If you are intending to apply to graduate school either immediately after your bachelor's degree or in the future, please check out the steps that you should follow. Many graduate schools prefer that students work a year or two before applying to a master's program. They feel you can both contribute and gain more from a graduate program if you have already gained some experience in the field you are entering. This is especially true for areas like business administration, social work and communications.
To discuss the process of applying to graduate school in more depth or to have your goal statement critiqued, make an appointment in the Career Services Center. If you are planning to go to law school, make an appointment with the Pre-law Advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences. If you are planning on medical school or other health related professional school, make an appointment with the Pre-health Advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Here you can find a step-by-step guide to Graduate/Professional School!
- Schedule Your Career Counseling Appointment for a career check-in
Students meet with a career counselor to discuss the career issues of their choice. The counselor will likely ask about personal and career background, interests, coursework, and related aspects that effect career decision making to ensure a good understanding of the student’s unique situation.
- Take a Career Course
Each semester the Career Services Center offers courses on topics ranging from career planning to job search. Currently some of these courses are listed in the course bulletin under ARSC but are open to all majors.
- The career courses, MARQ (ARSC) 1040: Career Planning and Decision Making and MARQ (ARSC) 1050: Job Search Strategies have been cancelled for the upcoming fall and spring semester. In lieu of these courses, the Career Services Center is developing and implementing a new concept of Career Groups. Career Groups will provide the same educational piece for students seeking career education and professional preparation but will provide a more flexible and amenable group dynamic to better serve students. Career Groups will be offered regularly beginning mid-semester of Fall 2014.
- Determine Your Transferrable Skills
functional skills are built into your liberal arts education and are valued by employers. A bit of reflection will allow you to see that your courses, research projects, college work experience, extracurricular activities, internships and field study experiences have all been instrumental in providing you with valuable skills.
- Conduct Career Research: Programs and Schools
The best way to learn what it is really like in a particular career fields is through research. This can be done in two ways: online resources and informational interviewing (talking to people in the field).
- Conduct Informational Interviews with professionals in your field of interest
Talking to people who currently are in positions and career fields that interest you is one of the best ways to gain valuable career information. The Career Services Center has resources to help you complete this step using LinkedIn and the Marquette University Alumni Association Network.
- Develop Your Occupational Targets
Having one to three clear Occupational Targets helps you better communicate with those in your professional network and with potential employers. Your Occupational Target is a personal statement defining the specifics you wish to attain through work.
- Find a Career-Related Experience such as an internship, co-op, part-time job, or summer job
Taking time to gain skills required or preferred in your career field of interest only make you a stronger candidate. Participating in a career-related experience expands your professional network, exposes you to a professional work environment, and helps make the connection between your academics and your future career.
- Write Your Professional Resume and Cover Letter
Resumes prove that you are qualified for the position. Therefore having a great resume that outlines your strengths, skills, career goals, and interest in a particular career field is necessary.
- Gather References and Letters of Recommendation
It's important to be prepared to provide a list of employment references who can attest to the skills and qualifications that you have for the job you are applying for. Plan ahead and get your references in order, before you need them.
- Take Entrance Exams for Post-Graduate Education Programs
Usually an admissions test is required for graduate or professional school application.
- Write Personal Statement for Post-Graduate Education
Post Grad Education often requires an essay or personal statements. The overall application package will represent who "you" are to people whom you will most likely not know personally. The written expression of your qualities as an applicant will often be a very important way for decision makers to get to know why you are an acceptable candidate for their program.
- Develop Your Professional Network and Join LinkedIn
More than 75% of new hires are identified through professional networks. Joining LinkedIn and connecting with industry-related groups and the Marquette University Alumni Association is a great place to start developing your network.
- Develop Your Target List
Targeting employers and programs puts you in full control of your search. Think about those employers for whom you would like to work or programs and institution you would like to attend.
- Attend Career Fairs and Networking Events
Simply showing up for career fairs and networking events is not enough. The Career Services Center has activities and resources to help you learn how to prepare and how to follow up for professional events.
- Create Your Elevator Pitch
Having a prepared “sales pitch” that describes your occupational target or career goal will arm you with all you need to begin an intelligent and effective conversation with new professional contacts. Be sure to include where you are now (degree, program, year in college), where you have been (career-related, leadership, part-time work experience), and where you are going (future goals).
- Develop Your Interviewing Skills
Selling yourself in the context of a job interview involves talking about yourself in a way that effectively communicates your well-earned and genuine skills, accomplishments and talents that relate to your fit for a position. Knowing yourself, and what you have to offer employers will help you to confidently articulate your attributes during an interview.
- Build Your Career Wardrobe
It is important to project a professional image. As you know, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
- Start the Decision Making Process
Decision-making is not to be taken lightly. People make decisions a variety of ways. Career decisions may include anything from choosing a major to comparing job offers.
- Understand Financial Matters and Benefits
Before making any decisions about your first job, be sure to explore and define your financial needs such as negotiating offers, weighing multiple offers, and other salary lessons.
- Complete Application Requirements
In addition to a resume, cover letter, and list of references you may be asked to submit writing samples. In the case of Post-Grad Service a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and answers to supplemental questions may be requested. For Post-Grad Education you will most likely be required to submit a personal statement, official transcripts, application fees, letters of recommendation, and a separate application.
- Develop The Art of Professionalism
Any new experience gives you a chance to re-define yourself. Whether you are beginning a new internship, job, graduate school program, or service program focus on creating the professional image that aspire to.
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