Be clear in your reasons for going to grad school

It is not uncommon for students to graduate from college with no real knowledge of what is involved in the profession that they intend on pursuing. Others simply assume that graduate school is the next logical step, but do not have a clear reason for going. If this is the case, then you are at a significant disadvantage over other applicants.

It is really important to be clear on what your ultimate goals are and how not only graduate school, but any particular graduate program, will help you achieve these long-term goal, for several reasons:

– Your ultimate goals will  most certainly come up in any pre-selection interviews that you take part in. Essentially, you have to convince the interviewers that you are the right candidate for the program and give genuine reasons for this.

– Your statement of purpose will have to convey to the readers the impression that you have realistic ideas and expectations — that you really know what is involved in a career as, such as, a civil engineer, or an educational psychologist, or whatever it is you claim to want to become.

If it is not clear to you why you should go to grad school, get advice. Career counselors, professors and academic advisors can give information and advice that can help clarify things for you. If you discover that you do not know much about careers in your current field of study, then start searching on-line and find out. Here is a link of a few sites that can help:

Career Planner

Career Activist

School Finder

If your reasons for wanting to go to grad school are similar to the student depicted in this short video, than you may want to listen closely to the wise advice from the professor’s she is talking to.

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