Monday, June 1, 2009

NCORE 2009: Your Graduate School Application

Another of the earlier sessions that I was able to attend was about preparing to enroll in graduate school, which is one of the options I have been weighing. The presentation was insightful, as I had not done very much to bring my law school ambitions to fruition. I had been studying for the LSAT, but only on a limited basis (bored in the bathroom). The first point they stated was that you need at least 2-3 letters of recommendation. 

Also, you will be asked to write a personal statement and a statement of purpose, and I found the difference between these two interesting. A statement of purpose should simply tell, why you want to attend that particular grad school, and your intentions for your degree. A personal statement is more in depth, and it connects your unique life story and experiences to your intended field of study. Like any piece, it should be well written, with accurate grammar and correct spelling. The presenters suggested proofreading and having it looked over by at least 4 people, with three being professionals outside of your major. This is to provide objectivity, because many grad school application committees pull from across the university, for the same reason; objectivity.

Also they suggested adding a CV (Curriculum Vitae) to your application, in addition to your resume. Many people (including me) tend to see the resume and CV as the same thing, but really the CV provides the room to describe your experiences in more detail than a resume allows. It should also show the results of your experiences, i.e. what you learned while working for Wal-Mart. You can actually start this now, by making you own virtual CV. Here's mine!

I really think it is great how NCORE provides these sessions for students, as I know even with all of my involvement in pre-professional organizations that there are still things that I might not know about post grad life. 

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