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F E ATU RE S
Life after Guilford: Is graduate school right for you?
JANUARY 27, 2012
By Kim Kleimeier
If you're currently a junior or senior,
chances are the words "graduate school"
have been lurking in your brain, especially
since the time you have left at Guilford is
running out. The question "What are your
plans?" asked so frequently by parents and
friends seems more like an interrogation
than anything else. It's time to start thinking
about life after Guilford.
According to Alan Mueller, director of
the Career Development Center, about 20
to 25 percent of Guilford graduates apply to
graduate school every year. But how exactly
does the process of applying to graduate
school work? It starts out with a search for
the right school for you.
There are two different types of graduate
schools: professional and academic.
The professional grad programs are for
students who are pursuing a specific career.
Professional degrees include Master's in
Business Administration, Master's of Social
Work, and Master's of Education.
An academic graduate program is
for students who want further study in
a specific subject, rather than preparing
them for a specific career. These degrees can
include, but are not limited to. Master of
Arts, Master's in History, Master of Science
and many more.
Whether you are looking to get a Master's
in Business Administration or a master's in
general, there is a program for everything.
Along with an application to the school,
students are also responsible for sending
in a resume or curriculum vitae—a more
academic-oriented resume—and a statement
of purpose. Just as when applying to
undergraduate programs, entrance exams
and standardized tests are a part of the
system as well.
"Taking the Graduate Record Examination
twice can make a huge difference, (as can)
preparation courses, which are offered
through Guilford," said Mueller.
The GRE can be closely compared to the
SAT. Many schools do require it, but there
might be other exams required, such as the
Law School Admission Test for law schools
or Graduate Management Admission Test
for management schools.
Most schools do have a minimum cutoff
in terms of the scores, though there are some
schools and programs that do not require
these standardized tests, just as Guilford
does not require applicants to submit the
SAT or ACT scores.
Daniel Hood '11 is currently pursuing his
Master's in History at Boston College. His
advice for current Guilford students was to
shop around for programs, to talk to faculty
advisors and to visit the campuses.
"If you're using graduate school as a stop
gap from going into the real world, you will
be disappointed and broke," said Hood.
"Graduate school is not for everyone."
Hood described the work load he has
now as triple the work of his IDS at Guilford.
But if you do decide that graduate school
is the right move for you, there are things
you can do now in order to make the process
Talking to faculty advisors from the
specific majors and finding out wliat their
experience was at graduate school can
be extremely helpful. Getting in contact
with Guilford alumni who are currently at
graduate school can also be a great tool. It
is also important to start your search for
graduate schools early.
"I started my junior year," said Katie
O'Boyle '10. During her third year at
Guilford, O'Boyle started researching
graduate schools, making visits and sending
out her resume. She knew she was looking
for a program that would give her teaching
licensure, but that also put her on the path to
receiving her doctorate.
O'Boyle's advice for current Guilford
students is to start researching different
programs and getting in contact with the
heads of departments from those programs.
Making connections and networking can
help you get a foot in the door.
The Career Development Center always
has an open door and can help tremendously
with any questions and concerns. With the
right planning, the future and the real world
do not have to seem so scary. Graduate
school might just be the next step into your
own bright future.
OSLE hosts a
I week of events
I and activities
E Guilford's OSLE kicked off the Spring 2012 semester
E with JanJam, a week of recreational events and activities.
E A screening of "Footloose" in Bryan Jr. started a week
E that also featured a keynote and dialogue with poet &
E filmmaker Lee Mun Wah, magician Leon Etienne, musical
E chairs, a rock band and a delicious midnight breakfast.
E (Left) Saturday's night's musical chairs.
E (Right) Karaoke at the Quakeria.
LEE MUN WAH
Diversity trainer Lee Mun Wah leads workshops to facilitate discussions on campus
Continued from Page I
they have never been trained in how to discuss diversity.
"At Guilford, we have good intentions to value diversity
and create a healthy multi-cultural community, but we don't
really know how to do it," said Harvey. "I don't know of any
institutions that have it all figured out. I see, year after year,
students of color coming to Guilford with high hopes about
this place ... Yet, sadly, I see so many students become sad and
disillusioned when Guilford feels just like any other white-
"It is ... important to recognize the efforts we have in place
to address these issues and die commitment of the institution
to become an anti-racist school," said Jorge Zeballos, Latino
community program coordinator. Zeballos and Harvey, along
with select committed students, organize the Understanding
Racism workshops and the White Privilege series every
At the afternoon keynote speech and dialogue entitled "What
Stands Between Us: A Cross Race/Gender Conversation,"
attendees discussed the different ways in which prejudice
against race and gender manifest themselves. Individuals
were then organized into small groups to share their personal
experiences with such prejudices. Sophomore Mindy
Souvannalay thought that Mun Wah's group exercises, which
emphasized the listening skills of all group members, were
"By the end of the exercise, we had built a sense of
community with the other participants by sharing something
intimate about ourselves," said Souvannalay. "It was definitely
surprising for many of us as to how open we were able to
become with complete strangers."
The day concluded with a screening of the teachers' edition
of "If These Halls Could Talk," a documentary directed by Mun
Wah. The screening was open to the community, and before the
film began, Mun Wah observed the audience that had gathered
in Dana Auditorium.
"We sit apart from other people," said Mun Wah. "How
many of you made sure that there were one or more seats
between you and someone else? Those two seats might as well
be a million miles apart."
Mun Wah then instructed everyone to look around the room,
find someone they had never met before—^perhaps someone
who was different from them—and sit with that person.
The audience spent several minutes exchanging names and
engaging in conversation before the film began.
"It took everyone (by) surprise, but in the end, I think some
really good relationships were formed," said Souvannalay.
In the doaimentary, nine college students from all different
backgrounds come together in a cottage in Ukiah, Calif. Over
the course of the next four days, Mun Wah facilitates the
students' discussion about prejudices based on race, religion
and sexuality. As the students begin to speak more openly, their
discussions become more heated.
"This was the most difficult facilitation I have done in 20
years," said Mun Wah of the film.
Will, an African-American student from Oakland, Calif.,
expresses his frustration at being considered "expendable" by
his education system. He says that professors would assume
that he would drop the class as soon as the drop date rolled
around, so they would not invest time in him.
Vera, a Palestinian student from Boulder, Colo., says that she
would keep her fear and sadness about the constant war in her
home country inside because her classmates "wouldn't care."
In all, Mun Wah's day of events provoked discussion and
thought about racism and other forms of discrimination.
"It's a lot to process and is going to take me a while," said
Susanna Westberg, director of Residence Life and dialogue
attendee. "(Lee Mun Wah) did not provide us with answers,
but with important questions that we need to be brave and
compassionate enough to ask ourselves and one another."