Posted by: unlikelygrad | August 19, 2011

support staff

One of the reasons that I liked MyU when I visited as a prospective grad student was that the support staff was amazingly competent and friendly. This past week has been a mess of frustrations for a variety of reasons, and I’m grateful for the way that the department support folks helped smooth out the problems within their control. (It would be amazing if there were a support person who helped me deal with the ex, but I know that’s asking too much.)

So here’s a big thank-you to our admin, who helped me sort out the mess I’d made with accounting/purchasing. She’s so knowledgeable about procedures/people to talk to/you name it that she’s had an answer for every bureaucratic question I’ve come up with–or known who to talk to in order to sort out the mess.

And a round of applause and a slap on the back to our equipment repair guy: one of the only people I know who can walk into a room, ask what a piece of equipment is/does, and have the thing fixed before you finish giving him an answer.

If you are trying to decide between two grad schools, I highly recommend looking at the support staff rather than just the professors. A department that doesn’t run smoothly is going to interfere with your research–no matter how cool your advisor is.



  1. So true! If it weren’t for the system admin guy, I would probably spend half of my time compiling and debugging software. We also have a fantastic graduate student coordinator, who is known for her magical ability to sort out our bureaucratic messes.

    My undergraduate lab coordinator made the best brownies (ever!), and ruled the polishing labs with an iron fist, which meant things were very, very rarely broken.

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