Applying To Grad School


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  • Introduce yourself. Program of interest? Where you are in the application process?
  • The important this is to STAY ORGANIZED. Have a system for keeping all your info….excel spreadsheet with deadlines, date you sent in paperwork, etc.Today we will touch on the personal statement and letters of recommendations. Tomorrows workshop will be on Financial Aid
  • Think back to one of your earliest experience or moments when you realized that you wanted to pursue a career in policy or medicine. Jot down that experience. Share with a partner.
  • Thoughts about this intro?
  • Thoughts about this intro? How does it differ from the previous intro?Your intro will set the stage for the rest of your essay and keep your reader interested. “There’s your story”
  • Writing is an art, not so much a science.Remember that you need to capture and audience, not bore them with mundane details
  • If accepting applications at a certain time, get your application in early for early considerationFollowing applications instructions = grad school success (no more hand holding)
  • Avoiding the world of work is not a good reason to go to grad school. Grad school is a huge financial decision Does a general degree (MBA, counseling, law) offer specializations of interest? Address the elephant in the room (low GPA, minimal extracurricular activities, need to work)
  • Couple that I want to point out….
  • You can find this list on the Cal Career Services website
  • Meeting with your potential recommender can help your clarify your career goals.
  • Applying To Grad School

    1. 1. Apply to Graduate School:Tips for Success<br />Neepa Parikh, M.S., N.C.C.<br />Career Counselor<br />
    2. 2. The Application Process<br /><ul><li>The application
    3. 3. A personal statement
    4. 4. Non-refundable application fee
    5. 5. Financial Aid application
    6. 6. Official college transcripts
    7. 7. Test scores (usually sent from the testing service)
    8. 8. Letters of recommendation </li></ul>Note: Many programs provide an application checklist on their website<br />
    9. 9. Writing Exercise<br />Think back to one of your earliest experience or moments when you realized that you wanted to pursue a ________. <br />
    10. 10. Sample Introduction #1<br /> I have been planning a career in medicine for several years, but as an undergraduate I concentrated on getting a solid background in math and science. After graduation, I took a job to allow myself time to thoroughly think through my plans and to expose myself to a variety of work situations. This strategy has been very valuable to me in rounding out my career plans. <br /><br />
    11. 11. Sample Introduction #2<br />The last thing I remember is falling asleep during a late night rerun of the Twilight Zone. So when it happened, it was especially eerie, like I had stepped into a lost episode, but Rod Serling was nowhere in sight; for a moment, neither was anybody else. At 4:31 AM a merciless shove pushed me off my bed. I crawled on the floor, trying to escape the cruel, uncontrollable shaking, but it followed me. It followed me down the stairs and underneath the dining room table where my family joined me. Little did I realize that before the morning sun rose again, I would see everything differently. <br /><br />
    12. 12. Writing a Personal Statement<br />The best way to start is to start TODAY!<br />Make a writing date with a friend<br />This is a document about you, your experiences and qualifications – not a research paper or your philosophy about life<br />Research schools to best tailor your personal statement<br />Consider the reader<br />Proofread, proofread, and proofread again.<br />
    13. 13. What admissions is looking for…<br />There is no one perfect way to write a personal statement.<br />Generally looking for: <br />Persuasive Writing<br />Self-awareness and exploration<br />Real-life Examples<br />Good Writing<br />Entertainment<br />Someone who reads the prompt instructions carefully.<br />Someone who turns in application materials early or on time.<br />
    14. 14. Questions to Answer…<br />Why do you want to go to graduate school?<br />What area do you want to specialize in?<br />What have you done that has prepared you for graduate study?<br />Do you have any roadblocks in your past or application?<br />Who are you?<br />
    15. 15. Tips from a UCSF Grad Student<br />Always speak from a positive perspective<br />Demonstrate skills/qualities by example<br />Don’t make excuses for your mistakes – show how you’ve learned from them<br />If family/health/money/workload issues have affected your GPA, explain how you have persevered and got back on track<br />Describe your research interests and how they’ve developed<br />Describe your career goals and how your graduate degree will help you attain them<br />Get feedback from friends, colleagues, professors, career counselors<br />
    16. 16. Words and Phrases to Avoid without Explanation<br /><br />
    17. 17. Letters of Recommendation <br />Usually about 2-3 letters<br />Can be uploaded at<br />Forms can be downloaded from each of the program’s websites<br />
    18. 18. Tips for obtaining outstanding Letters of Recommendation<br />Cultivate and keep meaningful relationships with professors and supervisors<br />Letters should refer to your specific skills, abilities, knowledge, discipline, potential, etc. <br />Meet with recommenders to talk about your career/academic goals and provide them with your resume, class papers, personal statement, etc. <br />ASK EARLY!<br />Ask in the summer or early in the semester when faculty is less busy. <br />Ask at least 3-4 weeks beforehand<br />Gives faculty ample time and saves you some stress<br />Use recommenders’ response as an indication of whether to include them as a recommender<br />