March 9, 2021

Planning for Success in Graduate School Part Two: Being productive and managing workflow

spring break

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.” ― Paul Meyer

Hello, welcome back to blogging for student success! Spring break is almost here! As you enjoy the time off, we encourage you to remain productive and continue to grow and reflect as graduate scholars. Since our last blog focused on time management, we would like to continue to build on those tools with tips for productivity and managing workflowDepending on where you are in your graduate studies, you should ask yourself how can I be productive during down time? 

Productivity: Effectively measuring your input towards success!

  • Update Resume/CV
    • When was the last time you updated your resume/CV? You should always strive to keep your resume up to date because you never know when an internship or job opportunity will come your way. Have you gained any new skills or taken on new projects that should be added to your professional portfolio? Remember to add impactful and action-oriented highlights under each job title to make it more appealing rather than simply telling what you did at the job. An example is “Designed & managed a graduate lab website that attracted over 2,500 monthly visitors” vs “Designed a website for the graduate research lab”. Did you know the Career Development Office (CDO) can help you with resume writing and editing? Make an appointment today to review your resume with an expert!
  • Learn new skills!
    • Now is the time to hone your skills and find areas to enhance yourself. Have you considered learning a new language to highlight on your resume? If you are considering sharpening your language skills during your time off, visit this link for resources. It could prove beneficial for any students that have language exam requirements for graduation.
    • Do you need help in learning how to refine your search for scholarly articles or work on research topics? The Claremont Colleges Library is a great resource for this! You can find your subject librarian, request information on literacy instruction, and manage your scholarly identity. Take time to review the areas in your professional and graduate journey that need extra attention and create a task list that will benefit you. Reference last weeks post on establishing goals and managing your time.
  • Internships
    • Many of you may be wondering how can I make progress toward my professional goals? Internships provide an opportunity to expose one to a career that identifies your academic and professional interest. Have you created and utilized your Handshake account or scheduled time with a peer consultant at CDO? Take some time to revisit the goals you outlined when you arrived at CGU. Find ways to align those goals with career outcomes and seek internships that will develop professional skills that may be absent or need refining.
  • Join professional organizations/networking
    • Have you searched for professional organizations and associations in your field? There are tremendous benefits to joining a professional organization which include: access to grants/scholarships, special conferences, opportunities to present your research/scholarship, access to publications and chances to network. If you are unsure where to start, use this helpful tool to search for professional organizations and associations by your field of study.

Workflow: Managing the process from A to Z!

  • Research tools and applications to manage your workflow
    • There are several tools at your disposal that can help you manage your workflow. These tools provide an optimal way ot organize projects and tasks. Often, these tools have shareable features which can be useful when collaborating with others. You can organize your workflow by deadlines, project categories, color coding, week-to-week, whatever your preference, do what is best for you! One great tool we have found useful in our office is Trello, here are some helpful tips to get you started.
      • Always in sync, you can access your Trello boards on the go and integrate apps to increase your workflow management. This platform is available for download on your smartphone or accessible online.
      • To better assist you this semester, we encourage you to look at this awesome video demo from Trello


We have shared a lot of information and resources. Don’t be overwhelmed. Managing your workflow and optimizing your productivity are skills and tools that must be developed. Nobody starts off as a pro! We encourage you to take advantage of your break from classes and try to explore just one of the tips or resources above. Let us know, how do you plan to use your down time to stay productive or manage your workflow? What professional conference, organization, or journal will you subscribe to in 2021? How can you make time to network with your peers, staff, and faculty to help you reach your academic and professional goals? Remember this space is for YOU! If you have any questions or suggestions, we invite you to email us at

Sources used:

What is the Value of Doing an Internship?

9 Places to Learn a New Language Online for Free