The time has almost come. You are in your senior year and don’t know what you want to do upon graduation. For students confused about what to do next, reaching out to graduate students at your college or university might have helpful advice to offer.
Though the global economy is slowly getting better, I believe there has never been a better time to stay in school for an extra one or two years. It is my belief that education always has value and can also help you score a bigger paycheck once you are done with your graduate program.
Here are my five reasons why you should go to graduate school:
1) Multiple funding options: Almost all schools have graduate assistants. These are masters or doctoral students who work part-time at the college or university, in their field of expertise, while earning their degree. You may have already been in touch with a graduate assistant at your school in the form of a teaching assistant, advising assistant or researcher. The best part of this position is that you can build your resume while often receiving a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend to help pay for room and board.
2) Connections, connections, connections: Mentors are everywhere around graduate school, and you will often work with them one-on-one. Many will have went through the same process you are experiencing and most won’t hesitate to help with your training. They may even offer you their own connections to potential internships and job positions.
3) Marketing yourself: Publishing your work is one way to get your name into the field. There are many topics that deserve dedicated research and many journals just waiting for your articles to bring a new perspective to a particular field. Often, faculty can help you find sources, style your paper and tell you when and to whom you should send your abstract.
4) When in Rome…: For those who like to travel, graduate school might be the ticket to your destination! There are many scholarships available to fund your research travels. If your interest is in a foreign culture or market, travel during graduate school can be the door to success.
5) Because you like being in school: There’s nothing wrong in admitting it. There’s a comfortable feeling about being immersed in campus life, having your friends around and not worrying about working nine to five every day. This is your opportunity to slowly transition to the real world.
Perhaps graduate school is the right path for you – Learn more by reaching out to graduate students and PRSA members in your area to learn more about possible options. You never know who could be willing to help!
What do you think about going to graduate school? Sound off in the comments below!
Juan Mundel is a master’s of science in journalism graduate student at West Virginia University. Originally from Argentina, he worked in public relations for a private university before his program at WVU. Mundel has been a graduate assistant for more than four years.