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Is Grad School Right for You? (Part 1)

- Friday, January 29, 2010

Every applicant should consider several crucial questions before embarking upon the time-consuming admissions process to law school, medical school, dental school, business school, and other graduate programs. To help you determine whether you should take the plunge, the Sibia Admissions team will be presenting and discussing some questions in the following blog posts. These questions should help you to evaluate whether you are truly invested in attending a graduate school program, whether this is the right time in your life to do so, and whether you have selected the most appropriate program, given your professional goals.

Should I seek employment instead?

First, for most students, graduate school can be a financially draining investment. Given your specific personal commitments (i.e., if you are in the position to support a family in addition to yourself) and financial status, you may consider gaining some work experience before applying to graduate school.

Some fortunate graduate students receive enough financial aid, scholarship funds, and teaching stipends to cover their living expenses as well. Other applicants, however, would be well advised to take into account living expenses in addition to tuition, as well as the duration of their programs, before determining whether they are in the position to take on full-time graduate study.

Second, some types of graduate programs may value relevant professional work experience (such as MBA programs). Furthermore, you could utilize such positions to your advantage, as work experience in the related field can help you to determine whether you are genuinely interested in that academic area.

For example, some law school applicants take a few years between college and law school to work in law firms and thus gain more insight into the daily life of a practicing attorney. Many MBA applicants have worked for several years in the finance and business sectors and can draw upon the knowledge and skills they have gained to enhance their applications.

Finally, college seniors in particular should make sure that they are not burned out from their undergraduate experiences and are prepared to begin several more years of intensive academic study. If you feel even slightly uncertain about pursuing a graduate program, do not be afraid to take time off from school to explore all of your interests. This may be daunting to do during senior year, when you may feel that your classmates are certain about their professional goals and are charging full steam ahead. Nonetheless, it will be most beneficial to you in the long run to take the time to determine what’s best for you.

If you have decided to apply to graduate school programs, gain an edge over other applicants by enlisting the consulting and editing services of Sibia Admissions! You can explore our Web site, or contact us via email or phone to learn more about how we can help you.

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