I’ve been wrapping up my senior year with the typical job search and graduate school applications. However, instead of flying blindly I decided to talk to Hanover’s Career Center and alumni from the grad school I want to attend who could give me the ins and outs. They really gave me a perspective on the many opportunities that grad school can offer. I learned a few tips that may help others looking forward to graduate school and careers.
First of all, try not to choose a graduate program that is too specific. If you know for sure that you want to work with environmental policy, then go for it. However, do consider a more general degree in public policy because it will translate later on if you change your field and could be more desirable for employers.
Second, like your undergrad choice, make sure you visit the graduate school because you HAVE to be comfortable on the campus to succeed.
Next, do lots of research. Make sure you understand the costs involved and whether or not you can get in-state tuition if you move to a new state. Be sure you know whether or not you can defer attendence a year or a semester in case you do not get a job right away (and need an income to pay for it). You can always apply and defer your attendence when you’ve got a job lined up and your feet on the ground.
Expand your job search. You can find a decent job you may not necessarily want to do forever that will get you through graduate school and then find your career later. Most graduate schools have placement programs that can get you very specific jobs in the field you want to work in.
Finally, if you wind up like most college students and have no idea what you want to do by the time you graduate you can always wait to go to graduate school. Most students take a few years off to get their feet on the ground in the “real world” before choosing a career path or more education. Know that whatever you choose, Hanover’s Career Center will be there for you both during your four years as a student (for internships and summer jobs) as well as 20 years down the road when you find you want a career change. You can rely on your alma mater forever to help enhance your future.