attending 30 institutions in 54 disciplines comprising 330 programs.  Astonishingly, the completion rate ten years after students begin their doctoral program remains low at 56.6%. What does this mean? Well, first it means that after

Claim Your Ability to Feel Successful, Confident, Loved, and Powerful

It’s a funny thing.  Everyone wants to feel successful, confident, loved, and powerful.  Do you, however, stop and think about when you feel these ways?  Perhaps not.  We’re often so busy being and doing that we may not realize that we have.  For our own self-worth, it’s important to stop and recognize when we’ve reached

Three Quick Thoughts on Learning, Clarity, and Timing

Learning.  What has shaped your professional life?  Was it a success or failure that taught you?  Who has influenced your vision?  I watched a Netflix video last night and was struck with this woman’s strength and vision, even though she made choices that I would not have.  She reminded me that our professional lives and

Put Distractions Aside and Move Forward

The amount of information coming at us is immense and the impulse to get off focus intense.  Thank goodness we have filters, lest our senses would be overwhelmed and we wouldn’t be able to make it down the street.  Just sit at your computer for 15 minutes, and you’ll see yourself clicking around, checking email,