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Grad School Femtoring

Grad School Femtoring

By Yvette Martinez-Vu
In this podcast, Dra. Yvette Martínez-Vu, a Chicana femtor and higher education professional, provides low-income, first-generation, and students of color with knowledge about academia to help them prepare for graduate school.
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65: Perfectionism in/and Grad School with Dr. Veronica Eyo
In this episode, our guest, Dr. Veronica Eyo, speaks to us about perfectionism. She describes what it is, how it shows up in others, her experience as a recovering perfectionist, and how perfectionism can come up in grad school. Dr. Veronica Eyo is a bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles. She provides therapy for individuals and couples. She has a passion for working with mothers, new and seasoned, and first-generation students. She is a recovering perfectionist and her experiences through motherhood and navigating the higher education system as a first-generation student made her aware of her perfectionistic tendencies and she is actively working on decreasing them for herself and also to provide tools for others to do the same to live more fulfilling lives. Tune in to learn more! 
June 11, 2021
64: Being a PhD Mom, Autism, and Studying What You're Living with Fernanda Castellón
In this episode, we have another special guest, Fernanda Castellon who speaks about her experience as a first-gen student studying autism and becoming a mom in grad school. Fernanda is a PhD student in Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her B.A. at the University of California, Santa Barbara in Psychology and Chicana/o Studies. Fernanda is interested in researching how culture and Autism intersect and consequently impact family dynamics, schooling, and access to care. Fernanda’s passion stems from her own experience as a sibling of an Autistic adult.  As a native Spanish speaker, Fernanda advocates and promotes the implementation of cultural adaptations to recruitment and intervention protocols in order to promote the recruitment and retention of ethnic and racially minority populations. Tune in to learn more about her, her experience, and her work!
June 4, 2021
63: 25 Reasons You May Have Been Rejected From Grad School
In this episode you’ll hear some of the reasons Dra. Yvette has observed that students may not have gotten into grad school. They can include things that are in and out of your control. Sometimes the issues are related to selecting the right advisors, having a solid grad school list, writing tailored essays, securing strong recommendation letters, and other factors. No matter the reason, you can always reapply. Tune in to learn more!
May 28, 2021
62: Ethical Chisme and Harsh Realities of Grad School with Sirenia Sanchez
In this episode, we have another special guest, Sirenia Sanchez, who is speaking on the topic of ethical chisme as it relates to the harsh realities and challenges of grad school. Sirenia is a third-year PhD Candidate in the Social Psychology doctoral program at Northwestern. She defines the phrase “ethical chisme” for us, how it differs from being a metiche (a nosy person), and shares insights on how to use it as a strategy for protecting oneself and others in grad school. This is an important topic that you won’t want to miss out on.
May 21, 2021
61: Being a Woman of Color in a STEM Grad Program with Yanelyn Perez
In this episode we have a special guest, Yanelyn Perez, who is speaking on the topic of being a woman of color grad student in a STEM field. Yanelyn is currently a first year PhD student studying wildlife disease ecology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She shares her experience studying zoology and doing lab work as an undergraduate, her struggles with imposter syndrome and lack of representation in her field, as well as what continues to motivate her to pursue her research. Check it out!
May 14, 2021
60: Rising Seniors, You Got This!
This podcast episode was recorded for current juniors in college who will be rising seniors this summer and applying to graduate school in the fall. If you're feeling discouraged or overwhelmed at the process of applying, please listen to this episode, where Dra. Yvette addresses your concerns over not having enough time, feeling like you haven't done enough research, worried about securing letter recommenders, concerned about a low GPA or GRE score, and worried about getting organized and meeting deadlines on time. It's okay, you got this!
May 7, 2021
59: Early Career Moves: Applying for Non-Tenure Track Jobs
In this episode, you’ll learn some strategies for how to apply for your first job out of undergrad or graduate school. The content will be especially helpful for individuals applying to non-tenure track jobs, alternative academic jobs, or higher education jobs. Some of the topics covered include scheduling informational interviews, identifying salary ranges, and how to ask for help.
April 30, 2021
58: Accepting an Offer With Little to No Funding
This episode is for anyone who accepted a grad school offer with little to no funding, and it's especially relevant for students admitted into master's programs, as they tend to offer less funding compared to doctoral programs. You'll hear about creating a budget, asking for funding after committing (if you didn't do so beforehand), applying for scholarships, fellowships, and on-campus job opportunities, and how else to minimize the amount of debt you may incur.
April 23, 2021
57: How to Secure a Faculty Mentor
Are you an undergraduate who is interested in getting started on research but are struggling to secure a faculty mentor? Listen to this episode to learn strategies for identifying and securing a faculty mentor.  For access to this episode as a video with a transcription, go here:
April 16, 2021
56: Physical Fitness and Health in Grad School with Mara Lopez
In this episode we have a special guest, Mara Lopez, who is speaking on the topic of maintaining your physical fitness and physical health while in graduate school. Mara is a Mexicana from Southern California who is currently residing in Arizona. She is a mother to two beautiful babies under six. Mara is also a wife, full-time research program manager, part-time faculty associate, and doctoral candidate in Education at Arizona State University. She shares lots of gems about some of the things she does to stay fit, which includes running, yoga, and anything else that can help her maintain her momentum. If you need a bit of motivation to show up for yourself and keep yourself accountable, listen to this episode. 
April 9, 2021
55: When a Summer Program Conflicts with Finals
This episode is for those of you on the quarter system who have been admitted to external summer programs. What do you do when you find out your summer program conflicts with finals? This episodes provides some suggestions and options for what you can do to manage this issue. 
April 2, 2021
54: Awkward Academic Calendar “Breaks”: On Nourishing Yourself
This is a bonus episode based on a listener request on what to do during your academic calendar breaks. Some of us are on the quarter system and entering our spring break. I hope this episode helps you identify ways to nourish yourself and take some much needed time off.
March 21, 2021
53: Declining an Offer
It can be awkward and difficult to decline a grad school offer. Dra. Martinez-Vu offers some sample language to use if you’re struggling with this very good problem to have.
March 12, 2021
52: Taking a Gap Year: Things to Consider
Are you a student interested in grad school but struggling to stay afloat? Are you losing motivation? Feeling depleted? Do you need a break from school? If so, then you might already be considering taking a gap year. Before deciding, this episode will share a few things to consider to help you make an informed decision.
March 5, 2021
51: No Means Next: On Grad School Rejection
This episode is all about how to redirect and reframe the rejections you may receive when applying to grad school.
February 19, 2021
50: Organizational Hacks
In this episode you’ll learn some of Dra. Yvette’s organizational hacks which are helping her manage her time and stress during very busy times. They include organizing your email inbox, calendar, to-do lists, and computer folders. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are in need of some organizing tips, then check out this episode.
February 5, 2021
49: You Got Into Grad School, Now What?
In this episode, Dra. Yvette briefly shares some advice on what to do as soon as you find out you’ve been admitted to grad school.
January 29, 2021
48: Establishing a Good Relationship with your Advisor
In this episode you’ll learn what to do to establish and maintain a good relationship with a grad school advisor or undergrad faculty mentor. Dra. Yvette also talks about how to find a good mentor and how to switch mentors.
January 22, 2021
47: Zoom Interview Days
In this episode, you'll learn about what to expect if you are invited to a Zoom interview day for a grad program you've applied to. Dra. Yvette discusses what your schedule may look like, differences in individual versus group interviews, types of questions you may be asked, and questions you should ask faculty and grad students. 
January 15, 2021
46: Abundance vs. Scarcity Mindset
In this episode you’ll receive an update from Dra. Yvette now that she is returning to work from her maternity leave. She shares her vision board and discusses what an abundance and scarcity mindset mean to her. She also addresses why she’s chosen “abundance” as her word for 2021. Tune in!
January 8, 2021
45: Setting New Year Intentions
In this episode, Dra. Yvette shares her approach on setting new year intentions and goals for 2021. Among other suggestions, she stresses the idea of reflection (what worked and didn't work in 2020),  setting specific yet attainable/flexible goals, identifying a word or theme of the year, and decluttering or organizing in preparation for letting go of 2020 and welcoming 2021. 
December 25, 2020
44: Navigating Grad School During the Holidays
This episode provides some options for how to navigate grad school during the holidays. Dra. Yvette discusses why it's so hard to take time off during the holidays, how to get organized before taking a break, and how to best communicate with your advisor, family, partner, friends, and other loved ones regarding your plans and expectations during the holiday "break." While this episode is geared for grad students, undergraduates may also find it helpful to listen especially if they're feeling pressured to continue working during the holidays. 
December 11, 2020
43: 2020 Updates on the GRE
In this episode, Dra. Yvette shares some recent updates and changes in the Graduate Record Exam requirements for admission into graduate school.  In light of the pandemic, several graduate programs are either no longer requiring the GRE, making it optional, or requiring it but not having it play such a strong factor in their selection process. Please listen to this episode if you're applying to graduate school in 2020 and would like some advice on how to decide if you should send your GRE scores. 
November 27, 2020
42: How to Cope With and Overcome Academic Burnout
This episode offers a a discussion of the physical, emotional, and behavioral signs of burnout. Dra. Yvette discusses some differences between stress and burnout and offers strategies for how to cope with and/or overcome academic burnout. She also shares her own personal experience dealing with burnout while in graduate school. If you think you may be feeling burned out or would like to avoid burnout, please listen to this episode! 
November 13, 2020
41: Surviving Grad School Qualifying Exams
In this episode, Dra. Yvette tackles the topic of grad school qualifying exams. She talks about what qualifying exams are, what they look like, and shares strategies to help someone survive the process of both preparing for exams and actually taking the exams. This episode is dedicated to her McNair Scholar alumni and other former mentees who are currently in grad school and will be preparing for qualifying exams soon.  Tune in to learn more! 
October 30, 2020
40: Motivating Yourself to Write a Grad School Essay
In this episode, Dra. Yvette shares some strategies for how to motivate yourself to write your grad school essays. From freewriting to using timers, to seeking external forms of accountability, there are several ways to find the motivation to get started. Tune in to learn more! 
October 16, 2020
39: Ford and NSF Fellowships: What Are They and Tips for Applying
In this episode, Dra. Yvette introduces the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship and the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program. She discusses why you might want to consider applying for these sources of external funding at the same time that you're applying to graduate school and offers tips for how to apply. 
October 2, 2020
38: How to Address a GRE, GPA, or other Gap in your Graduate Application
If you're applying to grad school and are worried about a low GPA, a low GRE score, or having taken a leave of absence during your undergraduate studies, then please listen to this episode. Dra. Yvette shares strategies for how to address a gap in your application including sample language to include. 
September 25, 2020
37: How to determine if a grad program is a right fit for you?
In this episode, Dra. Yvette will focus on the top three things to look for when determining if a grad program is a right fit for you. Tune in to learn more. 
September 18, 2020
36: Creating a Calming Toolkit for Managing the Fall
In this episode, Dra. Yvette shares some activities and exercises you can try out to help calm you down when you're feeling stressed, anxious or depressed. With the fall term starting, looming flu season, a tumultuous election cycle, and the ongoing pandemic, among other stressors, there are lots of factors that are continuing to impact our mental health. To prepare for this, Dra. Yvette shares some calming strategies that may help you manage. You are not alone!  
September 4, 2020
35: Contacting & Meeting with Prospective Faculty
If you're applying to grad school this fall cycle, now is a good time to reach out to prospective faculty— those individuals who might serve as your advisor for your graduate program. If you're feeling stressed or intimidated at the thought of emailing and then meeting with professors who you've never met before, please listen to this episode. Dra. Yvette offers suggestions on what to include in your initial email, how to prepare for your meeting, and what you can ask when meeting them. 
August 28, 2020
34: Advice for 2020 Grad School Applicants
In this episode, Dra. Yvette shares some advice for individuals applying to graduate school this fall 2020, including some of the changes in admissions processes that we may see in light of the pandemic. If you're planning to apply to any programs this fall, you won't want to miss this episode! 
August 14, 2020
33: Stress Management and Sleep Hygiene
In this episode, Dra. Yvette provides a brief life update on the stressors in her life that led to her taking a few weeks break from the podcast. She also goes into detail on stress-management and sleep hygiene. In particular, she covers how to identify stress in your body and what tools and strategies to implement to manage your stress. The episode ends with a discussion on how to improve your sleep, which can also impact your stress levels. 
July 31, 2020
32: Getting Ready for Grad School
In this episode, Dra. Yvette shares her insight on what you should know and do the summer before you apply to grad school. She talks about finalizing your grad school list, what are the main components of an application, what to consider when preparing a writing sample, what a general admissions timeline looks like, and how to best prepare for the fall application cycle.
July 3, 2020
31: Grad School Opportunities and Challenges
In this episode, Dra. Yvette aims to provide you with a deeper understanding of the pros and cons of graduate school for low-income, first-generation, and/or students of color. She highlights 5 opportunities and 5 challenges -- including topics of mentoring/femtoring,  microaggressions, imposter syndrome, and family achievement guilt --  and then provides ways to prepare for said opportunities and challenges. 
June 26, 2020
30: Dealing with Post-Grad Blues
This episode is for all the recent graduates out there who may be experiencing post-grad blues or depression at this time. This episode will share more about what it means to experience post-grad blues and will offer strategies to manage and overcome these feelings.
June 19, 2020
29: #Blackintheivory and White Supremacy in Academia - Now What?
In this episode, Dra. Yvette shares her thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, the #blackintheivory hashtag, and white supremacy in academia. She also encourages all of her listeners to do what they can within their capacity to take action and join the movement to support our Black brothers and sisters.
June 12, 2020
28: Time-Management, Focus, and Motivation in an Era of Online Work
In this episode, Dra. Yvette tackles the issue of time-management, lack of focus, and lack of motivation that many students are experiencing now that we've transitioned to online instruction for an undetermined period of time. She provides 14 tips to help with this issue, which includes setting a routine, relying on a support system, and lowering your bar, among others. Tune in to learn more! 
May 29, 2020
27: Postdocs and Job Hunting during a Pandemic
In this episode, you'll hear more about some of the current issues that grad students, recent grads, and postdocs are facing while job hunting during a pandemic. Dra. Yvette discusses academic layoffs, furloughs, job freezes, and salary freezes as well as how these issues will impact the current academic job market. She offers suggestions for how to remain flexible and open yourself up to new opportunities to survive this pandemic and to put yourself in a strong position to eventually secure a good job. 
May 26, 2020
26: Starting Grad School During a Pandemic
In this episode, Dra. Yvette shares advice to individuals who are preparing to start master's and PhD programs this fall amidst a global pandemic. She shares advice on key considerations, such as whether you should defer your offer, what are the financial implications of moving, how to secure housing, and how to plan amidst so much uncertainty about the fall.
May 26, 2020
25: Personal Update
I’m this episode I share a personal update and how I plan to take a break from episode recordings to focus on my health and well-being. I’m grateful for the support if my listeners and look forward to returning with new content during the end of May.
March 27, 2020
24: Surviving Finals Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
This episode is for my quarter system listeners— those of you who may be freaking out because you still have finals to finish all the while trying to figure out what this pandemic will really mean for you, your friends, and family. In this episode, I share some tips to help you survive finals despite the high stress and anxiety we are all experiencing. I am here to remind you that you are not alone and you will get through this! We are in this struggle together.
March 14, 2020
23: Moving Away From Home for Grad School With Jessennya Hernandez
In this episode we feature a special guest, Jessennya Hernández, who shares her experience moving away from home and moving out of state for graduate school. She shares the pros and cons of moving away and provides invaluable advice to other individuals who are considering embarking on a similar grad school journey. Jessennya Hernandez is a Brown Xicana PhD candidate from Southern California (IE), first generation college/ grad student, and is in her 4th year in the Sociology department at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Her research interests lie in Sexuality and Gender; Race/ Ethnicity; Urban Sociology; Latino/a Studies; Political Economy; Resistance; Women of Color Feminisms; Queer of Color Theory; Intersectional Feminism; and Transnationalism. Her current dissertation research focuses on people of color, primarily working class queer Latinx femmes and women, in greater LA and how they create space for themselves as well as engage in creative/ artistic practices to navigate various forms of oppression in their everyday lives. Jessennya’s goal is to highlight marginalized forms of knowledge, elevate queer people of color, and increase resources and access to higher education for black and brown communities through research, teaching, and mentorship.
March 13, 2020
22: Postbacs, Master's and PhD Programs
Are you wanting to learn more about graduate programs and how to find out which to apply for? In this episode, you'll learn about post-baccalaureate, master's, and PhD programs. I go over what they are, who should apply to each, and the benefits of these programs. If you're uncertain as to what type of program to apply for after completing your bachelor's degree then please tune in. 
March 6, 2020
21: Negotiating a PhD Funding Offer
Have you been admitted to a PhD program? Perhaps more than one program? Are you wondering if and how to negotiate your funding offer(s)? If so, please listen. Long story short, no matter what offer you receive you can always ask for more. I understand that in many cases we may feel so grateful and humble to have received an offer that it feels selfish to ask for more. Sometimes students worry that if they ask for more, the program will change their mind and take away the offer. But in actuality it's normal and critical to ask for more funding whether that's in the form of an increase in your living stipend, summer funding, or funding to assist with relocation expenses. Any little bit that they give after the initial offer can make a big difference in your graduate school experience.  
February 28, 2020
20: Applying to Summer Research Programs
In this episode, Dra. Martinez-Vu talks about summer research programs. She answers the following questions: What are these programs? Who are they for? What are the components of a summer program application? And what are the benefits of applying? If you are a freshman, sophomore, or junior in college, this episode is for you! Check it out. 
February 21, 2020
19: Navigating UC Berkeley as a Low-Income, First-Gen, Pregnant Student of Color with Cecilia Caballero
In this episode, Dra. Martinez-Vu has a special guest, Cecilia Caballero, who shares her journey navigating UC Berkeley as a low-income, first-gen, pregnant student of color. Cecilia Caballero is a Afro-Chicana single mother-scholar-poet. She is the mother of a ten year old boy, Alonzo, who was born during her time as an undergraduate student. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She also holds BAs in English and Chicanx Studies from UC Berkeley and an AA in Liberal Arts from Los Medanos Community College. Her dissertation focuses on narratives of Chicana mothering, feminism, gender, sexuality, and spiritual activism in Chicana literature and cultural production and her next creative project focuses on the intersections between Black and Chicana feminist speculative theory in the works of Octavia Butler and Gloria Anzaldua. Cecilia is co-founder of the Chicana M(other)work collective and is co-editor of the Chicana M(other)work Anthology: Porque Sin Madres No Hay Revolucion. She is also an essayist, poet, and creative writer and is founder of the Bookworm Por Vida podcast and project which celebrates BIPOC literature for liberation. Please tune in to learn more from her experiences and advice. 
February 14, 2020
18: ABCs of Grad School - Part 2
In this episode, Dra. Martinez-Vu continues sharing grad school terms. This is the first episode where I share a listener review and give a shout out. Listener reviewers featured on my podcast get a special prize. Tune in to learn more!
February 9, 2020
17: ABCs of Grad School - Part 1
In this episode, Dra. Martinez-Vu shares and defines common terms related to grad school. She shares them in hopes that you can feel more comfortable, aware, and informed in academic settings. 
February 2, 2020
16: Thriving as a Low-Income, First-Gen, or Underrepresented Student in Grad School
In this episode, Dra. Martinez-Vu answers a series of discussion questions to teach you how to thrive graduate school.  Key terms mentioned include imposter syndrome, microaggressions, and family achievement guilt. Tune in to learn more. 
January 26, 2020
15: Self-Care and Stress Management in Academia
Dra. Martinez-Vu shares her advice for implementing self-care and stress-management practices to take care of your mind, body, and soul while also managing your academic work. This episode is for you if you're an undergrad, grad student, or early career academic who feels overwhelmed, burned out, and stuck. If you take care of yourself, you can experience more joy and thrive in all areas of your life. 
January 19, 2020
14: The Grad School Open House or Campus Visit
In this episode, Dra. Martinez-Vu shares what to do if you've been invited to a grad school open house. 
January 12, 2020
13: Preparing for a Grad School Interview
In this episode, Dra. Martinez-Vu walks you through how to prepare for a grad school interview and shares the most common interview questions. Tune in to learn more. 
January 5, 2020
12: PhD Admissions Timeline
If you recently applied to PhD programs and wondering what comes next in the process then this episode is for you. Learn more about the PhD admissions timeline, when you’ll hear back from programs, and what to prepare for after that.
December 29, 2019
11: Balancing Family and Academia
In this episode, Dra. Martinez-Vu shares advice on harmonizing between family and academic work expectations especially during the holiday season.
December 22, 2019
10: Your GRE, Transcript, and Fee Waiver Questions Answered
In this episode, Dra. Martinez-Vu answers common questions about sending GRE scores, ordering transcripts, and applying for fee waivers for grad school applications.
December 15, 2019
9: Demystifying Grad School Myths
In this episode, Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu demystifies seven common grad school myths. Check it out to learn more!
December 8, 2019
8: Imposter Syndrome and Managing Feelings of Doubt
In this episode Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu shares how she manages feelings of doubt as well as the advice she gives to her students who struggle with imposter syndrome.
December 1, 2019
7. Writing Personal and Diversity Statements
Dra. Martinez-Vu defines what is a personal statement and diversity statement, shares sample grad school essay prompts, and offers ideas for what to write about in these statements.
November 24, 2019
6: Identifying a Good Grad Program
Are you interested in finding a good graduate program but don’t know where to start? Then listen to the three tips that Dra. Martinez-Vu offers to help you find a program that is a good fit for you.
November 17, 2019
5: Writing the Statement of Purpose
Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu talks about the essential components of a statement of purpose and shares tips for how to get started on a draft.
November 10, 2019
4: Grad School Funding
Learn about what types of funding are available in grad school and what a good PhD funding package looks like.
November 3, 2019
3: GRE Exam and Scores
Are you curious about the GRE exam? Do you wonder- how important is it? Should you study? Is it necessary to take this exam? If you want to learn more, then listen to this episode as Dra. Martinez-Vu explains what you need to know about the GRE before taking it.
October 27, 2019
2: Asking for Letters of Recommendation
This episode will teach you how to identify letter recommenders for grad school apps and how to make the dreaded ask to get them to write you the letter
October 20, 2019
1: The Grad School List
Dra. Martinez-Vu shares what to include in your graduate school list as you begin to prepare to apply for master’s and PhD programs
October 13, 2019