My name is Dr. Jaime Hough. I did everything wrong and that’s why I should be your PhD coach.


From my first day in college to the last day of my PhD program I did almost everything wrong.


I’m someone whose made the mistakes so you don’t have to. I’ve had to dig myself out of holes so I can help you do it to.

Think of it this way: there are two types of teachers you never want to learn from. The first, of course, is the teacher who obviously doesn’t know anything about the subject. The second is the teacher who knows the subject inside and out but never struggled with it so doesn’t understand why you struggle with it. What you want is someone who struggled but ultimately figured out how to do the thing.


I struggled, but I did the thing.



That’s why you should trust me. I made the mistakes so I know how to steer you away from them or, if that’s no longer possible, how to get out of them.

Mission Statement

The most important thing to know is that this site was created for grad students by a grad student. This site is the tool I wish I’d had when I started my MA program and, even more so, my PhD.

I’ve been there.

I’ve shared tiny, crowded offices with other grad students.

I’ve googled “how do I write a prospectus?” and other essential PhD questions because everyone else seems to know and I’m too embarrassed to ask.

I’ve taken a semester in absentia because of family issues.

I’ve lived with the pernicious feeling that, no matter what I’m doing, I probably should be working.

I’ve lived with the anxiety of feeling like I’ve never been productive enough–and I have the anxiety attacks to prove it.

I’ve bought the books about how to get through grad school.

I’ve been through periods where I’ve given up exercise and healthy food because I just didn’t have time for either of them.

I’ve sacrificed needed personal care, like doctor, dentist, and therapist appointments, because I didn’t have time.

The statistics about graduate school are dismal:

  • Half of all PhD students in the humanities drop out–a full fifty percent.
  • Of the fifty percent that remain in their PhD programs the average time to completion is seven years. That is the average–some people take less time, some people take more.
  • Of everyone who enrolls in a PhD program, in any discipline, humanities, social sciences, and STEM, a full third will develop a mood disorder. This isn’t a third of people who get their degree–it’s a third of people who enroll.


Our one and only goal is to help you make the journey from ABD to PhD and to finish well in terms of academic success and personal health.

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