Sarah, Princeton University

I reached out to Alison after reading her book and listening to a number of her talks about doctoral work, mental health, and time management. What struck me was her values-based approach to productivity, and how with the implementation of key strategies and intentional planning, one could lead a balanced life while also producing excellent doctoral research. In other words, unlike the dominant academic narrative which tells us work must come at the expense of everything else, she showed that I could have a family and be a doctoral student without sacrificing the quality of my work. She matched me with Dr. Rebecca Schwartz-Bishir, who has been beyond amazing. Rebecca is a fountain of knowledge and experience and I know that I would not have completed my PhD (with my sanity intact) if it weren’t for her and Alison. The unstructured nature of doctoral work was a significant roadblock for me especially due to my ADHD. She taught me how to break down tasks into manageable increments, and practical ways of moving past overwhelm. Being in a male-dominated department, I also often found communication with my advisor and committee to be challenging and impersonal. She helped me develop effective communication tools (like writing monthly updates that I’d give to my advisor) that completely turned around my relationships with them. Her practical advice on how to juggle family and doctoral work too was invaluable and saved my sanity. I will now be moving on to an Ivy league postdoctoral program, and I can honestly say I would not be here right now had it not been for Rebecca and Alison. Whether you are a student looking to survive, or you have moved past that stage and are looking to thrive, Rebecca and Alison know how to help students develop the necessary planning, management, and mental health habits and skills to be both successful and happy.