SERIES: Transition to Grad School Like a Pro
Candace Washington is a Ph.D. student in building construction and owner of a construction project management and engineer consulting firm called Cancave Management. She expects to graduate in December of 2025.
We followed up with Washington to get her insight and advice for new Georgia Tech graduate students.
Take advantage of GT6000. “GT6000 is Georgia Tech’s small-group, peer-led, extended-orientation program for first-semester graduate students,” said Washington. “This program promotes a positive student experience through social interaction, familiarization with campus resources, and peer mentorship. I am now a GT6000 Group Leader, and I share my experience and encourage my peers to take full advantage of all the available resources to ensure they feel supported.”
Establish an open line of communication with professors. “Talk with your instructor or professor,” said Washington. “All professors have office hours and direct emails and phone numbers in which you can contact them. Additionally, establishing a relationship with professors is encouraged as they can be a professional resource as well as an academia resource.”
Utilize Georgia Tech’s resources available in Canvas. “Georgia Tech provides a lot of resources,” said Washington. “Many students use a few resources: Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources, Financial Assistance, and resources to promote a diverse community, such as campus organizations and events. Information to access these resources is available in one place, on Canvas, our learning platform.”
Make to-do lists. “Stay organized, make a to-do list, or find a process that works for you to manage your time,” said Washington. “Time management is essential.”
Understand the expectations. “In grad school, there is an expectation that the student is self-motivated and self-disciplined, and the student is dedicated to their studies,” said Washington. “The work will be more challenging and rigorous–you are at Georgia Tech.”
Get involved. “Have fun and get involved so you don’t feel like you are on an island,” said Washington. “Take advantage of your student activity benefits and catch a football game or attend a play. The more involved you are, the more you become a Yellow Jacket.”