Thinking About Grad School?

I really wanted to do a post on education this month. It is something that has been eating at me for some time now, and I hope that the information you receive from this post will enlighten you.

My hope is that for those of you who have been considering attending graduate school, that this will not deter you from that idea but instead encourage you.

After my undergraduate studies in engineering, I knew eventually I was going to want to go back to school to pursue an education in a business related field. At the time in 2013 when I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I didn’t know I would be going back to school so soon.

My decision was based on a career trajectory I had in mind for my future. I knew where I wanted to go, I just didn’t know how to get there. So if you are experiencing related symptoms, I hope you will find this information helpful.

  1. To start with, you must first ask yourself “What do I see myself doing for the next 5-10 years?”

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The answer to this question will give you insight into what you really want to do long-term. For me, I knew I wanted to be in management working for a notable company where I felt my efforts and my talents were being used to better the company and better people.

2. Next, you want to lay out a map or plan of how you will attain the future goal you see for yourself. (Plans do change, so this is just used to organize your thoughts). Writing my ideas out and mapping my plans has always worked for me, so do what works for you!

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3. Once you have an idea of what you want to do and ideas on how you can get there, do your research! Research is very important. Your plans can change, and often what happens is you realize that what you thought you wanted to do really isn’t what you actually want to do. Trust me, do your research.

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You want to seek out professionals in the field or department you are interested in and pick their brains. Ask them the questions you want to know. Linkedin is a great portal for this kind of professional interaction. You also want to research the field or industry you are interested in. There are numerous amounts of information online and in library databases that can help you with this. Use these tools to your advantage.

4. Next, you want to research and see if graduate school is for you. Not everyone is interested in taking the academic route. You may want to start work in another field and use the experience you gain on the job as your education. Either approach works if you are committed to the goal and knowledgeable about the pros and cons.

However, if graduate school is the next route for you, research the school and program that will propel you towards your goal. Poets & Quants is a great online tool to research different school programs and see their rankings. For me, I knew I wanted to be in management and eventually hold an executive role with a technical aspect- so I chose to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management at the University of Texas at Austin. They have a great supply chain program and their business school is ranked among the top 25 in the nation.

The possibilities are endless. When you think, plan, and believe- there is nothing that can stand in your way.

You are not a slave of your reality; you are a slave of your perception of your reality, and your perception can change.”- Dr. John Bergman

 

God bless,

Crystal Ngumezi

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