Author Topic: Working and Graduate School  (Read 3240 times)

curlycue

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Working and Graduate School
« on: May 04, 2014, 07:44:45 PM »
 So I will be starting graduate school for public health in the fall. I will be living in Baltimore and don't want to take out loans for the cost of living. Any ideas for jobs that can cover living expenses while in grad school? My background is nonprofits so I don't make the kind of money some other professional do.

Also, any advice on living cheaply? I don't want to live out of a van, currently I share a room in NYC but have found most grad students don't want to.

Thanks in advance for any of your experiences that worked for you or any ideas you have!

jodon

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Re: Working and Graduate School
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2014, 07:46:44 PM »
Do you have any funding/stipend from your school? Are you having to take out loans to cover tuition and fees?

curlycue

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Re: Working and Graduate School
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 08:10:40 PM »
Tuition will be covered by partial scholarship and loans.

jodon

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Re: Working and Graduate School
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2014, 08:31:07 PM »
If there's any way to get a TA/RA or any position on campus that comes with a tuition waiver you MUST pursue it. That adds thousands in offset tuition to the meager wage you'll earn. I assume you're paying out of state tuition since you're going from NY to Baltimore? If so, you should look into how you can establish residency in Maryland ASAP (regulations vary state to state - it may not be possible while you are in school full time). Since you work in non-profits, have you considered the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program?

Having been in grad school for too long, I can tell you that it's very easy to rack up the student loan debt. Debt avoidance/mitigation should be your primary concern, especially since you're entering a field with a less-than-lucrative earnings potential.

You might consider a short-term sublease for the first semester so you can get the lay of the land and perhaps find fellow grad students in your program that are looking for a roommate.

As far as jobs, waiter/waitressing can be relatively lucrative at the right establishment and will allow you to work evenings and take care of school during the day. Or you can leverage any skills you have into side-gigs (e.g., web design, free-lance writing, photography). You may also be able to get a job as an adjunct professor at a local community college (although this may be more work than its worth).

peppermint

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Re: Working and Graduate School
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2014, 09:12:40 PM »
You might consider a short-term sublease for the first semester so you can get the lay of the land and perhaps find fellow grad students in your program that are looking for a roommate.

Yes, this is a good idea, especially in a patchy city like Baltimore. Talk to the students there to figure out whether you can get by without a car. If you are in NYC without one now and can delay/avoid buying a vehicle it will help a lot.

Pursue TA/RA options if they come with a tuition waiver for sure. Academic editing/tutoring?
Apply for external fellowships -- many of the deadlines hit sometime in the fall for fellowships that kick in the next academic year.

Dee18

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Re: Working and Graduate School
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2014, 09:17:51 PM »
Several of my students (in grad school) are living with older widows who are in good health but need help with either yard work or occasional driving.  It works out well for everyone as these women have houses with several extra bedrooms.  This started when one of the students moved to town and her brother who lives here, a minister, suggested it.  That student was a chef before coming to grad school.  She lives for free in exchange for driving her landlady a few times a week and cooking an occasional meal.  Other students heard about the idea and found similar situations.  I have had students work as RAs, but that was a lot more time consuming, and with much less privacy.

curlycue

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Re: Working and Graduate School
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2014, 08:29:35 PM »
Thanks Dee - I hadn't thought of that. It is those outside of the box ideas I was hoping for.

Also - anyone who has ideas on working - what kind of part-time jobs have people been able to support themselves on while going to grad school full time?


kkbmustang

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Re: Working and Graduate School
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2014, 08:46:40 PM »
Find a professor with children and offer to babysit them. In college I did this. I babysat her two kids, then became her research assistant for three years while still babysitting for her. As a law school student I continued sitting for her. All said and done, I helped raise her kids from the time they were 3/5 until they were 11/13. 

Also, house/pet sitting for professors/university staff/administrators during school holidays.

Also, you can make cheap spaghetti by using ramen noodles with pasta sauce.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Working and Graduate School
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2014, 06:35:45 AM »
Restaurants and bartending are two of the biggest per-hour jobs for PT work. Most of the restaurants are clustered around the Inner Harbor/lLittle Italy/Fells Point waterfront districts.

Learning a bit of conversational Russian might help. Sounds weird, but whenever I visit Baltimore a ton of the service businesses are owned by Russians.

Consider deferring enrollment and reapplying for assistanshios the next year. Interest rates on SLs are no joke.

Public transport is a joke there. Biking would require a confident individual. A lot of narrow, parked up streets in the core. Doable but beyond a lot of people's safety thresholds around here.