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Grad school application essentials

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Grad school application essentials

  1. 1. Location: POD 60Phone: (416) 979 – 5177Email: career@ryerson.caHours: Mon – Thu 8:30 am – 6:30 pm/Fri 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  2. 2. Career Development WorkshopsGet ReadyKnow yourself and what youwantGet SetPresent yourself with styleGOMake your move• Discover Your CareerPassion• The “Wow” Factor: Resumes& Cover Letters that standout• Job Search Strategies thatMaximize Results• Pinpointing Resources forCareer Planning• Interview Techniques thatLand the Job• Leveraging Social Media forYour Job Search• Grad School ApplicationEssentials• LinkedIn: Developing CareerConnections & EffectiveProfiles• Keep It Pro: BusinessEtiquette & Dress• Make it a Breeze:Transitioning from School toWork• Don’t Slurp the Soup! Tipsfor Dining Etiquette Success• Showing Achievements:Crafting an EngagingPortfolio
  3. 3. Agenda1. Introduction2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)3. Personal Statements4. References5. Admissions Exams6. “Kisses of Death”7. Summary
  4. 4. IntroductionSo you’re thinking about grad school?First things first…
  5. 5. DisclaimerGraduate school requirements and applicationswill vary depending on the program and school
  6. 6. Introduction• Undergraduate degree• 3 or 4 years• Often pre-requisite courses• Academic achievement• Minimum “B” or “B+” GPA or higher• Minimum GPA usually higher for professionalschools• Often emphasis on 3rd or 4th year• Relevant experience• Admissions exam (if applicable)• Grad school applicationGraduate school admissions requirements:
  7. 7. Introduction• Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume• Post-secondary transcripts• Personal statement / Letter of intent• References• Admissions exam score (if applicable)• Other supporting documents (if applicable)Grad school application components:Curriculum vitaePersonal statementReferencesAdmissions exam
  8. 8. Curriculum Vitae (CV)What is a Curriculum Vitae or CV?
  9. 9. CV vs. ResumeCV ResumeLengthContentUseFor employersoutside of academiaor researchNo page limitEmphasis on academicexperience (e.g. research,teaching, publications)Skills, experience,education1 or 2 pagesFor academic or researchpositions, grad school,fellowships, grants
  10. 10. CV: Tips & Formatting• Clear, well-organized and logical• Relevant and necessary info (concise)• Full name and page #’s on every page• Professional font, size 11-12 (body)• 1 inch margins• Consistent formatting• Reverse chronological orderWhen writing your CV, aim for:
  11. 11. CV: Possible SectionsApplicant Information PresentationsEducation Professional ExperienceHonours and Awards /Grants / Fellowships /PatentsProfessional Affiliations /AssociationsResearch ExperienceConferences / SeminarsAttendedTeaching Experience Travel / Study AbroadAcademic Experience LanguagesPublications References
  12. 12. CV: Academic ExperienceCombine research and teaching under “AcademicExperience”, if you have less experience.
  13. 13. CV: Publications & PresentationsPublications section can be divided into:• Books• Book Reviews• Abstracts• Peer-Reviewed Articles• Work Submitted• Work in Progress, etc.• Include dates, locations, presentation titlesFor publications and presentations, use appropriatecitation form for your field.Presentations
  14. 14. Personal StatementsWhat is a personal statement?
  15. 15. Personal StatementsPreparation:• Start early!• Think about your achievements, challenges, orobstacles – what makes you unique?• Speak to family and friends to get their views onyour achievements/challenges• Brainstorm and write freely• Review the Q’s you need to answer• Pen your 1st draft – content over style• Edit and write several drafts, make sure youanswer the Q’s that are asked
  16. 16. Personal Statements• Why you?• What makes you unique?• Highlight relevant experience, skills,qualifications, achievements• Research interests? (If applicable)• Academic background – how have you prepared?• Why that program?• Why that school?• Career goals (short and long term)• Address discrepancies (e.g. grades, program change)• How would you be an asset to the program?Topics usually addressed:
  17. 17. Personal Statements• Research schools and programs• Look up research interests of potential supervisors –ensure they are a good fit with your own• Contact / speak to potential supervisors in advance(esp. for thesis based programs)Additional tips:
  18. 18. Personal Statements• Interesting intro paragraph with a “hook”• Details, details, details – use specific examples / stories• Write clearly – avoid run on sentences and jargon• Proofread! No spelling or grammar errors• Avoid clichés• Avoid controversial subjects (e.g. religion or politics)• Get feedback from career centre, professors, individualsin fieldAdditional tips (Cont’d):
  19. 19. References• 2-3 references usually required• Notify references as early as possible• Letters from professors or professionals who canattest to your academic ability and fit for a program• Get reference letters from individuals who can giveyou a STRONG reference• Provide gentle reminders about application date• Send thank you once letter sent
  20. 20. ReferencesMaterials to give to (potential) references:• Transcript• CV or resume• Written sample• Correspondence with grad programs• Personal statement draft• List of other perspective references• Stamps, envelopes, forms (if applicable)• Suggestions for letterSource: Donald Asher, Graduate Admissions Essays
  21. 21. ReferencesQ’s to ask references:“Dr. _______, would you be comfortable giving me astrong recommendation for graduate study in _______?”“Dr. _______, what will you be able to say about me?”“Dr. ________, I’ll be applying by (date). Will you be ableto have the letter ready by then?”Source: Donald Asher, Graduate Admissions Essays
  22. 22. Graduate School Admissions ExamsExam TypeDental Admission Test(DAT)Dental SchoolGraduate ManagementAdmission Test (GMAT)Business SchoolGraduate RecordExaminations (GRE)Graduate SchoolLaw School AdmissionTest (LSAT)Law SchoolMedical CollegeAdmission Test (MCAT)Medical School
  23. 23. “Kisses of Death”• Damaging personal statements• Discussing personal mental health• Excessive altruism• Too much self-disclosure / unprofessional• Harmful letters of recommendation• Unsuitable applicant characteristics• Inappropriate references• Lack of program focus / fit• Poor writing and grammar• Tacky attempts to impressMajor grad school application turn offs:Source: Appleby, D. & K., Kisses of Death in the Grad. School App. Process
  24. 24. SummarySubmit a strong grad school application bypreparing well in advance, conductingresearch, and getting feedback from trustedsources.
  25. 25. ResourcesCareer Resource Centre – POD60A
  26. 26. Connect With Us!www.facebook.com/RyersonCareerwww.twitter.com/RyersonCareerwww.youtube.com/RyersonCareerRyerson University CareerDevelopment & Employment Centrewww.ryerson.ca/careerContact Information:Location: POD 60Phone: (416) 979 – 5177Email: career@ryerson.caHours: Mon. – Thur. 8:30 am – 6:30 pmFri. 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

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