You can talk to a librarian at any point in your project, even before you do a single search
There is no "you should know this because you are a graduate" standard - even librarians ask other librarians for research help
2) Organize your research, right from the start
The only wrong way to organize research is not to organize at all. Citation managers, online project managers, physical file folders, whatever works for you is the right way
Since your classes will build to a culminating project, keep your research across semesters and save time later
3) Explore all the services the university and library have to offer your first semester
The Writing Center, services for distance students, Office of Information Technology support - no graduate student needs to go it alone. Seek out all that the university has to offer no matter your student status or location.