Hi guys and girls!! I am writing this article as a tribute to all those students who shared their experiences when I desperately needed them.
I am a graduate student and research assistant in Computer Science at University of Maryland Baltimore County currently in second semester. I boarded the flight to this wonderland on July 30 and believe me I had no idea what kind of “Butterfly effect” this decision would bring in my life.
You need to bring at least two things with you (along with loads of food)
- Belief in yourself
- Readiness to do hard work.
Someone has rightly called it the “Land of opportunities” but be careful, they won’t come at your doorsteps. You will have to go out and grab it.
On Campus jobs
Number of part time jobs depends on campus. If you are really serious about getting on campus jobs then I would recommend going to campus much earlier than semester start date. (Although you can’t enter USA no sooner than 30 days before start of classes but try landing on 29th day.)
I was very keen to get one so I landed on 30th July and semester start date was August 28.
Meet seniors who are working on-campus as soon as you reach.
Try contacting them even before you arrive, though Facebook (Yes! It can be useful also ;-)).
Lots of openings pop up in fall semester only, about which, seniors working there have better knowledge.
I started contacted seniors before reaching. I dropped resume everywhere in campus.
Library, usually, is the most common place to work for students. I got lucky and got one in library even before starting of the semester.
Well this is something everybody dreams for but doesn’t work hard to actually get one.
Funding is given in three forms:
Mostly given by department with admission letter.
Rarely do they give TAs after admission.
Although TAs change every semester but in my opinion there is no fix criteria for that (you can’t really rely on this).
This depends on professor. Most of the RAs are given in second semester only.
You need to work hard under a professor for first semester to get one of these.
While working in Library for first semester I worked under a professor. And finally he rewarded me with RAship in second semester.
They are usually not funded but monthly pay is good. Given by department with no fix criteria.
So the bottom line is that yes it is sometimes tough here but the best things in life never come for free.