Sharaya S. is a first year graduate student majoring in Education at Wayne State Univeristy. Join Sharaya as she hosts a three part series blog giving tips and personal experiences on how to successfully transition into graduate school!
5 Tips for Grad School Success: Series 1
So you have an interest in Graduate School? You’re contemplating if additional schooling will make a difference in your future. Why take it now when I can take it later and other doubting, curious questions. Before I give you awesome advice, let me tell you a little about why I applied to graduate school. Like many aged out foster care youth attending college I’m a first generation college graduate. First attending Wayne Community College (Detroit, MI) before transferring to Wayne State University, I have always been better at school than anything else. I enjoy school and when I graduated in May 2017 I still didn’t quite know what I wanted to do in life as a career. I started to ask people around me if a master’s degree was worth it to them… and more people said yes than no so I applied and got in.
I just completed my first semester as an Education major specializing in Learning, Design & Technology. Now I will share with you 5 Tips for Grad School Success, a three part blog series. One and two will be part one of the series. Three and four will be part two of the series. And part five will be part three of the series! Now what? If you’re thinking about enrolling in graduate school without taking time off (like I did) I would start with step one.
Step 1: Investigating: Do some investigating – think prep period.
Think about other options:
Start early… junior or senior year:
I personally wanted to enhance my experience with something new. I choose education because I always loved school. Being a teacher would be a great career to make a meaningful difference in society but still would leave me time for summer, weekends and family holidays.
Step 2. Get advice
Thinking that graduate school will be just like undergrad is a huge reality check. Be aware of the commitment you are thinking about. When looking into grad school the first question that you should try to answer is why… Why do you want to go to grad school?
Talk to multiple advisors. Much like getting a diagnosis from a mechanic… always get a second opinion. Never forget you have access to an academic advisor. Your advisor is there to help with any questions you may have regarding programs, research, faculty issues, cost, etc. There are scholarships, financial aid, work-study, stipends that can help you with the cost of attending graduate schools.
Internships The more you experience pre-graduation of undergrad or post-graduation, the more likely you are to find your way. It pays to know sooner rather than later if corporate life is not for you or if being in the great outdoors is what makes you smile; think about if you love a creative, artsy environment versus a structured corporate environment.
Fellowships Don’t forget about them! If your advisor doesn’t have the answers for you, research fellowships that might be able to point you in the right direction of a contact who will. It’s even advisable to set up a meeting with someone to check in and see how things are in that field (shadowing), so many students neglect to do this.
Research and review loan options
Stay tuned for steps 3, 4, and 5 of my blog “Tips for Grad School Success!”
If you would like to know more about Sharaya, listen to her FSM Student Strength Story on our podcast series and follow her on Instagram @texasbabii_.
Fostering Success Michigan is a statewide initiative that aims to increase access and success in higher education and post-college careers for youth with experience in foster care. Learn how you can contribute to building a holistic network that insulates (i.e., strengthens protective factors and reduces risks) the education to career "pipeline."Make a Donation