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Engineering Success: Delivering Your Ph.D. on Time, on Budget, and Ready for Your Career

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade - Reflections and Advice on the Educational Process

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Rebecca M. Reck Kettering University Orcid 16x16

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Rebecca M. Reck is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University. She completed her Ph.D. in systems and entrepreneurial engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016 and her master’s degree in electrical engineering at Iowa State University in 2010. During her eight years at Rockwell Collins as a systems engineer, she contributed to the development of the new ProLine Fusion Flight Control System and served as the project lead for two aircraft. She earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering with a mathematics minor from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2005. Her research interests include control systems, mechatronics, instructional laboratories, and experiential learning.

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Successfully completing a doctorate degree takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, and determination. Throughout my time as a doctoral student, I searched for the key to success. I read books and blogs; sought advice from mentors; and learned through trial and error. In this tricks of the trade paper, I will summarize what has worked for me and the resources I found helpful. The skills that helped me succeed in undergrad were not enough for graduate school. While pursuing a graduate degree, time is much more flexible. Depending on your habits, this can be a blessing or a curse. One of the takeaways from this paper will be time management tricks that I have found to be useful. A budget in graduate school could mean several things: the number of years of your funding, the grant that is funding your research, or your emotional health. The first two are straightforward; they are about managing a budget of time or money to achieve goals in your graduate career. Your emotional health might not be as straightforward to manage, however with the tolls of stress and rejection and the highs of success in research your emotional health is not something you should ignore. Taking time for yourself is important during your graduate school career. The second takeaway from this paper will be tips on managing your financial and emotional budgets. A goal for earning your doctorate should be preparing you for your career in either academia or industry. The final takeaway from this paper will be about exploring opportunities that will help you attain that goal as well as how to sell the entire experience on your C.V. or resume.

Reck, R. M. (2016, June), Engineering Success: Delivering Your Ph.D. on Time, on Budget, and Ready for Your Career Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26668

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