Is graduate school the right direction for me?
Where do I start? Where do I look?
What do applications look like? Do I need an essay?
Where can I go for help?
“What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Senior year can be the best year of your college career: the finish line is in sight and those exams and essays seem a little less burdensome this time around. However, once the finals are passed in, the graduation caps tossed and the celebrations over, a resounding “what now?!” will begin to play on repeat in your mind.
This is where we come in.
Framingham State University’s Career Services and Employer Relations is here to prevent that “what now?!” We are here to equip you, the students or alumni, with tools to help you succeed in finding, applying for, and accepting a career. Our goal is to prepare you for the real world outside of college, and to make that transition as easy as possible.
To begin, you need to ask yourself two questions: “Do I want to continue my education?” or “Do I want to find a career?” Graduate school may be the only option – perhaps the career you want requires a master’s degree. But, graduate school is not for everyone. It is costly, time consuming, and to be frank, exhausting. However, if you are sure that obtaining your master’s degree is crucial in climbing the ladder of success, go for it! Here are some points to keep in mind…
- Budget wisely – As I mentioned before, graduate school is very costly. And odds are you will be in the midst of student loans. Keep in mind that deferring student loans may not be in your best interest – the debt will begin to accumulate if you do not budget wisely. To read more about student loans, go to: http://studentloanhero.com/federal-student-loans/the-difference-between-undergraduate-and-graduate-school-student-loans/#
- Become organized – It sounds simple and obvious but by making a conscious effort to keep all your papers in order will save you time later down the road. Compile all those essays and projects into a portfolio that you may be able to show future employers. Keep an agenda. The more you remind yourself of your schedule, the better prepared you’ll be.
- Prioritize – Procrastination will be your worst enemy. Perhaps as an undergraduate you were able to quickly finish assignments last minute. But, the expectations are much higher and the assignments much more time-consuming and difficult. Procrastinating could become a downfall. Complete your assignments sooner rather than later.
- Take advantage of your advisors/professors – You have people on campus who want to help. They are there to make your experience as rewarding as possible. Take advantage of it. This is one of the only times where you will be surrounded by possible future contacts. Reach out. Ask questions. Show interest.
- Prepare for stress – You are not an undergraduate student anymore; there will be no “hand holding” in graduate school. You are expected to take initiative and show independence and ambition. Graduate school will take up a majority of your time so be prepared for stressful days and nights; you will be very busy. This leads me to my last point…
- Take time for yourself – When all is said and done, your health is most important. Take time to relax. Whether that be binge-watching a show on Netflix, reading the newest best-selling novel, or going out to dinner with friends. Make time for yourself. You have completed your Bachelor’s degree, you’re on your way to completing your Master’s. You deserve it.
Graduate school is overwhelming. We are here for you. At Framingham State University’s Career Services and Employer Relations we take the time to focus on you and your needs. Visit us on the fourth floor of the McCarthy building, Room 412.
Written by Emily Moore