Gradventure Turkey – Part 1

Field work is easily my favorite part about being an academic. Even though academia has slowly moved away from the good old fashioned field work for the most part (while focusing on data analysis and building data sets), those of us studying Comparative Politics and International Relations are still expected to do field work. Fortunately for my dissertation project, I am relying on heavy field work spread across three countries to prove my hypothesis about the influence of bureaucracy on democratization efforts. My cases are Turkey, Pakistan, and Taiwan. Currently, I am working on Turkey and Pakistan. As a Taiwan Fellow for 2017, I will begin work on Taiwan in Fall 2017 after I move there as part of the fellowship for a semester. Continue reading Gradventure Turkey – Part 1

Alone and Working: Making the Transition to ABD

Part of the Gradventure is also working alone for months on end to come up with one good product that will become your biggest work for a considerable amount of time

Alone and Working: Making the Transition to ABD

The change from being a PhD Student to a PhD Candidate is a big one. The moment we cross that threshold of becoming ABD, we fall in to a kind of purgatory where we are no longer students and not yet peers of our professors. This purgatory, or as it is better known as ABD, is something that no one prepares you for. One of us (Harold Young) went through the process in the last two years and the other (Adnan Rasool) just started down this path a couple of months ago after I defended my dissertation prospectus.

Here we share our common experiences.

So what changes? What do we do? Why it matters and how do you survive this process?

The biggest change is that you are on your own. As one my professors keeps saying “you are on a little island all by yourself, trying to find a…

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One PhD Candidate’s Roadmap for Successful Co-Authorship

I share my lessons on Co-Authorship with MPSA

All of us at one point or another have either considered or have been involved in a co-authored project. With the way academia is evolving, co-authorship is not only encouraged but it is fast becoming the norm especially in Political Science. But we hardly see discussions on how it works and the challenges that one faces while working on a project with others.

And this is what I want to talk about in this post; experiences and lessons of working on co-authored projects. Below I discuss the four major lessons and approaches that I have picked up while working with my co-authors. My intention is to share my experiences in an effort to start a discussion as learning to work with co-authors is beneficial especially to grad students who are just starting out in the field.

Work with People You Get Along With

This advice sounds straightforward enough but a…

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Conversations with Trump Supporters: Stories from the Road

Flickr-Donald-Trump-CampaigningA year ago I was convinced that there was no way a major political party, that too a conservative one, would nominate someone like Donald J. Trump as their nominee for the President of the United States. I was not alone in my unwillingness to take his candidature seriously, most of the pundits in the US and globally thought of it as a stunt or at worst a joke.

How could a person as fiscally irresponsible and ideologically liberal as Donald Trump even stand a chance in a party of hard core fiscal and ideological conservatives? Continue reading Conversations with Trump Supporters: Stories from the Road

Studying for Comps? Here are Three Approaches to Try Based on Learning Style

Wrote this for MPSA – Will be posting my notes and recording on Gradventure very soon.

Rasool_MindMap_Modernization An example of the author’s mind mapping technique (click to expand).

There comes a time in every PhD student’s career where they have to sit through the dreaded qualifying exams (or “comps” as they are often called). The structure of the exam changes from department to department, but the essence of the process and purpose remains the same; test the knowledge and capacity of the candidate to see if they qualify to be a peer rather than a student.

Having recently taken my comps (and hopefully having passed them), I realized a number of things that I wish someone had told me earlier. There were techniques that my colleagues and I used which were helpful and unique in their own right that could be of benefit to others. Here are three approaches, and tips from the process, that might be helpful to those of you taking your comps soon:

I…

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Adnanventure 3: Pittsburgh

Famous_Pittsburgh_SkylineI am proud to announce that #Adnanventure is back again and this time around it is Pittsburgh. As I write this, I am waiting on the airport for my flight to Pittsburgh. This #Adnanventure is slightly different from others as this time around I will be attending work events most of the time and will be bring you the awesome experiences I have. As this is an election year, Adnanventure 3 will be heavy on political news and events. But as always, I will be trying to explore as much of the city as I can.

So far these are the places I have been told to definitely visit –

  • Andy Warhol Museum
  • Primantis Sandwich
  • De Luca’s
  • Beehive Coffee

I would love to get more suggestions. Leave them in the comments section

Stay tuned for updates.