First-Year Events

Very early during 1st year in the fall, the MGN hosts a panel discussion to introduce itself and cover a host of relevant topics. Coffee and cookies are provided, and the event is usually lasts 1-1.5 hours. Another panel is held just before first-year students choose their thesis labs in the spring. We have sometimes opted to host the spring panel immediately before a Friday afternoon, department-wide happy hour, in which case free drinks are provided following the event. Otherwise, we provide coffee and cookies.

General topics covered during the "Choosing a Rotation Lab" fall panel:

  • Selecting rotation labs
  • The purpose of rotations
  • What to do during your rotation
  • What NOT to do during your rotation
  • Graduate courses and how they are different from undergraduate courses
  • Developing healthy habits
  • Optimizing your work-life balance
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Vacation time
  • Fellowships and reference letters
  • Retreats and networking
  • Balancing fun and professional development

General topics covered during the "Choosing a Thesis Lab" spring panel:

  • Selecting your thesis lab and navigating "awkward week" discussions
  • Lab environment, culture, composition, and diversity
  • Picking the PI that is best for you
  • Funding situation and stability
  • Communication style and constructive feedback
  • Expectations for projects, independence, extra-lab activities like teaching
  • Lab meetings: style, frequency, sub-group meetings?
  • Work-life balance: encouraged, discouraged, does it meet your personal needs?