by Jennifer Lacey
Studying abroad can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However it can also be a daunting one. We've put together a list of dos and don'ts for studying in the US.
Don't be put off
Studying abroad can be a daunting prospect. After the initial excitement wears off, it can seem overwhelming. The application process for courses in the US such as GMAT, MBA and other conversion courses may be long and tiring, but these will be some of the best years of your life, so don't be put off by the hard work.
Do make friends
It might sound obvious, but make as many friends as you can. A foreign country can be a lonely place, but surround yourself with friends and it'll be the greatest time of your life.
Don't forget about visas
If you come from the EU, borders might seem like nothing more than lines on a map. Due to the freedom of movement, you don't need to worry about visas and in many cases you don't even need a passport. But America is entirely different. Make sure you read up on the visa process well in advance.
Do put together a killer application
There are many things to think about when you want to study in the US, but make sure you put together the best application you possibly can. Don't overlook the importance of the entrance exam. There are entrance exams for pretty much every type of degree, and these scores are vital to the process.
Do try the local cuisine
When you think of fine cuisine, Italy and France might be the first countries that spring to mind. But the US is a rich and diverse country when it comes to food. From the humble hot dog of New York to the killer Cajun food of Louisiana, every state has its own identity, and every single one is worth trying.
Do try out new sports
As tempting as it may be to politely inform your new American friends that real football is played with the feet and is a far superior sport, don't be that guy. Sport is a huge part of American culture and it's not something to be missed.
Don't forget about the degree
Studying abroad is an experience in itself, but make sure you come out of it with a great degree. Every student faces a challenge trying to balance their work with their social life, but if you get this wrong you can seriously hamper your future career prospects, so don't skip the library!
Below is a great infographic from Grad School Hub about "Choosing the Right Degree." It helps break down common things that every student should consider, and goes into detail regarding potential career paths and how they are associated with certain types of masters degrees.
Image compliments of Grad School Hub. Enjoy!
by Judith Phillips
Attempting multiple choice questions may seem easy enough. After all, you select a correct response from an array of choices. However, most test takers for teacher certification, nurse licensure or graduate school admissions dread the questions that require a structured response.
Many candidates, despite knowing the answer, are unable to present it in a convincing and organized manner. Unfortunately, structured responses are a part of all most professional level exams for adults. However, with the help of the "PKS Framework," any test taker can master the art of writing structured responses.
Electronic score reports from test developers like the Educational Testing Service (ETS) show candidates a chart of their performance indicators. This chart is crucial for test takers, as it shows them the areas needing improvement. While "stars" help to indicate the candidate's performance on the Multiple Choice Questions, letters such as "P", "K" and "S" explain the quality of the structured responses...
...Let me explain this more clearly below.
The PKS Framework
Not surprisingly, the PKS Framework originates from the examiners' remarks on the score report. Each of these enigmatic letters holds the secret of scoring well on structured essay responses on the exam. You will first need to know your teachers' test prep material thoroughly before you can master the PKS Framework by using any of the free practice tests and study guides that are easily available online.
Once you are well-versed in the subject matter requirements and have gone through your review material, it is time to practice writing structured responses for essay-based questions. A good answer in this kind of response would include three levels, as described below. Your answer must encompass all the three levels in order to be qualified as a good response. Here are the three levels of responses, denoted by the letters "P", "K" and "S":
1. "P" is for Purpose.
You must understand the rationale behind the question, that is, what is the question asking for? This is the purpose of the question. In addition to recognizing the purpose of the question, your response must be written in the form that reflects this understanding. Examiners give credit to responses that show a clear understanding of the question.
2. "K" is for Knowledge.
You must make use of accurate knowledge and technical terminology in the course of your response to show that you have acquired the required information on the topic. During practice, it would help if you can do further research on a topic that you find in your practice material. Checking online sources such as Wikipedia and Encarta Encyclopedia for basic knowledge is sufficient for this level.
3. "S" is for Support.
At this level in the response, the examiner expects you to support your arguments with rational reasoning based on accurate facts, theories or historical events. Each claim you make must be backed up with relevant facts. You can justify your stance on a topic by stating verified examples from credible authority sources.
Apply The PKS Framework For A Test Score Breakthrough
Keep the PKS Framework in mind as you go through your exam practice. Using this framework will give organization and clarity to your response, help improve your score and chances of passing your exam. Start today by answering some sample constructed response questions using this powerful and proven framework.
Judith Phillips is test coach and contributor to Test Score Breakthrough. She's a teacher who's passionate about test prep, developing new test practice methods and helping test takers succeed in NCLEX review, Praxis study, TExES practice and other nursing and teacher certification exams
by Michael Cahill
Graduate school is quickly becoming a prerequisite for the workplace, with the advanced degree serving as the standard requirement for job candidates across the spectrum of careers, from construction management to education.
Years ago, advanced degrees were reserved for specific professions such as accounting, college teaching, and medicine.
But the change in expectation in the past thirty years has also meant a change in the needs of millions of Americans, many of which are without adequate healthcare.
The major provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect in January 2014, and graduate students across the country are wondering how they can benefit from the reforms.
If you're on track to finishing a master's or a Ph.d, chances are you've made some considerable sacrifices already. The last thing you want to have to worry about is healthcare, which is all the more reason to know your options before the ACA's new plans become available in October.
With that thought in mind, let's go through some of your options in detail.
The 26-Rule: A Good Choice For Young Grad Students
In 2010, the Affordable Care Act made history by implementing a piece of legislation that allows individuals to obtain parental insurance coverage until age 26, regardless of pre-existing conditions.
If you are a young graduate student fresh out of college, this option is worth looking into.
Student Health Plans
Most full-time, on campus graduate programs offer some form of healthcare to students.
That being said, many grad students are well aware that these plans can sometimes be particularly inadequate when it comes to coverage.
Don't worry, however, if you're currently enrolled in a student health plan, you won't lose your plan as a result of the new reforms. In fact, your quality of care will improve as a result of the ACA.
Traditionally speaking, Student Health Plans are quick to deny services on the basis of pre-existing conditions such as chronic illnesses. They are also notorious for denying commonplace procedures such as physical exams and flu shots.
Thankfully, Student Health Plans are required to comply with provisions of the ACA that include no discrimination or denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, as well as a long list of mandated health services, ranging from emergency care to pediatrics.
If a student health plan isn't an option for you, catastrophic insurance might be the way to go.
Catastrophic plans are set up to protect you from an extremely high medical expense, such as major surgery. These plans come with low monthly payments, but consumers run the risk of paying higher out-of-pocket costs for routine medical services, like check-ups.
If you are healthy, are in a low-risk profession, and you don't require much in terms of continued medical care, this option might work well for you.
The new reforms will widen the scope of services as well, since catastrophic plans will have to comply with all requirements under the ACA, such as guaranteed issue and renewal, mandated health services, and the provisions barring discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
Medicaid: There's No Shame
There's no shame in Medicaid. The government sponsored healthcare program provides insurance to millions of Americans who can't afford it.
Many grad students find it difficult to hold down a decent job while in school, which often translates to no healthcare. And even if you're working two jobs and going to school, you might still be eligible to get the care you need, without cutting into your already slim budget.
If you make up to 100% of the Federal Poverty Line in a year, you may qualify for Medicaid.
But that can't be the only requirement, right?
Although eligibility criteria differ from state to state, the ACA has created an optional expansion to Medicaid. The expansion increases the maximum income level to 138% above the FPL, and widens applicant eligibility to include single childless adults, for the first time in U.S. History.
Subsidies: Tax Breaks That Could Help
If your income falls between 100 and 400% above the Federal Poverty Line and you're younger than 65, you might be able to get a break on the cost of an individual healthcare plan.
The ACA offers tax credits to individuals who meet the above requirements, and these credits can act as a considerable financial buffer for those who need it.
Grad students know just how difficult it is to maintain a consistent budget while working towards an advanced degree, and if you have an opportunity to save, why not take advantage of it?
This handy subsidy calculator from the Kaiser Family Foundation can even tell you how much money you're entitled to, when the insurance marketplaces open in October.
Michael Cahill is the Editor of the VistaHealth Solutions Blog. He writes about the healthcare system, health insurance industry and the Affordable Care Act. Follow him on Twitter at @VistaHealth and @VistaHealthMike
Danielle Rosvally -
This summer I'm reading for my exams. Which basically means that in my free time (and often times during my work day) I alternate between panicking and worrying.
By now, my friends are used to me showing up to social occasions bleary-eyed from reading restoration comedy off a computer screen all day. They're used to me turning any conversation into an excuse to review theater history. Those closest to me have even come to expect the teary mid-day phone call with hysteria edging my voice and have developed their own methods of talking me off the proverbial cliff.
Academia can be rough. It can be brutal. We often don't feel safe or comfortable enough to admit to our colleagues that the process of acquiring the coveted letters after our name is exhaustive, fearful, threatening, intimidating, and a host of other scary words that can make up our reality for fear that said colleagues will, like a pack of wild lions, attack the weak wildebeest. Isn't it ironic then that said colleagues can make the best support system when we're going through a tough time?
Among the other skills I have acquired this summer, I've also learned something about dealing with the darker parts of the PhD process. If you, like me, are dealing with a particularly difficult segment of the road to Doctorhood, here are some tips to help guide you through the trying times and navigate you to stiller waters.
1) Remember that panic and worry are wastes of energy and, above all, you don't have time for this. If you are going through a rough spot, chances are you have five million items of business on your plate. Worrying and panicking will not help you get these things done. It's often difficult to recall this in moments of weakness, but like anything else it becomes a habit. If you find yourself in the gear-grinding cycle of either worry or panic, take a moment to breathe and remind yourself that you could be doing something productive right now. It takes strength, but this is the first step to getting yourself back on track to getting things done.
2) Recognize when you are having productive thoughts and when you are having unproductive thoughts. Productive thoughts will lead you to action plans which will lead you, in the long run, to less stress (example: I'm not covering enough material, I'm worried I won't get through everything I need to get through on time...okay, let me look at my book list and my calendar and see what kind of a study plan I need to make and stick to that). Unproductive thoughts are generally the product of anxiety about things beyond our control (example: I'm worried I won't pass my exam and thus my fiercely-defended, very expensive life choice will amount to nothing and I will become a failure at life). Try to turn the unproductive thoughts into productive ones (okay, well, I won't fail my exam if I study correctly...maybe I should examine my study techniques and evaluate how I'm doing based on past exams).
3) If you absolutely cannot stop worrying, here's a trick that one of my psychiatrists taught me: schedule your worry time. It may sound odd, but think about it. If you absolutely must worry, you can at least confine the worrying to a certain ten-minute subset of your day (he recommended no more than ten minutes so as to curtail the cycle of unproductive worry). If you do begin to worry in a time that isn't "worry time," remind yourself that it's not time to worry and you can worry about whatever-it-is during its allotted window.
4) Speaking of psychiatrists, remember that you are not an island. There are plenty of people willing to help, and sometimes it takes some professional training to get you the best help. Extreme stress can cause all kinds of negative physical and psychological symptoms. If you're feeling overwhelmed, there's no shame in finding someone to talk to. Chances are your school has a mental health center, and if not, your insurance company can recommend someone in your area.
5) Take breaks, eat well, sleep well, and exercise. All of these things have been proven to assist in information processing. In addition, there's no way that you can do your best work if you aren't feeling your best. Take care of yourself and you will be more productive.
6) Know thyself. Know how much work you can do in a day, how long it will take you to accomplish this, and what your ideal work conditions are. If you can optimize your work-time, you will accomplish more and have even less reason to legitimately panic. Figure out what makes you function at your peak, and provide yourself with that opportunity to succeed. In some instances, this may involve adjusting your work hours - I know my peak functioning time is generally between 3PM and 9PM. Also figure out what you can do to pull yourself out of a slump when it (inevitably) happens. Do you need to call a friend? Take a walk? Give yourself a treat? Look at cute cat pictures on the Internet? Whatever it is, find out and do it. Taking ten minutes to comfort yourself when you're having a moment will, in the long run, be less intrusive on your day than stopping work for an hour because you got caught in a downward spiral.
7) Know when to say "no" and when to say "me." If you are experiencing academic crunch, you are allowed to be selfish with your time. You are allowed to need things while studying for your exams. You are allowed to say, "I can't do you this favor because I need to work this weekend." You are, in fact, encouraged to find the space for yourself in order to get through whatever it is that you need to get through. Your friends will understand.
8) When all else fails, try to remember why it was that you got into your field. What made you want to go for the PhD? What inspired your work? What do you love about this? Far too often we get caught up in the hassle of the daily grind and forget to return to the "love" portion of our inevitable love/hate relationship with grad school. Beneath the layers of administrative red tape and nightmare-inducing qualification exams, there's a kernel of joy. If there isn't, you wouldn't (and shouldn't) be here. Finding that joy can keep you grounded amidst a maelstrom of troubles if you can only take the time to remember.
As the summer wanes, I realize more and more that there is light at the end of the tunnel. While the process of becoming is not one that will ever truly end (take your exams, then you have to write your dissertation proposal. Proposal accepted, then you have to write your dissertation. Dissertation finished, then you have to defend it. Defend your dissertation, then you have to look for a job. Find a job, then you have to find a way to get tenure...), there will be darker places and lighter places. What's important to remember is that whatever stress you are under now, there will always be a definite transition point into something new, different, and hopefully less burdensome (...at least for the moment).
Keep calm, and study on my brethren.
Danielle Rosvally is a PhD student in Drama at Tufts University specializing in Shakespeare in performance. She holds an MA from Rutgers University and a BA from New York University. In addition, she has trained as an actor at such institutions as The American Globe Theatre, The Actor's Institute, Shakespeare & Company, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She publishes anecdotes about her academic adventures via her blog; http://www.daniprose.com.
Joshua Carp is a doctoral candidate in Psychology at the University of Michigan, where, he studies neuroimaging methods and develops tools to promote reproducible research. In his free time, he enjoys building web applications and learning new programming languages.
Over the past few years, a slew of articles have warned would-be academics away from graduate school, arguing that graduate students are overworked, underpaid, and underemployed once they complete their studies. Other commentators have passionately defended graduate education, dismissing such concerns as overblown. This debate highlights the dearth of information about graduate student well-being. Certainly, some graduate students struggle to make ends meet, and others live relatively comfortable lives. But, at the moment, it's hard to know how much money a typical graduate student is paid, or how much work she does. There's also little information about differences in working conditions across departments: my limited personal experience suggests that students in the natural sciences earn more than students in the humanities, but there is little hard evidence to back up intuitions like this.
To address these questions, I recently launched GradPay [ http://gradpay.org/ ], a survey of graduate student working conditions. The project is inspired by the Adjunct Project [ http://adjunct.chronicle.com/ ], but focuses on graduate students rather than adjunct faculty. The survey asks Master's and Ph.D. students about the work they do, the stipends they earn, and the health benefits they receive (if any). Some results are available on the site now; many new analyses will be added in the coming months. The results are available in real time on the project site [ http://gradpay.org/results/ ], but I've highlighted some of the most interesting findings here.
Although the survey has only been available since early in the year, the results have already started to shed light on graduate working conditions. Out of a total of 1,770 doctoral student respondents, the median annual stipend was $20,655. Respondents also reported working as teaching assistants for a median of 50% of their terms in school. Nearly all doctoral students received a stipend of some kind: about 3% of respondents reported a stipend of less than $10,000, and just 1.3% reported that they received no stipend at all. Over 16% of respondents reported that they worked as a teaching assist every semester; 6.3% of respondents indicated that they were never required to teach. Over one-fourth of respondents reported taking out loans to support their graduate education. Altogether, the typical graduate student is paid less than half of the average starting salary of a college graduate [ http://aol.it/Q2vIZt ]. Because the typical Ph.D. program takes at least five years to complete, choosing graduate school may entail taking a big financial penalty in the short term.
Stipends also varied widely across states, institutions, and departments. Doctoral students in Kansas reported the lowest stipends, at $12,875; Connecticutensians earned the highest median stipend of $28,000 (for a visual take on the geographic diversity of graduate stipends, check out the map visualization at the bottom of the post). At the institutional level, median stipends ranged from $11,580 at the University of Houston to $32,600 at Harvard. Last, at the disciplinary level, stipends varied from $12,000 in urban and regional planning to $30,000 in nuclear engineering.
Overall, the results of the GradPay survey paint a more complicated picture of graduate working conditions than one might expect. As warned by some commentators, some graduate students are in dire financial straits. Others, though, earn relatively respectable stipends and health benefits, and are rarely required to teach. The survey also reveals staggering differences across institutions and departments: students at the highest-paying university earned stipends over 180% more than stipends at the lowest-paying university.
There's still a lot of work to be done on the project. The results will become more accurate as more students complete the survey, and the website will become more informative as more analytics are added. If you want to get involved, you can forward the survey to graduate students, student advocacy groups, and university administrators: the address is http://gradpay.org/ . Or, if you have suggestions for new directions for the project or want to start a collaboration, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Median Stipend by State: Reds indicate high stipends, blues low stipends; black indicates missing data.
by Katrina Oko-Odoi
Too many graduate students think that if they excel in their classes, meet their program's deadlines for advancement to candidacy (or Master's thesis defense), and develop good relationships with their professors and advisers, they will be well prepared to enter the job market when the time comes. This belief has never been more false, especially in light of the recent economic crisis. While being proactive and involved has always been a valued quality in graduate students, it is more imperative than ever to make a name for yourself in your graduate program and your field if you want a good chance at landing a job once you complete your degree. That's where professionalization comes in.
Professionalization can be a daunting concept for those who are just starting out in their graduate career, but if you follow a few simple guidelines, the process will be much less painful. Who knows, you might even enjoy yourself along the way! In a nutshell, "professionalization" means the actions and decisions you take related to your growth and prominence as a scholar in your field. This relates to several different facets of your graduate career, including:
-Professional relationships you develop
-Academic/teaching positions you hold
-Leadership roles you take on
-Professional associations you join
-Professional conferences you attend
-Articles and books you (eventually) publish
But let's take it one thing at a time. My biggest piece of advice would be to start small and be patient with yourself. Becoming a professional in your field is a gradual process, and you can only gain experience and confidence through experience, which you build over time. Depending on your degree program, you have up to six or seven years to become a full-fledged professional, so take it slow.
THE FIRST STEPS IN PROFESSIONALIZATION
1. Begin within your department and university. The strongest and most important relationships you will forge will be with the faculty who are your immediate advisers and instructors.
o Make an effort to meet professors who have similar research interests.
o Take at least one class with those professors. Go to their office hours occasionally to touch base and chat about your common research interests or ask for their guidance on what current literature you should be reading to stay current in your field.
o Make friends with graduate students who are more advanced than you in the program. They are a great resource and are often your most supportive and understanding allies in your program.
o Avoid department politics. Yes, there are politics within any graduate program/department. There are professors who don't work well together, certain staff who clash with certain faculty, and even graduate students who don't get along with particular professors or staff. These issues may seem petty to you, but stepping on the wrong foot or offending the wrong person could seriously hinder your success in the program. Ask your friends who are more advanced in the program about any departmental politics you should be aware of.
o Volunteer to participate in department events like new student orientations and open houses, or to serve on a departmental or university committee.
o Attend department events regularly, especially those related to your research interests.
2. Become familiar with your discipline. Get to know the current issues being discussed by scholars in your field, and figure out who the most senior, respected scholars are within that circle.
o Ask your adviser or colleagues what professional associations would be appropriate for you to join. If you can afford to pay the membership fee, join at least 1 or 2 of the main associations related to your discipline (they usually have reduced rates for graduate students).
o Begin to read peer-reviewed journals related to your discipline and research interests (many professional associations publish their own journal, so as a member, you would receive journal issues). Once again, colleagues or faculty advisers are great resources for this type of information. You don't need to subscribe to these journals right away; you can check out the most recent issues from your university library for free. Peruse the articles to get a sense of the type of scholarship being produced in your field, and to begin familiarizing yourself with the writing style of the articles. It could be your article published in that journal in a few years time.
o Join email listserves related to your discipline within your university and on a regional or national level. Many professional associations allow non-members to subscribe to their listserve. Also, different schools or divisions in your university (Division of Arts and Humanities, for example) maintain email listserves that provide useful information about upcoming events as well as funding opportunities, etc.
Like I said, start small. As you become more comfortable in your field and you build confidence in yourself as a scholar, you can slowly start to widen your professional circle. But that comes later. For now, focus on getting to know the terrain, and you can learn how to navigate through the speed bumps and potholes when you're ready.
Best of Luck,
Founder and CEO, EditingWorm.com
This article is an excerpt from Katrina's forthcoming book on graduate student professionalization
For more tips on thriving in graduate school and beyond, check out Katrina's scholarly blog: http://editingworm.com/blog/
Often as graduate students the thought of becoming involved in a campus organization seems like a concept from our undergraduate past. After all, as our academic clock starts ticking many of us struggle with the idea that free time could be "better" spent on articles, research, and presentations. A year ago I paid little attention when the student-run journal in my department announced they were seeking a new Managing Editor, quickly putting together the list of excuses for why I was too busy to commit. But later that evening, I sent an email inquiring about the position, and requesting to meet with the current editor to ask a few questions.
That week I took over as Managing Editor, sharing responsibilities with a fellow student. Neither of us had ever run an academic journal before, but that's the point of student-run journals, they are meant as a first step into the world of academic publishing. If you plan on pursuing an academic career, this is your chance to familiarize yourself with the publication process before submitting your first journal article to be reviewed, edited, and hopefully accepted.
During the course of the year and with the help of our Editorial Board, we developed a theme and wrote a call for papers, learned to orchestrate the submission review process, sent rejection letters with heavy hearts, worked with authors to bring their articles up to publication standards, and saw first-hand how authors from around the world responded to the editing process. We shared excitement over receiving the first submissions, and momentary panic the day we wondered whether our theme might be too narrow to attract enough workable submissions to fill the volume. We spent hours in our office pouring over edits, filling subscription orders, and enjoying the sense of community that builds among people who are equally committed to the success of a project.
Universities are often host to a variety of student-run journals. For instance, UCLA boasts more than 30 titles in fields such as law, ethnomusicology, history, and education, among many others. Although there are more departments than journals, students are often involved with publications beyond the technical scope of their field, promoting cross-disciplinary engagement. For our journal in urban planning, it is common to receive messages from students in the social science inquiring about participation with our journal as article reviewers or even members of our board.
If your home department does not have a student-run journal, there are likely others on campus eager to hear from interested students -- locating titles could be as easy as an internet search for your campus publications office. Or start your own. Our journal began 20 years ago as a zine-like publication with a hand-drawn cardboard cover that featured student research and department news. Today our professionally-bound volumes contain cutting edge research from authors at world renowned institutions, and are sent to hundreds of libraries, scholars, and practitioners.
As you read this, boxes of our journals are on the way from the publisher and awaiting distribution. I'm looking forward to seeing the tangible evidence of our years work, but most of all I'm thankful I didn't talk myself out of what has proven to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my graduate career.
Nina M. Flores is the former Managing Editor of Critical Planning, a student-run journal in the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA. She will be part of a roundtable this fall discussing the future of student-run journals at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) in Cincinnati, OH. For more information about Critical Planning, visit our website at www.criticalplanning.org, or like us on facebook.
The graduate market in 2012 is set to be defined solely on a candidates work experience. Recent research has shown that Britain's top employers are going to be recruiting more graduates within the next year, but that a record number of jobs will be filled by graduates with relevant work experience.
High Fliers Research revealed that although there has been a gloomy outlook for the economy, the number of graduate vacancies will rise - especially for those who are just leaving university in 2012. This will make it the third consecutive year that the number of available graduate jobs has grown. Graduates can be expected to see an increase across the board with a large amount of growth within the financial services - an expected growth of 25% from the figures in 2010 and 34% growth from the lower figures of 2008.
What does this mean?
The report had an overbearing theme throughout; the requirement of work experience. Employers stressed that although a larger amount of graduates will be hired, those without relevant work experience after graduating will be at the bottom of the pile in terms of competition. This is particularly relevant when it comes to the most prestigious graduate employers that offer graduate schemes and jobs - 36% of the vacancies are predicted to be filled by candidates that have already had work experience within the organization during their studies.
How can I get Experience?
Trying to find relevant experience within your chosen industry may be quite difficult depending on the level of competition. A position in marketing for instance may be highly contested as it is a popular subject. However, you will often find that smaller organizations may not openly advertise positions but could be persuaded to take you on if you approach them in person. A personal approach is often the best way to gauge a company's interest in taking you on for work experience and to show the company that you're truly interested in a short term placement.
Familiarity could also be essential in you helping you get you a placement. For example, find an event that the company is sponsoring offer yourself as a volunteer. Take this time to learn a little bit more about the company and think about going to Human Resources and asking them about potential placements/internships or schemes. Hopefully, when it comes to the application process, the fact you have met before should help your application stand out from the crowd (with any luck they will recognize your name).
Your CV is of the utmost importance, you rather than designing you CV to look like everyone else's out there, make sure it is tailored to your prospective profession. Search the web or use any contacts you may have to craft the perfect CV. Although experience is important, the way in which you present your best qualities can often be the difference between a job or not. Also, do everything you can to get personal recommendations as not only will they help give credence to your CV but they will show your prospective employer that you can network as well as highlighting your clearly hard working nature.
Another useful resource that may often be overlooked is the careers service provided by your university. These invaluable services are created in order to give graduates advice and guidance for their chosen career path. This will include placing students on work experience placements and knowing the right contacts within each industry. If you still need further help then seek out the lecturers themselves - undoubtedly they will have contacts within agencies and if not they will know who the key players are or what graduate program is worth considering.
As undergraduate education becomes more accessible and affordable, exceptional students are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the pack. Attending graduate school is one way to give yourself an edge. A masters degree signifies expertise on a given topic, and employers see this high level of education as a sign of a strong work ethic. If you've developed an academic passion, graduate school allows you to put your best foot forward on the path toward landing your dream job. With institutions evolving to meet the needs of potential students, there may be no better time to consider the advantages of graduate school.
Graduate school offers students an in-depth look at a chosen interest and prepares them for the professional challenges and opportunities associated with that industry. While undergraduate programs offer a broad scope of academia and give you an idea of the many majors in college, graduate programs focus on providing students with tools needed to succeed. The right graduate program will give you the insight and experience to hit the ground running as you enter the workforce.
While the education process is rewarding and important in and of itself, it also represents the means to a brighter future. The ability to gain employment after graduation is important to consider when creating an education plan. While a bachelor's degree has traditionally been a ticket to long-term employment stability, some experts believe that the pool of job-seekers with four-year degrees is oversaturated.
"A bachelor's is what a high school diploma used to be," American Association of Colleges and Universities representative Caryn McTighe Musil told the Christian Science Monitor.
The 2010 census revealed that 30.4 percent of Americans over age 25 held at least a bachelor's degree, compared with 10.9 percent who hold a graduate degree, according to the New York Times. A graduate degree puts you in an exclusive class of Americans, an advantage that stands out in a stack of resumes.
Not only does a graduate degree offer short-term advantages in the job market, it's also beneficial in the long run. On average, those with a master's degree earn $2.67 million over their lifetime, nearly half a million dollars more than those with only a bachelor's degree, according to U.S. News. The academic rigors and scheduling obstacles associated with graduate school may seem overwhelming, but the opportunity to earn higher compensation usually validates the struggle.
The hands-on nature of many graduate programs transforms the traditional teacher-student relationship into a mentorship. Teachers and students often engage in research together, acting as peers. This foundation of respect fosters personal growth and professional trust. A graduate-school professor can become your best reference, offering an up-close and personal account of your knowledge and ability. If you're looking to put your work ethic on the line commit to a graduate program, the dividends can be invaluable.