Are You A Fit For Grad School?

Five things to consider before submitting your application.

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Graduate school provides a place for students to develop their work and realize their goals, but it also requires hard work and focus. How can you decide if graduate studies are right for you?

Anja Novkovic, a GradProSkills facilitator and MSc candidate in Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies at Concordia University, offers five things to reflect on before you apply.

1. KNOW WHY Whether you want to improve your job prospects, develop a project or pursue a career in academia, you need to love what you are doing in graduate school. When the big stressors hit, understanding why you are there may be the only thing that keeps you going.

2. GET INFORMED Prospective students should review their department’s website and speak to their potential supervisor to get an idea of what to expect from their program. Department assistants are also a great resource, as are current and former students.

3. TELL A STORY When writing your application, it is key that you build a narrative of who you are as a person, researcher and student. Also, be sure to mention the potential you will bring to your program.

4. AVOID COMMON PITFALLS Poor writing and editing, as well as a lack of attention to application requirements, are the two biggest offenders when students submit their applications. Use a thesaurus so you are not repeating the same words over and over, and get a friend to look over your proposal to see how it reads.

5. BE CONFIDENT You need to ask if you believe in yourself before applying for graduate studies. If the answer is no, ask yourself why and work on it. Imposter syndrome is one of the biggest obstacles to success in graduate school.

Remember that where you start off does not determine where you end up. Just breathe, relax and know you will get to where you are meant to be.

Find out more about Concordia University’s graduate programs.