Up Next: Paperwork

I personally dislike filling out paperwork.  I get that it is part of my personal and professional life, but if I can go for a few months without paperwork that would be awesome! However, since filling out the application forms and submitting it was a far cry from the end of paperwork, I had a lot more to complete.

I received my official offer from the department and also an application for a competitive graduate assistantship.  I completed both forms and submitted it.  Feeling a sense of relief and accomplishment, I began to settle in to the thought that I was officially on my way to a doctoral program.  I started thinking about what my future would hold and the people that would soon come in to my life.  I must say that the assistant in the department is extremely polite, helpful and patient.  She assisted me with all the required documentation and ensured that I understood what was required of me.

In addition to completing departmental paperwork, I also had requirements from the graduate school that I had to attend to.  Although I was accepted through the department, I was not yet admitted to the university.  This process, from acceptance to admission took approximately 2 months.  It takes some time for the department to submit information to the graduate school regarding the persons they have accepted into the program.  They need to complete the interview and selection process.  With this program, they interviewed persons as soon as they got the application and considered you a possibility.  Having said that, I had my interview very early in February and was admitted around mid April.

Here are a few tips for handling paperwork:

* be organized- I used a notebook and sectioned it off based on what was needed.

* ask questions- you do not know everything no matter what your ego tells you.

* make a check-list- it’s one of the easiest ways to be sure that you are on track.

* ask for an accountability partner- ask someone you trust to check in with you to be sure that you are on target.

* edit and review- always double check your paperwork before submitting to avoid errors that can cause delays

* punctuality- submit paperwork as soon as possible and avoid procrastinating as it can cause you to feel rushed.

~”The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”~ Vince Lombardi

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