#TheSeven mantras to live by to succeed as a post-graduate student

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I have my vision board on my bedroom wall after having a conversation with my mentor, most of the things seem to be on the right track and I can say there is progress apart from my masters. It has been ongoing since 2012, which honestly I never thought I would be one of those people who have to take forever to finish up the Master’s program. For the last 6 years ( waah that’s a long time just studying one course, yet am sure by know I should have been done with my Ph.D.). I have attended two universities both public and private for the duration of pursuing this degree. I thought I would share with you tips on how to spend a shorter period in your Master’s program.

1. Developing Your Thesis Early
As soon as you sign up for your Master’s program start developing your thesis so that as you attend class you have an idea of what you will be working on, trust me it is never too early developing your concept paper. You can write as many ideas as you can until you are sure what you want to work on. Always remember to work on something that will be beneficial outside work and you never know at some point you might develop it to be part of your PhD or even your niche in the world.

2. Have A Time Plan
I know how I got to do my Masters for this long, which is quite a shame. But after having a conversation with my supervisor after a long hiatus from classwork,  I decide to finally do my time plan of how I will be working on my thesis. Make time to work on your thesis and where you can concentrate and make progress even if it is just working on a paragraph. I have set three hours in the morning to work on it before I get to do other duties. Set a time where you will be able to make progress and get to switch everything off apart from your thesis. You can also choose to have specific days that you work on your thesis.

3. Research, Research and Research
My laptop is filled with so many books and journals that I have read and others am yet to read, but if you want to be a respected scholar you need to do research in order for your paper to be top notch. Print some of the research and highlight the key points that you will need for your research. The library should also be the one place that you visit a lot until you are done with your research.

4. Build a Rapport with your Lecturers
Am not talking about Sexually Transmitted Grades here, I mean having a conversation with your lecturers and especially about your thesis and the work they have done so far. I remember during my undergraduate days we had one lecturer who would let the class share on different thoughts about life and when one left that class we always had a different mindset. Lecturers are not gods that you can not interact with them, so feel free. Meet up with your supervisor as often as you can, get to know their work this will enable you to develop as a scholar in fields that you are interested in.

5. Do Peer Review
Share your work with friends who are willing to build you and make you a better scholar, so while you are hanging out with your friends discuss your thesis and that way you are able to build your confidence as individual who can engage in intellectual conversations. If you have friends who are studying the same course in different institutions engage with them to broaden your knowledge of the topic.

6. Attending Conferences and Seminars
I have come to discover that this helps a lot as you get to learn a lot. You will be able to get together with people from a wide range of backgrounds from different institutions and you can build your professional network.

7. Believe In Yourself and Your Work
One of the things I have learnt to do is believe in myself even when I feel like am almost giving up. Remember the reason why you got into the program and what you plan to achieve in the future. If you have to call yourself for a meeting and remind yourself of your vision. I know they are so many people who are willing to work on your thesis as long as you pay them but trust me as much as you go to your defense you will not have as much confidence as you defend that work. You might even come out as a fake. Never give excuses, just do your work.

This article was written by Capital Campus Contributor Minnie Kang’ethe.

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