After a long and nerve-racking application season, I have finally managed to get into one of my top-choice PhD programs. As luck would have it, one of the recent alumnae of the same PhD program happens to be an assistant professor at my current university (though our research areas are slightly different, and she had a different advisor in that program).
Following the advice of my current MA advisor, I have set up a meeting with this alumna to get information from her about the program. I have tried to think of some basic questions to ask her, such as how much flexibility is allowed to the students with regard to taking courses, choosing co-advisors, as well as about how the PhD process works, what the most important milestones are and what particular challenges one should be wary of, etc.
But I understand that there may be many other questions that are hiding in plain sight for me, simply because I am a "greenhorn" graduate student. I believe that there are more experienced PhD students (as well as PhD degree holders) on this website, and I was wondering, after all those years you have spent as a PhD student, what would you wish you had asked a former alumnus/alumna before starting your program? I am especially interested in knowing which questions you think are "the important questions that almost nobody thinks of asking."
P.S. I have already accepted the admission offer, so I will be asking this alumna for advice on how to be successful in that program, not on whether I should choose this program or a different one.