How to Build Authentic Connections in Graduate School

Many of us have heard that the world is no longer focused on what it is that we know, but instead now is all about who we know. As individuals are pursuing advanced degrees at higher rates, the world is becoming more and more competitive. With several people conveying similar skill sets and bringing identical credentials to the table, the job market is now oversaturated with talent. This has resulted in the increasing power of connections within professional spaces. In other words, knowing the right person or people in addition to your qualifications can set you apart from the crowd and open doors to various opportunities that are otherwise unattainable. Given this reality, people are placing a higher degree of energy and effort to build networks with the “right” parties. As people, it is important to establish connections, but to do so authentically. Building relationships is an investment in your career—in fact, 85% of all jobs are filled through networking.

Networking Tips for Graduate Students

1) Join as Many Events and Groups as Possible

In graduate school, you collaborate with peers from different professional backgrounds and often have the opportunity to attend a variety of networking events—from organizational clubs to career fairs. It is important that you’re taking advantage of these opportunities!

2) Reach Out to Your Professors

Faculty members are a valuable resource, not just in terms of the skills and industry expertise they provide, but for the connections they offer.  It is essential that you reach out and get to know them beyond the classroom.

3) Do Your Research

Before attending an event, check out who will be there, if possible. From students to professors and other professionals, if there’s someone you’re interested in meeting, then browse their LinkedIn bios to learn more about their background and hobbies. Doing this can help you draft the right questions to ask in-person or via email.

4) Be Helpful to Others

Whether you’re organizing a study group for an upcoming exam or sending a few relevant industry-related articles to a classmate, be known as a resource to others.

5) Find New People to Meet

In graduate school, it’s important to continuously establish new relationships in order to enhance your network. The people you already know, whether a fellow student, professor, or staff member, can be a great reference to meeting others.

6) Keep in Touch

Once you’ve established new connections, it’s important to keep in touch.


Getting Around Houston Without a Car

The Office of International Students and Scholars posted a wonderful post about surviving Houston without a car.  It gives the inside scoop to some of the best things to do in Houston that are all stops on the METRORail. Check it out below!

We know that as international students it can be difficult to travel around Houston if you don’t have a driver’s license or car. Since the METRORail was built in 2004, it has provided a safe and affordable means of transportation to many destinations.  This rail system easily allows for plenty of fun to be had without having a driver’s license!  There are a bunch of places to stop by for food and entertainment, just a few stops away and all for a decent price.  Please go to this website for more options:

There is a METRORail stop right across the street from Entrance 1 of the Rice campus (directly in front of Lovett Hall) and it is labeled Hermann Park/Rice U.

Tickets for the general public cost $1.25 (one-way) and can be purchased using cash or credit cards at any rail stop.  You can also purchase a Q-Card for easier travel and discounts.  Graduate students can purchase their Q-Cards from the

Cashier’s Office and undergrads can get their free Q-Card from their college.  All others can purchase them at various locations around the city.

* METRORail hours are:
4:30am-11:40pm (M-TH)
4:30am-2:20am (F)
5:30am-2:20am (SAT)
5:30am-11:40pm (SUN)

* Travel time from end to end is 30 minutes

* For METRORail information, call  (713) 635-4000 or visit


Statement of Purpose

Graduate schools often require some sort of written statement. These statements are often called a “statement of purpose,” “personal statement,” or “letter of intent”– as a part of the application. When writing your statement of purpose for graduate school, focus on your specific plans and how the graduate program and its faculty will help you meet these goals.

Different graduate school programs have different prompts. Nonetheless, they’re all asking for the same four pieces of information:

  • What you want to study at graduate school
  • Why you want to study it
  • What experience you have in your field
  • What you plan to do with your degree once you have it

Once you feel like you’ve written the best statement of purpose you can, it’s time to get a second opinion. Have someone else proofread your statement of purpose for spelling and grammar. An objective set of eyes can often alert you to details you might miss on your own.

Don’t just reuse the same statement of purpose for each school to which you apply.  You can recycle the same information, but make sure you change the presentation to fit each individual program. is an excellent resource that includes essay critiques and writing tips.

Energy Data Management

Rice University is offering a new and unique master’s degree in energy data management.

Data Management graphicThe Wiess School of Natural Sciences’ Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences has opened enrollment in its graduate program in subsurface geoscience, through which the energy data management track will be offered, along with existing tracks in geology and geophysics.

Rice faculty have collaborated with leading Houston oil and gas companies to develop this new focus area that promotes modern understanding of exploration and production as a data-driven business, emphasizing the importance of the curation and exploitation of data within the upstream oil and gas industry. This program provides a graduate study opportunity for students to become data-enabled geoscientists to match current demands in the industry.

“Demand in this field is steadily growing in a variety of industries, and in response to this need Rice’s M.S. in subsurface geoscience has expanded the focus areas to include courses in data science, management and governance,” said Dagmar Beck, director of the professional science master’s program. “Energy data management is increasingly recognized as a discipline critical to the energy industry. The program hopes to attract applicants interested to move into this up-and-coming field.”

The subsurface geoscience degree features a fully integrated design and is available as part-time or full-time study.

For information about the program, contact or visit



PSM/MBA Coordinated Degree

The worlds of science and business are merging and a new breed of scientist, manager and policy maker is necessary to maintain America’s competitive edge in the global marketplace. These new professionals are PSM graduates who can serve companies in today’s competitive market needing managers with scientific knowledge who understand the business world and can effectively lead by applying their unique background to their organization’s needs.

In response to these needs, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences established the Professional Master’s Program, offering degrees in:

  • Bioscience and Health Policy
  • Environmental Analysis
  • Space Studies
  • Subsurface Geoscience

In order to offer a deeper immersion into management and business acumen, the Professional Science Master’s at Rice has collaborated with the Rice Jones Graduate School of Business to offer the coordinated PSM/MBA program. According to the Professional Science Master’s track chosen, graduates are qualified for leadership roles in industries related to the environment, nanotechnology, energy and government.


The joint degree program can be completed in 2 1/2  – 3 years. This includes a total of 45 hours of course work in business management and 30 – 32 credit hours in the chosen PSM track. Students will complete the same core requirements as the students in the regular MBA and PSM programs. Graduates will receive a Master of Science and a MBA degree

  • The first year will contain the PSM core courses. Required internship during summer is strongly encouraged.
  • The second year will contain the MBA core courses including the MBA Action Learning Project
  • Additional internship after second year is optional. Return for final semester and finish remaining MBA and PSM elective courses

General Requirements

  • Course schedules will be planned in consultation with the PSM Track Adviser and with the MBA program director
  • Student must be accepted by both the Jones School and the PSM Program (please submit two separate applications)
  • Note that applicants are allowed to use GRE scores for both the MBA and PSM application.

Admission Requirements

All application materials for the MBA and the PSM programs.

MBA Admission Requirements are as follows:

  • Completed application submitted online
  • One personal essay submitted online
  • Professional or Academic resume submitted online
  • Official GMAT or GRE required for scholarship consideration
  • One confidential evaluation submitted online or mailed to our office
  • Official transcripts of all previous coursework mailed to our office
  • Interview (by invitation only)

PSM Admission Requirements are:

  • Completed on-line application
  • Three personal letters of recommendation
  • General GRE scores
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended
  • TOEFL scores (if required)

Course Requirements

  • 75 credit hours of coursework including min. 30 in a science discipline and 45 in business administration
  • All core requirements of the MBA program
  • All core requirements of the specific PSM track
  • Summer internships are required
  • Course schedules are planned in consultation with the MBA program and the specific PSM advisor
  • All requirements can be fulfilled in three years


The program will include the option for one or two internships (each three months long) after the first and/or second year, and the MBA Action Learning Project during the 2nd academic year. Students could also elect to do a six-month internship after the second year. Students will pay Rice Graduate tuition for the first two semesters, MBA tuition for the next two semesters, and depending on the remaining course work Rice Graduate tuition for science courses and MBA tuition for MBA courses for the last semester. Full-time students would be eligible for scholarships offered by the Jones School.

Are you interested in applying to graduate school? Explore Rice University’s Professional Science Master’s programs and contact us if you need any personalized advice. 

Explore Your Campus Dining Options

We are in full swing with our fall classes! If you are coming to campus after work or if you are meeting friends before class, Rice University has some great dining options for you to try.

Food Trucks

Visiting food trucks park on Mudd Loop Road (in between the Mudd Building and Hamman Hall).

On Campus Schedule:
Trucks serve from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.:

Follow Rice Dining on Twitter for updates, @RiceDining

Flo Paris

Inside the glass-walled Brochstein Pavilion is Flo-Paris, offering salads, sandwiches, specialty coffees and wine. You can enjoy your meal in the hub of campus overlooking our marvelous lawns.

Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Ambassador Chinese

Ambassador Chinese operates a satellite restaurant in the Rice Student Center inside Willy’s Pub. They offer traditional dishes using only fresh, high-quality ingredients. Come by and get fast, fresh food. Tetra, cash and credit accepted.

Monday to Friday 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


Pronounced Four Point Tac OH – Featuring homemade tortillas, carefully crafted recipes that use fresh ingredients and incredible service. These are just three things that make 4.Tac0 THE place for tacos on campus. Our chefs have added delicious chips and queso, Mexican street corn, and made-to-order baked potatoes (a potato is kind of like a taco, right?). 4.Tac0 is conveniently located in the heart of the Rice Student Center, near the bookstore.

Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Breakfast

Monday and Wednesday 11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Whoo Deli

The Whoo Deli is located in the Rice Student Center inside of Sammy’s. The deli features sandwiches made-to-order with dozens of fresh ingredients and a multitude of breads. The menu also includes one to two soups of the day and a variety of side dishes including delicious salads. The Whoo Deli is open to Rice students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Monday – Friday11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Before or after class, you can enjoy a beer and snacks in Rice’s famous graduate student-run Valahalla Pub.

Monday to Friday 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch (Food & Drink) 4:00 p.m. -2 a.m.
Saturday CLOSED
Sunday7 p.m. -2 a.m.

Rice Farmers Market

Snack on some food samples, macarons, a smoothie or just knock out some grocery shopping while you are waiting for class to start.

Tuesday, rain or shine 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Visit their website to see the complete list of vendors and special events:

Discover Rice PSM on the Road

Check out the dates and locations below to see if we will be in your city! Be sure to stop by and chat with us and find out more information about our wonderful 4 Professional Science Master’s programs we have at Rice University.

Wednesday, September 13th- Texas A&M University

Thursday, September 14th- UT Dallas

Friday, September 15th- Baylor University

Thursday, September 20th- Saint Thomas University

Tuesday, September 25th- Brown University

Wednesday, September 26th- Cornell University

Thursday, September 27th- Rochester Institute of Technology

Monday, October 1st- Purdue University

Tuesday, October 2nd- University of Illinois, Urbana Champagne

Monday, October 15th- Georgia Tech

Tuesday, October 16th- Emory University

Wednesday, October 17th- University of Georgia

Monday, October 22nd- Duke University








Life in Houston as an International Student

International students studying in the United States often have to deal with culture shock. Everything’s different from home. Attitudes, fashions, social expectations, architecture — even the food is unfamiliar. It takes a little time to get comfortable to your new surroundings. Sometimes you just long for a little slice of home.

That’s what makes Houston, Texas so enticing for foreign students. In Houston, you can find that little piece of home when you need it. The fourth largest city in the United States and a major economic center, Houston is home to over 100 different nationalities, giving the city a cosmopolitan, multiethnic feel. In addition to being the fourth largest city in the U.S., Houston is also the most racially and ethnically diverse of the country’s 10 most populous metropolitan areas.

College Student Associations

Most colleges with foreign student bodies have an International Student Association, which can answer student questions and help you adapt to life and study in the U.S.A. There are currently many different International Clubs at Rice. In addition to student clubs, your college may offer workshops to introduce international students to important aspects of studying and living in the United States.

The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) offers many services and resources to international students such as:

  • Orientation upon arrival at the university
  • Workshops on income taxes and the IRS, healthcare and insurance, immigration status, and more
  • Social gatherings – welcome party, dinner for new graduate students, activities fair, cultural movies, and Graduate Student Association (GSA) party
  • Rice Host Family Program (sponsored by the Houston chapter of the International Institute of Education)

Houston-area families open their homes to students from other countries, giving them a place to go for holidays, spring break, birthday celebrations, or simply a brief escape from academics.

Spouse of Internationals at Rice organization: Plans lunches and other events for wives and international women students.

Housing and Living Expenses

Houston has one of the lowest costs of living in the United States, so food and housing are all cheaper than you’d find in other metropolitan areas. International students who decide to find accommodations off-campus find rental properties very affordable.

The low cost of living is due, in part, to the city’s diverse and thriving industries. Over 23 Fortune 500 companies call Houston home, often offering internships and educational opportunities to students. Medical students may have a chance to work at the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. Houston also includes NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Tastes of Home

The U.S. News and World Report ranks Houston as the third most ethnically diverse city in the United States of America. Houston’s multiethnic population provides opportunities for international students. Restaurants, music festivals and community organizations all reflect the city’s diversity, so homesick students can often find familiar sights, sounds and tastes when they need a little home-based comfort.

Every year, at the end of April, the city hosts the Houston International Festival, a two-day celebration of the city’s cultural diversity. The festival offers a chance for students to volunteer and introduce their new-found American friends to their own culture.

Are you interested in applying to graduate school? Explore Rice University’s Professional Science Master’s programs and contact us if you need any personalized advice. 

Living In Houston: Houston is a place you can call home.

Rice University is located in the heart of Houston, TX. In addition to being the fourth largest city in the U.S., Houston is also the most racially and ethnically diverse of the country’s 10 most populous metropolitan areas. We capitalize upon our position as home to the second largest concentration of Fortune 1000 companies in the country and our relationships with corporate entities within the world’s largest medical complex and the energy capital of the world located right here in our backyard.

The Houston metro area has always attracted people with an entrepreneurial spirit. These days, it’s also a premier destination for those who want to work at some of the country’s largest companies. Because Houston is not only the hub of the oil and gas industries (and known as the “energy capital of the world”), it’s also a major center of manufacturing and health care.

Houston also boasts more than 11,000 restaurants with everything from award-winning establishments like Underbelly to barbecue joints like Gatlin’s BBQ. The metro area also offers a variety of international cuisine ranging from Ethiopian to Indian.

Our students avail themselves of the rich cultural life that Houston has to offer with its many business and cultural districts – Rice Village and the Museum District (our home), the Energy Corridor, the Theater District and the Galleria/Uptown Park shopping district, to name a few. Much like the students we attract, Houston is a city that is multifaceted and ambitious. Consider:

  • There are more than 145 languages spoken here.
  • Houston is a truly international city: 1 in 4 Houstonians relocated here from outside the U.S.
  • The Port of Houston ranks first in U.S. foreign tonnage.
  • Houston ranks as a top 10 greenest city, with more than 128 miles of hike and bike trails along our parks and bayou system.
  • Our low cost of living means Houston ranks 1st among U.S. cities where paychecks stretch the farthest.
  • Places to worship include 37 megachurches, 40 synagogues and numerous temples and other denomination and faith-based opportunities.
  • Houston hosts the third largest concentration of consular offices, representing 86 nations.
  • We are home to professional football, soccer, baseball and basketball teams.
  • Resident companies in ballet, opera, symphony and theatre thrive in Houston.
  • As a “Third Coast” city, Houston provides easy access to beaches and pier attractions.
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Rice University’s Running Trail Loop: The loop is roughly 3 miles and most of the route is lined with beautiful old oak trees whose branches overlap the trail.

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Leisurely kayak around Kinder Lake at Discovery Green® and enjoy all the fish swimming beneath the surface.

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Enjoy the city’s views while walking or jogging

Are you interested in applying to graduate school? Explore Rice University’s Professional Science Master’s programs and contact us if you need any personalized advice. 

Are you looking for ways to earn some extra money whilst pursuing your studies?

During the school year, the best jobs are part-time and flexible, leaving room for class attendance and homework. Here are seven great jobs for college students.

1. Tutoring

If you’re strong in a particular subject, consider turning your knowledge and hard work into a tutor-ing job. You can apply to work at your campus’ tutoring center, or try going it on your own. The up-side of working on campus will be access to manuals, books, and a study space, but you will probably not be paid a ton. If you strike out on your own, you can ask for a higher wage, but you will have to work to drum up your own business, and provide your own materials and study location. 

2. Office Positions 

Many campus offices seek part-time office assistants to help with their department’s work load.

3. Recreation Center Staff

The recreation center on campus needs attendants year round and has a variety of jobs that can be performed part-time.

4. Freelance writing

Get experience with writing, meeting deadlines, and working with editors by doing some freelance writing work. This is also a good chance to build up a body of work to show future employers. Earn money writing blog posts, articles, and other content. You may even receive some career advice and make contacts in journalism that will help you get a job later. 

5. Editing and proofreading

You’re probably spending a lot of time writing, editing, and proofreading your college papers, so why not take those skills and make money with them. You can find work doing academic editing and proofreading.

6. Website testing

You can make money visiting websites and apps and reviewing their features and performance for companies such as UserTesting. Expect to earn $10 per 20 minute website review video. 

7. Serving

When working as a restaurant server, you can schedule your shifts for evenings and weekends, or whenever you don’t have classes. If you’re taking evening classes, then just work the breakfast and lunch shifts. Some other perks are that you can make some decent money from tips and get discounts on food.