can't pin me down

Katy Peplin Coaching & Thrive PhD: My Philosophy

Now that I'm more than a year into this business, I thought it was high time to codify my philosophy to coaching and business in general. Plus, everyone loves a mission statement, right?

  • Grad school is hard because human life doesn't stop while you're pursuing your degree, and the system doesn't always accommodate that. While some advisors encourage students to balance work with their life, most assume that grad students will figure that out on their own. 
  • Academic jobs are scarce, but there are many ways to make a PhD worthwhile professionally. It's hard to get advice on how to launch a diverse career search from people who haven't done that, or have a vested interest in keeping you in the pipeline. 
  • Coaching shouldn't be resource intensive, in terms of time or money. It should fit in your schedule, and your budget. 
  • Coaching should also be a path to a community, a network. The more grad students connect with each other, the more the culture of inclusion, generosity, and openness spreads. This directly combats the ways in which competition can starve grad students of that community. 
  • Needing help isn't something shameful. Often, it's an efficient way to solve a problem (as opposed to reading everything on the internet, and not knowing what works, or what might work for you.)
  • Having a full, human life does not detract from graduate school. Engagement with the world improves scholarship AND quality of life. 
  • Grad school, and academia more broadly, can be a system that's difficult to hack. It requires immense amounts of social and cultural capital to navigate it smoothly. Not everyone has access to that capital - it should be easier to learn about grad school and academia. 
  • There is no right or wrong way to do grad school. There is no magic system, set of habits, or routines that will make you a productive scholar. What has worked for you before might not work now. Experimentation and calibration is key as you learn to do grad school, and then learn to do it again when your work conditions change. 
  • It is in everyone's best interest for grad students to finish their degrees efficiently. Different students have different needs when it comes to this. 
  • Grad school is a part of your career, not a prelude to it, no matter where your professional journey goes after you finish. Delaying the big questions (what do I want? what are my values? what kind of life do I want to live?) until you graduate can be detrimental, and answering those questions during grad school can help you build a professional working style (and personal life) that sustain, enrich, and expand the work. 
  • You deserve a life, professional and personal, that excites and fulfills you - grad school does not mean that you must sacrifice all that brings you joy in order to focus on your work. You can, and should, have things that bring you joy, professional and otherwise. 

If any of that sounds like something you're on board with, I'd be honored to have you read more of my blog, or work with me in some capacity. But I hope more than anything that seeing these ideas written out encourages you to think through the foundational thoughts that shape your grad school experience, and whether they're encouraging you to make grad school better.