I’ve received several requests from readers on information on how to start researching graduate school programs. This blog post will be the start of a series on steps to take in trying to find the right graduate program for you.
First things first, you need to take some time to decide if graduate school is for you. Think about your life and career goals and truly assess if and just how graduate school fits into those goals. For some of us, it’s a given. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc. the path set before you is pretty clear. However for some of us, the roads to who we want to become are not at all straight. Be strategic, research your dreams and learn exactly what it’s going to take for you to realize them.
Armed with that information I’d say reach out to a professor or advisor that you’ve worked with and let him/her know of your interest in graduate study. Make sure this is someone who’s gone through the process that you know and trust. Take advantage of their experiences their successes and their mistakes. Being able to benefit from their contacts is an added plus as well. Networking is a tool you need to master and master quickly. Professors often have colleagues at their alma maters, people they’ve served on committees and projects with, or met through professional organizations. Let them know you’re considering graduate school and are shopping for opportunities. The right phone call at the right time could very well be the answer to your prayers.
I’d also suggest you to start paying attention to emails, newsletters, flyers and other announcements of the graduate school fairs and open houses. Google graduate school fairs for specific disciplines or areas of academic interests and see what comes up. Fairs are a great way to get a lot of information on a number of graduate school programs and opportunities all at once. The next post in this series will deal with questions to ask at a graduate school fair, open house or visit.
This is just a start so please be sure to continue to check back for more information. Thanks for all of the support. I love you guys!