- By Art Gib
- Published 12/1/2009
For the last several years, you have been eagerly anticipating that moment when you finally get to call yourself a college graduate. But it often seems like the joy that comes from receiving a Bachelor’s Degree is overshadowed by the anxiety caused by preparing for graduate school. It sometimes feels like all your hard work to this point doesn’t count for anything–at least not until you have completed the seemingly interminable educational path ahead. But try not to feel discouraged–the opportunity to further your education is a great blessing. You just have to focus on the moment and take your preparations one step at a time. Allow me to provide a few suggestions to help you get organized as you open a new chapter of your academic pursuits. If you have the flexibility to relocate, then you will need to spend plenty of time doing research to find a program and a region that will fit your needs and wants best. You should also spend some time on the phone with your current advisor and advisors at the institutions you are investigating.
Consulting with advisors will help you find the absolute best program for the field you hope to enter. There can be subtle differences between degrees that can end up taking you in a separate direction for the one you hoped for.
For example, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a Master of Arts in English sound similar but can actually put you on very distinct career paths. If you are unable to move to a new area, then make inquiries about schools in the vicinity. You may be surprised about what you will find. Plus, some graduate institutions allow some wiggle room for you to customize your degree, so you do not have to be limited by where you live. Find out about critical entrance tests required for admission and what test scores are expected of potential students. For some programs, taking the GRE is little more than a formality, while law schools and dental programs, among others, require a truly exceptional score if you are to be admitted. Funding for graduate school is much more difficult to come by than it was for your undergraduate degree. Especially for major research endeavors, you will need to know how to write appeals to be granted extra finances from the school, the government, or private organizations. That is why it will be so helpful to take grant writing courses. Many universities offer these, but you can also take them on your own schedule through other companies.
Graduate school will be one of the most challenging experiences that you encounter, but with the right preparation and enough effort on your part, it is absolutely feasible. Just keep plugging along.
ARRIVE, LLC (http://www.I-ARRIVE.com/) can help your team achieve success through its grant writing courses, which will help you obtain the financial backing necessary for your projects and budgets. Art Gib is a freelance writer.
by Art Gib