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Grad School Waffles

February 15, 2009
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I am going to apply to grad school. I think – and I need some advice, feedback and war stories. I am almost 100% applying to school for my MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology for the Fall 2009 semester.

And in random order, some bullet points why:

  • My pretty decent GRE scores are about to “expire.” I either apply now, or re-take them later. This seems unlikely and painful.
  • It actually really upsets me that I don’t have my Masters in something. I never thought I would stop at my BA, and it’s a personal goal.
  • I really, really like the study of Industrial/Organizational Psych. I read about it anyway, and it fascinates me. I kind of think of it as anthropology applied to the corporate world
  • I am not 100% sure what direction my career is headed, but I think this degree would be a nice blanket cover no matter what I decide.
  • The economy stinks, but I still have a great job – this is a great time to build my skills and make contacts
  • Is there really a better time to go, personally? I don’t have kids, my job is great and currently requires no travel and would most likely be flexible and Frank is in grad school, so he totally understands the “leave me alone, I have 10 papers to do” mentality.

Some reasons that are giving me pause:

  • School. Again. Really? Papers, tests, anxiety, classes I don’t want to take, rushing to class from work – ugh
  • I am pretty sure I know what I want to do with my career – but not entirely. What if this is a waste of time? What if I would have been better re-taking the GMATs and getting an MBA? Or, I decide to leave the corporate world forever and go be a teacher or a librarian or forest ranger? (all unlikely scenarios)
  • Money. If I go to CUNY, I should be able to swing it financially (even if I take out loans) but – it’s still money that isn’t really pouring in at the moment.
  • It’s a Psychology degree. I got a D in my only undergrad Psych class. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I didn’t go (a bout of awful depression). But, I got a D with never going to class! Go me! But, they may not be as impressed.

Stuff I still have to do (by April 1):

  • Figure out who to get recommendations from. I am pretty sure I can secure at least one at my current company, but who should the second one be from? I don’t really want to ask my undergrad professor for another one, but will if its the best hope.
  • Figure out if I should write a supplemental essay explaining my awful Psych grade, or just hope that my first essay is that awesome.
  • Write an essay that explains why I want to go to grad school (presumably not in bulleted form). This means I have to figure out exactly why I want to go and how its going to help.
  • Gather my transcripts, and all that other fun bureaucratic stuff.

So, that’s it. Doesn’t seem that bad.  And really, I think I will feel so much better if I just go for it – even if they reject me.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2009 1:49 pm

    My boyfriend is going the same thing, choosing whether or not to go to grad school. I told him that if it is something he will regret or question later if he doesn’t go, then he should do it! What better time than now? We are not married, no kids yet and are doing okay financially. When we are married with kids, I would want his time devoted to our family and work. Not school, work and family.

    He also wants to write a book and do consulting in his field instead of continuing with his employer forever, I think the degree will help those goals be a better success.

    Go with your gut instinct, don’t let those few negative reasons stop you. There is no better time than now! And I truly believe if you don’t try, you will regret it later. After all, it’s on of your goals!

  2. February 16, 2009 1:22 am

    Stumbled upon your blog through 1000 awesome things, Someone else with a picture next to their wordpress. Just stopping by to say Hi. GRE, grad school, job, tests, & classes.

    All those words make me nervous. I’m just a junior in college about to post-pone graduation even further with plans of studying abroad next fall.

  3. February 16, 2009 2:02 am

    I have nothing but admiration for those who continue their education. I say the same as Princess…go with your gut and don’t let those few negatives reasons stop you! I would love to go back to school (shh don’t tell) but it just isn’t possible right now. Although the phrase where there’s a will there’s a way comes to mind, but whatever. For me right now, not an option. So if you can then go!
    Good Luck!

  4. Brenna permalink
    February 26, 2009 1:42 pm

    As someone who went straight to grad school after undergrad, I think you’re in a much better position since you’ve worked a few years and have truly thought about what you want to do. That’s really the key. I made the mistake of going for something I no longer want to do, which is a big problem. Also, since I was with Joe and had an established group of New York friends I didn’t make as much of an effort to socialize as I should have. I love my fellow dramaturgs, but I never really networked with the other concentrations, which is a large part of what grad school is all about. You are such an outgoing person I’m sure that won’t be a problem for you. As for the money, I’m in huge debt but then again I went to Columbia, I thank God they paid for half my tuition. I’m sure your school will have student teacher opportunities and fellowships, all of which you are qualified for. It’s daunting to be sure, but even though I don’t want to work in theater I feel the skills I acquired were worth it. I envy you since I actually miss taking classes. Good luck with your applications and let me know how it turns out!

  5. March 20, 2009 1:23 pm

    Looking back, an I/O degree was a really good idea for me, you meet people with similar interests, and it goes by super quick.

    • March 20, 2009 1:24 pm

      Thanks Eva! The final application goes in the (e)mail this weekend.

  6. March 20, 2009 2:37 pm

    Good Luck!!

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