The comprehensive exam workshop entitled- “strategies to successfully sail through the comps” was organised by the GRSS council to help students, in the PhD program, who are planning to take the exams in the near future. The workshop was held in room 614 of the Education Building on McTavish.
The seminar lasted for about 2 hours, with Dr. Isabelle Gelinas being present to help us know the administrative as well as faculty perspective on the exams. She ensured the information that was being given out by the panellists was consistent and true to the nature of the exam as well as to the evaluation of the students papers.
We had four panellists- Tatiana Ogourtsova, Riany Sena, Sabrina Figueiredo and Kedar Mate. All four members have recently completed their comprehensive exams. They graciously shared their experiences and gave students tips and useful advice on how to tackle the comps. The panellists also provided the students with resources such as approaching the librarian and the writing centre, to help improve their answers. Gayatri Aravind acted as a moderator for the session and Gianluca Sorrento also shared information and strategies from his own experience as well as based on the discussions from previous years comps workshops.
The students who attended the workshop found it useful and assuring. The overall take home message was- do not think the comps to be this excessively scary experience, but rather an extremely enriching and enjoyable 3 months that is only laying the foundation to what is likely to be the stepping stone to a career in research.
The comps workshop was a success and the feedback received from the attendees was positive. The pizza lunch topped off with coffee and timbits were an added bonus to this workshop. No one can say no to pizza and timbits, can they?
The GRSS council wishes all the students who are to take their exams soon, the very best!! We hope that the workshop helped ease your worries and anxiety about the comps.
For those of you who hadn’t had the chance to listen to the speakers, we will attach a recording of the entire session here, shortly. We thank Dr. Gelinas, the panellists, Gayatri and Gianluca for their valuable inputs.