Applying to Grad School? Here are a few tips to keep you organized!

Deadline circled on calendar

Applying to various programs and figuring out the specific details and steps to each application can seem like a daunting task. Here are few tips to make your application process a little smoother:

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5 Reasons Why It’s Ok To Take Time Off Before Grad School

Person sitting on a mountaintop staring out into the distance

Did you know that only about 20% of each graduating class from UVM goes directly into graduate programs post-graduation? An overwhelming majority of your peers will build significant career experience before continuing their education. Here are some of the reasons: Continue reading

Requesting Strong Letters of Recommendation

Letter of Recommendation

Applying for a job or internship?  In most cases, employers will call your references.  For most other competitive opportunities, chances are you will need strong and descriptive letters of recommendation to help set you apart from other applicants.

Think you might apply to graduate or professional school, or for a national fellowship? Letters of recommendation will be critical to your candidacy.  You might even need letters well before you graduate, i.e. for a summer research grant or enhancement program.  The bottom line: you need to cultivate strong references while you are at UVM, and the sooner, the better. Continue reading

6 Steps to Finding the Grad School for You

Graduation caps in the sky

If your graduate school search involves typing some buzzwords into Google with hopes of generating a condensed list of programs of interest, you will be pleased to know there are more efficient ways to research your options.

Although a basic Internet search can be a great way to begin, most people find the pure volume of information to be overwhelming. Here are 6 ways to tailor your search:

1. Ask professors, staff and graduate students in your field of interest. You’ll not only be able to learn about their own search process but they’re likely to give you recommendations of programs that fit your personal and professional goals.

2. Connect to professionals doing work that excites you. These folks have “been there, done that” and offer lessons from their own careers.

3. Research professional associations. Many provide graduate school advice and search resources.

4. Search online graduate school databases. Use these sites to conduct advanced searches that allow you to filter on criteria such as location and type of degree.

5. Visit your local library. Libraries often have books and catalogs about specific programs and preparing for graduate school.

6. Speak directly to admissions coordinators at schools of interest. Websites are helpful but they never tell the full story. Ask questions and make an impression.

One bonus option: Attend this year’s Grad School Fair on Monday, September 29 from 3-5 pm. You’ll be able to accomplish many of the steps listed above and increase your confidence!

~Ashley Michelle

Taking the Grad School Search Offline

Facebook is Killing Meaningfull Communication comic

When students come to the Career Center to discuss their graduate school search, we find that the conversation frequently starts from one of two places. Either students are looking for tools to begin their online search or have researched some programs online and are not sure what’s next.

There is undoubtedly an important role for the Internet in any graduate school search, but there’s an equally important place for conversations with admissions representatives that can help to illuminate information that will not soon be found on a school or program’s website.

It can be scary to consider talking to someone who may ultimately be evaluating your application, but you also want to equip yourself with as much information as you can get before making the all too important decisions about which schools to apply to and which school to attend.

Also, there are real advantages to having a phone or in-person conversation with an admissions representative. You can use such a conversation to express your interest in their program, which may give your application a boost. And by preparing ahead of time and demonstrating high levels of professionalism, you can further impress your schools of interest.

Unsure what type of questions to ask as you continue your graduate school search process? Here are a few ideas to get you started. Continue the conversation by speaking with a Career Counselor during our Drop-In Hours at the Career + Experience Hub in the Davis Center.

~Ashley Michelle