Is grad school right for you?

The decision as to whether or not to continue your education after college can be a complicated one, especially if you are unaware of the many resources that are available for Geneseo students in this position. Luckily, career counselor Heather DiFino has recently created a Post-Grad Options page on the Career Development website that features an array of graduate school resources. These resources are in ordered in a manner that interested students might find useful, from the initial deciding phase to the financial support stage. The first feature on the page is for students who are still considering going to graduate school. DiFino emphasized the fact that a graduate degree is “an additional degree that sets the field you are going to work in” and is something you should be absolutely sure you want.

DiFino also made a point to say that graduate school is not something you should just “go to go,” dissipating the myth that going to graduate school will automatically produce a more marketable student that will get a better job. Critical to this step is the process of self-assessing, which can be done solely or with the aid of counselors at Career Services.

Once a decision is made, students should begin researching and choosing a program suitable to their needs. The research component to this step is arguably the most important part because you can answer important questions such as “what kind of program is it?” or “is it the right fit for me?”

Whilst researching a program, DiFino said that looking into what academic areas students are studying and what they are doing upon graduation. A helpful resource for students is the “College Navigator” under the “Researching and Choosing a Program” page, which allows students to search through colleges and research the programs they offer.

Once a student has a program in mind, the application process begins usually at the beginning of senior year. Forms that students may have to prepare in order to apply include personal statements, letters of recommendation, transcripts, resumes/CVs or entrance exams.

The “Graduate Application Process” featured on the “Graduate School Resources” page explains these requirements and offers advice concerning each one. In addition, a career counselor can offer tailored assistance for a student’s application process by reviewing personal statements or performing a mock interview for students who require an interview in order to apply.

Figuring out how to finance going to graduate school is the last step of this process. Students can find helpful hints and options for financial aid under the “Financing a Graduate Degree” section of the “Graduate School Resources” page.