Get Me Into Grad School!

    Lately, I have been focusing extensively on my grad school search. It’s intimidating and exciting all at once to look at and apply to future colleges. After all, my time here at Utica College will be over in less than a semester and a half, and who knows where I will be at this time next year!

    Last week, I attended a presentation by Career Services entitled, “Get Me Into Grad School.” The presentation lasted about an hour, and had a great turnout. Students filled the room in which the presentation was held. Helina Lotyczewski, director of Career Services, led the conversation and gave plenty of tips and tricks for navigating the higher education application process. Here are some of her main suggestions:

Know what you want. For some, grad school is totally unnecessary for success in their field. For others (like me, as I aspire to be a psychology professor), grad school is completely a necessity. Having a clear goal will help you figure out exactly what program will be the best fit in order for you to achieve that goal as efficiently as possible.

Know what you need. In my case, the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is required for all of my applications, as are recommendation letters and a personal statement. I also need research experience and teaching experience in order to be considered for more competitive programs. Having knowledge of what would be expected of me as an applicant helped me accomplish everything early on, so I wouldn’t be scrambling the week before the deadline to pull things together. Look into program and application requirements early on, so you have plenty of time to prepare for exams, gather materials, and secure recommendations before your deadlines.

Know who can help you. Helina gave us all sorts of great online resources from the Career Services page that helped with finding programs and universities. There are tons of tools on the Career Services page that can help any student, from job market opportunity analysis to resumé builders. However, there are also plenty of people on campus who can help you in your graduate school process. Helina explained that with a personal appointment in the Career Services office, students could receive help finding the right path for their desired career, they could practice their interview skills in a mock interview, and they even could have their personal statement revised! The professionals in this office are trained to help students, and their services are free, so it’s worth making the appointment and getting that extra help.

     Overall, the “Get Me Into Grad School” program was a huge success. The students who attended received plenty of helpful advice and tools to assist them in their process. As for me, I left the presentation and walked straight to Career Services to schedule my personal appointment. I am determined to get into grad school, and am grateful that Utica College has so many great resources to help me along the way!

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