222: Top Ten Episodes of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast in 2023

222: Top Ten Episodes of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast in 2023


In this episode, I share the top ten episodes of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast in 2023. I describe what was covered in each episode and share clips so that you can learn more. Here is a list of those episodes if you want to binge-listen to them all.

  1. Surviving College and Grad School as a Highly Sensitive Student
  2. Six Ways to Overcome Dissertation Writing Anxiety
  3. Navigating Unspoken Rules as a First-Gen Professional with Aaliyah J. Deggs
  4. Expats of Higher Ed: Why Many Amazing Higher Ed Employees Are Leaving
  5. Effective Pacing and Prioritization Techniques to Prevent Burnout
  6. How to Foster Joy in Grad School
  7. From PWI to HSI: What I Wish I Knew as a First-Gen Child of Immigrants with Alma Lopez
  8. How to Manage Doubt and Uncertainty in Grad School with Marisol Jimenez
  9. Starting Your Self-Improvement Journey in Five Minutes a Day
  10. Post Master’s Program Transitions with Ariana Aparicio Aguilar and Patricia Ayala

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222: Top Ten Episodes of 2023


Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: [00:00:00] Welcome back everyone, to another episode of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. This is your host, Doctora Yvette. Today's episode is all about the top 10 episodes of 2023. That's right. I pulled the data from all of the plays for this year to pinpoint the top 10 episodes of the year, and I must say

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Some of what I discovered surprised me. What was most surprising to me was which episode was episode number one. And I'll hold off to talk about that one once we get to it. But I'm gonna start with the, you know, going backwards from number 10 to number one. So number 10, what was the 10th most played episode this year?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It was the episode on Postmasters program Transitions with Ariana Aparicio Aguilar and Patricia [00:01:00] Ayala. You might know them by their own podcast called the Xicana Code Switchers podcast. They came on the show earlier in the year, and each of them talked about their different educational and career trajectories.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Ariana talked a little bit about her experience starting out at the community college, then transferring to Sonoma State, pursuing her BA in sociology, then pursuing a Master's degree in education, and ultimately pursuing a PhD in higher ed and policy at uc Riverside. Patricia on the other hand talked about how she pursued her BA in Chicano Latino studies with a minor in Spanish, as well as a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration at Sonoma State.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: She then pursued her master's degree in Education and Educational Leadership at Cal State Fresno. And since then, [00:02:00] she's been working a variety of jobs in education or educational support programs to help students transition into college. It was a really interesting episode because we got to hear how each of them made the decision to pursue a master's degree and why they did or did not pursue a PhD.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So check this out. I'm actually gonna show a really brief clip of the episode. And if you want to listen to it on your own, this is episode 173. Okay, here is the clip of this episode.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And goal for me has always been to do a PhD. So, even though it did take me after my master's program, 3 more times to apply to get into the current program that I'm in, like, I was on a mission. Like, I'm like, I need that Phd. and it's kind of a survival mode or approach [00:03:00] because as an undocumented person, I.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I need to think about ways that I can get ahead and be deemed like worthy of staying in this country and if not staying in this country be more marketable if I decide to leave the U. S. and go to another country. Mentor, she's like, yeah, I couldn't even compete. The committee had gone through selecting more folks who had already a professional experience in higher ed and also who had already a master's.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So she had recommended that I go back, get my master's and then pursue a PhD after that. So a lot of, again, the rules changed when I was applying. So it's just, again, the timing was off. And by the time that I graduated from my master's is when the pandemic started. So in 2020, I had to, I had decided then because of the lack of structure help, and also I was done earning about.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: 10 to 15 K as a [00:04:00] part time student, because you can't really earn that much or have enough time to have a full time job.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: In spot number nine is an episode on starting your Self-Improvement journey in five minutes a day. This was a solo episode and it doesn't surprise me that I actually have more solo episodes then guest episodes in the top 10. This has been true over the last four years that I've been producing and recording this podcast and this one, episode 1 72 is all about how to work on your own personal development journey.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And I talked about seven different areas of . Self-improvement that you can get started on. I mention my growth journal and I actually provided a link to a free copy of my grad school Fem and Growth Journal. If you wanna check it out. It's episode [00:05:00] 172 and I'm also gonna play a brief clip for you to listen to it right now.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So here is a clip of that episode.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: if you Can spend five minutes a day doing one of the following things, goal setting, logging your self care, reflecting on your days and weeks, uh, um, that have passed planning your days. thinking about what you're grateful for, creating and checking off things on your wish lists, and journaling in general.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You will be well on your way in your self improvement journey. Again, I can't stress this enough. There is never a wrong time to work on your self improvement. We are all a work in progress. It doesn't matter what age you are. It doesn't matter what stage you're in in your personal professional life. We all deserve to focus on ourselves a little bit more [00:06:00] from time to time and to really continue to get to know ourselves because we are all continuously in this process of becoming.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And ideally, we are becoming the person That we want to be that we are intentionally trying to be.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: now. . Number eight out of the top 10 episodes of the Grad School Femtor Podcast is an episode on how to manage doubt and uncertainty in grad school with Marisol Jimenez. You might know Marisol on the academic Instagram streets. She is the co-founder of the very popular platform academic Amiga. And she came on the show to talk about how she manages that and uncertainty in her grad school path.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: She herself is a first in college student and daughter of immigrants. She is a current grad student and she talked about how she . Has had to learn to reframe [00:07:00] rejection, to start believing in herself, how she manages any emotional financial challenges that come in within grad school. She also mentions issues of academic hazing and how she's been managing or working through that.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And of course, she shares a lot of really insight. Full tips and advice for anyone who's also experiencing feelings of doubt. I'm not surprised this was a popular episode because I remember when it came out, there was a lot of engagement when I shared about it on social media. If you wanna check it out yourself, it's episode 186, and here's a clip of that episode.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Sometimes, like, you can be in such a toxic environment that no, like, letter of recommendations and no, like, positive notes to yourself and no calls from your mom can be enough for you to survive in a space that is just never going to be good for you. [00:08:00] Honestly, I, I also think that like all of like me being able to have all of this conviction and positivity is also because I predominantly I think not like actually 100 percent in the last three years have only worked with women of color.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Um, I have very good positive experiences, as far as that, but for my peers who don't, I think. We weighed out the pros and the cons. And like I said, there was no amount of yoga and meditation that can get you out of being in such a toxic place.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Now the top seven episode is an episode titled from PWI to HSI, what I wish I knew as a first gen child of immigrants with Alma Lopez. This was episode 185, and my guest was Alma. Who has [00:09:00] experience attending A PWI in undergrad and then an HSI for grad school. Alma, herself is a first gen child of immigrants.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: She's currently in a doctoral program at UNLV, which is University of Nevada in Las Vegas. and she talked about how she learned, you know, the, the, the differences in demographics on campuses and how that can deeply impact your experience as a student, your sense of safety, your sense of comfort. She didn't know the differences about, , Hispanic serving institutions.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And predominantly white institutions. And she only learned about that once she started applying and got into her graduate program. So she emphasizes the importance of having representation and support when you're choosing your own grad program. And she gives advice to anyone applying to grad school on things to consider when selecting grad programs.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Here is a [00:10:00] clip of that episode. So grateful to see myself reflected not only on the campus and the community, um, just everywhere. But again, I did experience that moment of just feeling completely overwhelmed. And I felt a little sad that I realized all that I missed out in my life from being in a small space, a white space, , unworthy.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: But then I realized. Being in this space, being in an HSI and being in the community, , where there's a, there's a large, , Latina community, I realized that I'm not unworthy and I deserve to be heard. I'm worthy to be seen, I am worthy to receive the support I need, and I'm worthy for my experiences to be taken into consideration.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Now taking spot number six is an episode on how to Foster Joy in grad school. This is a solo episode and I get a little personal talking about . [00:11:00] How I myself struggled to experience joy when I was in grad school and how I used to perceive of joy as a privilege rather than a right that we all have. And so I, I, I talk about it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I talk about. Experiencing childhood trauma, mental health issues, financial insecurity, and other adverse experiences, and how I've learned through going on my own personal development journey, how to make room for more joyful moments, and then I share some I. Insights on how you yourself can also start to um, foster your own moments of joy.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Even if you are a current graduate student, you don't have to wait until grad school's over to start experiencing joy. That was episode 184, and here's a clip from that episode.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I felt like I had more lows than highs in grad school, and I don't want that for you. I know graduate [00:12:00] school is hard. It is a big challenge. There are a lot of hurdles, and it can be a mindfuck, just to be honest, to go through all of these hurdles, especially if you're first gen, especially if you're a person of color, especially if you are of color.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Different in any way, shape or form, but that doesn't mean that this program should rob you of your joy. And so.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Taking the number five spot is an episode on effective pacing and prioritization techniques to prevent burnout. You know what? Historically, any episode where I've talked about burnout has been a top episode. This is not a surprise. This actually makes me sad because. Things haven't changed much in graduate school.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You know, since I was in graduate school and probably for decades before I was ever a grad student. Burnout is so, so common. [00:13:00] Graduate programs are probably far too rigorous and full of systemic issues that make it so that folks continue to work themselves. To the point of burnout. So when I recorded this episode, I wanted to talk about it from the perspective of pacing and prioritizing.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I talked about pacing because it is one strategy that I use as a form of energy management that helps me with managing my chronic illnesses. But I do think that it's a useful strategy that can be, be implemented by anybody to help them to um, make sure that you're. Minimizing your chances of be burning out in graduate school.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So I talked about pacing. I talked about different ways to prioritize because sometimes when you have a lot on your plate, it can become harder to prioritize or if you're in a very high state of stress um, [00:14:00] that can impact your ability to prioritize. So I talked a little bit about the importance of

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: listening to your body. If you struggle to listen to your body like I have for many years, becoming curious about your body, learning to trust and feel safe in your body, and to incorporate wellness and wellbeing activities within your workday. Here's a quick clip from that episode. It was episode 193.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So when I talk about time management strategies, I do think it's essential to also talk about energy management strategies because we all go through different waves of energy levels, both throughout the day, throughout monthly cycles, and also even through seasonal changes and seasonal cycles. And so, um, pacing is managing those energy levels, those seasonal changes, those cycles that you may go through.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And, um, [00:15:00] you do that by finding a way to balance between doing your work and taking breaks. And, okay, that's pacing. So prioritization then is the act of ranking tasks. And you can rank them based off how important they are to you and also how urgent they are. So this is where deadlines, come into play.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Episode number four this year was another solo episode titled Expats of Higher Ed. Why Many Amazing Higher Ed Employees Are Leaving Expats of Higher Ed is actually the title of a very. Big popular Facebook group that exists of folks who are currently employed in higher ed or who are former employees of higher ed.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And in both cases, folks were looking to leave [00:16:00] academia. So I covered the topic of why are all these really amazing people leaving? What is going on? What does this have to do with the exodus of folks just in education in general that are leaving? I talked about many reasons why people leave, why I myself left, and also what you can do about it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: If you're currently in academia, if you're currently a faculty member or a staff member or in any position of power, and you want to make higher education a more hospitable space to retain more amazing employees. That was episode 176. Again, this, I'm not surprised that this was one of the top episodes because one of my all time top episodes continues to be the episode where I talked about why I left higher ed.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So this is related to that episode 176, and here's a clip of the episode for you to check it out. [00:17:00]

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's a badge of honor to be busy and to be overworked and to do more. And if you're not, then you're seen as not up to par, as not good enough, as lazy, you name it. I've heard so many of these different things. And not only is that untrue, but To say that folks that do less, you know, can't cut it or good enough is a form of ableism.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So the culture of overwork is not helpful and it leads to burnout and it promotes martyrdom and martyrdom impacts who? It impacts women. the most. It impacts caregivers. It impacts, uh, people of color, BIPOC folks, because they are often met with an increased sense of guilt over service requests. And, um, [00:18:00] needing to be there as a spokesperson for their culture, race, ethnicity, identity, you name it, because of the lack of representation in academia.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So culture of overwork, along with burnout, along with martyrdom, strong reasons why people are leaving.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: we are getting to the top three y'all in the number three spot is an episode on Navigating Unspoken Rules as a first gen professional with Aaliyah J. Deggs. In my conversation with Aaliyah, she talked about . How she is a first gen professional herself. She got her degrees in sociology and anthropology from Spelman College and then pursued her MA in higher education.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And at the time she was working as a res life coordinator at University of South Florida. , as far as I know. Since then, [00:19:00] she has gone on to pursue a doctoral degree. And in this episode in particular, she talked about her experience going from an HBCU in undergrad to an HSI in grad school, and then a PWI as a rest life professional.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And she really gets into it. I love that she shares so many. Specific ways to advocate for yourself to learn about how to navigate becoming a professional, how to learn about departmental cultures, how to . Navigate the job hunting process, the networking process, and how to, how to, you know, give yourself credit for everything that you're doing, how to create a professional identity, how to develop your own platform.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It was a really, really good episode. I'm not surprised this one took the number three spot. I feel like even I learned some insights. I was like, oh, wow, I didn't realize that some folks . We're networking that much, even more than what I've been doing. So [00:20:00] keep that in mind. Listen to that episode. If you are interested in learning more about being a first gen professional, it's episode 183, and here's a clip from that show.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yes, I think about departmental cultures a lot. Um, because a lot of times people tell you, oh, just, you know, supposed to get a job after you get your degrees. And so you just look for a job and you look for a certain salary and that's it. Which kind of goes back to my, even my graduate school story of, okay, it was free so I'm going.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Thinking about how does, what are the departmental values when you look at their websites? What are their mission statements? Do they, do they align with the things that you care about and the things that you want to be a part of? And I didn't really look at, I wrote them down, but like I didn't like understand them or ask questions about them. .

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: okay. Number two is episode 180 Six. Ways [00:21:00] to Overcome Dissertation Writing Anxiety. This was actually one of my favorite episodes to record because it's a topic that comes up a lot among my grad student clients. Dissertation writing anxiety comes up a lot. Writer's block comes up a lot, struggling to focus, needing accountability, needing structure, needing support.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And so I decided, okay, let me pinpoint some common obstacles related to dissertation writing anxiety. And so I specifically talked about procrastination, lack of motivation, . Time management, struggling with the research process, struggling with how to address feedback dealing with imposter syndrome or imposter phenomenon.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I know these are only six. There are actually a lot more that I could have addressed. I. But these are the top six. Again, that comes up [00:22:00] a lot for me in the work that I do as an academic coach, and also that came up for me when I was a grad student myself. And not only do I talk about them, but I share specific strategies you can test out if you find yourself struggling with these dissertation writing anxiety related concerns.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And I remember every time I offer tips and tricks and strategies. Take it with a grain of salt. We are not all the same. There's no one size fits all approach to anything. I, I don't believe in a prescriptive approach. I don't believe here, do exactly as I say and you'll be good. No. It's a lot of trial and error.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's a lot of, you know, learning to be curious about yourself, getting to know yourself better. That's why the key to what I do in my work and my coaching and my speaking is to really make sure that folks work on their own. Personal growth [00:23:00] journey because the more you know yourself, the better off you'll be at managing everything that's part of your life, including your workload if you're a grad student.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So check out this episode. It's episode 180, and here's a brief clip of that episode.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: . And then the other thing I want to say that's very, very important is to reframe what you count as writing. There's so many things that you can do that can count as writing. You can take notes while you're reading something. You can journal out your thoughts and feelings about why you don't want to do this.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You can record a voice memo on your thoughts of the, um, related to the topic and then transcribe it later. You can work on a thought bubble or a mind map to connect different ideas together. All of that counts as writing. So next time you think you didn't do any writing, think, well, were you thinking about the project?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Did you work on it? In some way, shape or form [00:24:00] in some facet that can eventually be put on the paper. Okay, then you're working on your writing. So those are very, very important. They hopefully will help you also with combating procrastination and minimizing your writing anxiety.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: okay, now we've made it to the top episode this year. I am very, very surprised, pleasantly surprised, I should even say because I was really close to not recording this episode at all. It felt quite vulnerable to record it. This was episode 179 on surviving college and grad school as a highly sensitive student.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You know what I, in this episode I talked about neurodivergence, the differences between neurodiversity, neurodivergence, and neuro types. You know, what it means to be neurodivergent versus neurotypical, and I talked [00:25:00] about high sensitivity or being a highly sensitive person as one lesser form of . Or, sorry, not lesser form, lesser known form of neurodivergence.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I then went into talking about how high sensitivity impacted me in my undergrad and college years, and if I could go back in time, what . Of advice I would give to myself and to anybody to improve their higher ed experience if they too are highly sensitive. You know what? Even though I'm surprised about it now that I think back, reflect back when that episode came out, I had multiple people send me messages saying, oh my goodness, you described me to a T.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I've struggled with what you mentioned. I think I'm highly sensitive to, I had forgotten. It just hit me right now that I did receive a couple of memos from folks who were deeply impacted by the episode. And here's [00:26:00] the thing, I have a really terrible memory when folks send me kind messages, if I remember to.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I try to save them. Of course, you know, . Saving the, saving the information while keeping the, the person's name anonymous. But I don't, I don't publicly share a lot of these messages. I keep them to myself. And I do wish that more folks would share some of their impressions of these episodes on Apple Podcasts, like on leaving a review with a comment just to let me know what are your thoughts, which are the episodes that

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: most impact you? Which are the episodes that made a difference? Which ones were your favorite episodes? That indicates to me what I should keep doing moving forward? What types of voices should I be amplifying? What types of topics should I be covering? And I know I say this a lot that I, I hope that folks will leave reviews and not [00:27:00] a lot of folks are motivated to do that unless I were to offer

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You know, free gifts every single week, but once again, like I say this a lot. If you have, if you have found anything meaningful or valuable from the show and you're able to leave a review, please do it. Please. I appreciate your memos. They really make a difference when you email me, when you send me a direct message on social media, but it means even more if you're able to put that out there because

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: When you put it out there, it increases the chances of other folks like you finding me. And it helps me to keep a record of what folks are enjoying, what they're not enjoying, what they wanna hear more of, what they wanna hear less of. So that's my last little spiel about this. At the first, the number one episode was on being a highly sensitive student.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I am. . You know, sort of surprise. A little less surprised now that I look back [00:28:00] at ums, thinking about some of the direct memos I received in response to that episode. And if you wanna check it out here's a brief clip of the show.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's more than that. People who are highly sensitive happen to have deeper cognitive processing to emotional, social, and physical stimuli. It's similar to having a sensory processing disorder in that you have a sensitivity to sensory stimuli. So how do you know if you're highly sensitive? , there's a good chance that you might be highly compassionate.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You might experience emotions intensely. You might think, analyze, and worry more than others. You might be easily aroused, easily stimulated, easily overwhelmed. , you're sent, you might be sensitive to external stimuli. , you [00:29:00] might need more downtime than others. They're also, um, Are folks who if they're highly sensitive, they're probably also highly intuitive, highly observant, very thoughtful.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Like I mentioned earlier, very compassionate, highly creative, have a rich inner life and can connect deeply with others. There's a lot more. , there are actually multiple quizzes you can find online to determine whether or not you're highly sensitive. And, um, , I'll have to link a book that I read.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: About neurodivergence, and I'm blanking out on the name of the book, so I'll add it in the show notes. If you see a link to a book, that book has a really, really good list of characteristics of HSP, but it focuses on neuro divergence in general. So if you want to learn more about that topic, I would recommend that book.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: all right, that [00:30:00] was the last episode from the top 10 episodes in 2023. Now let me know what do you all want to hear about in 2024? Send me a message. Email me gradschoolfemtoring@gmail.com and say, Yvette. In 2024, I would love it if you covered this topic. I'm gonna keep a list of topics, keep a list of potential guests.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I love hearing from you, so please, please reach out if you're up for it, leave a review. And that's it for this episode. I, you don't hear from me or if I don't hear from you, I hope you all have a lovely holiday season and I'll be back next week with another episode. I'll talk to you all later.

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