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Common Graduate School Admissions Essay Questions

essay writing Common Graduate School Admissions Essay QuestionsAdmission to a graduate school almost always requires some sort of written statement as a part of the application. The importance of the statement varies from school to school and from field to field, but overall there is an assessment occurring of the applicant's academic worthiness via his or her communication skills.

Although the essay could be one general question, such as "what is your approach to life," most universities world-wide now break the question into six or more sections, each answer requiring somewhere between 400-600 words, the equivalent of roughly two typed pages.


Some graduate school essay questions either totally or partially focus on specific information. The information here tends to be goal-oriented, no small part of the rubric used to evaluate the candidate. These questions tend to be worded in a way that ask "what" questions, usually concerning your academic interests, research experiences and academic objectives.

Despite the focus on specific information, all of these questions need to be answered with your focus on goals. The trick is to not merely list your goals by answering the "what," but to provide explanations as well. The idea is to try to show how the goal developed within you or how your experiences have shaped your goal. This approach to these types of essay questions works because it provides you room to elucidate your point of view as a way of answering.

If the question focuses you on specifics within your background, such as asking you to discuss your research experiences or academic background, it's okay to answer the question with some part of your high school experiences, but it's better to focus on college or on time away from academia.

Best of all, try to answer the question in a way that says how you see the particular university helping you to achieve your specific goals.

Another way of phrasing the specific question is to ask you to describe your experience of something particular, like working with a team (or contrarily working independently).

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posted by qualitypatrick in Getting Accepted,Graduate and have No Comments

10 Tips On Surviving Senior Year

memory book 22 1 10 Tips On Surviving Senior Year1.Take college application seriously.

If you didn't start your junior year, the beginning of senior year is when you need to decide which schools you will visit and which schools you'll apply to.

2.Make an appointment with your guidance counselor.

If you feel overwhelmed by the number of schools to which you could apply, you're not alone. The good news is that your guidance counselor is sitting in his or her office right now with stacks and stacks of materials to help you develop a list of schools to apply to.

3. Get Rid of What You Don't Need

If you're not already inundated with marketing materials from every college in the land, you will be by the end of your visit with your guidance counselor. Do yourself a favor. If you know a school does not appeal to you, don't take the brochures. If they get mailed to your house, throw them away. Though you should probably consider some schools that aren't you're magically perfect ideal, there are also some that you will know just are not right. For example, if you have no intention of moving to Maine, then you don't need to hang onto that Bowdoin brochure any longer.

4.Keep Track of What You Do Need

You've met with your guidance counselor; you know which schools you want to investigate if not apply to. Your guidance counselor has probably sent you home with some materials, and probably more are on the mail. It's not a bad idea to set up a filing system for yourself so that when you are ready to work on your applications, you know exactly where each one is.

5.Don't Procrastinate.

Applying to college can be a very scary thing, but don't hide from it. The sooner you get to work on your applications, the better off you'll be.

6.Don't fall prey to senioritis.

This terrible condition strikes many students in their last year of high school. You have been working really hard. Don't put the brakes on now.

7.Stay rested.

To do your best in school and on your applications, make sure you're getting at least eight hours of sleep a day. To accomplish this, you will also have to pay particular attention to Tip #5.

8.Don't stay home on Saturday.

Go out and have some fun. People work more effectively when they mix it up with some downtime.

9.Spend time with friends and family.

Without getting too schmaltzy, you might be moving away next fall. Now is the time to make memories that will last a lifetime.

10.Don't take college application too seriously.

Yes, college is important. But, no, applying to it should not take over your entire life. Don't let the stress and pressure get to you.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in 10/5 Top Tips!,Finding Your Degree,Finding Your School,Finishing H.S. and have Comment (1)

Living Large with an MBA

large Living Large with an MBAHaving an MBA can open so many new paths to you. The sky is truly the limit when you have your MBA. Suddenly, a whole new world of opportunities is open to you, and you can pick and choose what you want to do and where you want to do it. Maybe that sounds great to you, but you want some cold, hard facts about getting an MBA: What can you do with it? How can you get it for free? Well, I'm going to try to answer a couple of your questions.

What Can You Do With It?

Anything. I mean it, you can do almost anything with your MBA. You may not be able to be a brain surgeon, but you can certainly tackle most upper level jobs and ask for promotions more easily than you can now. With advanced management skills and documentation to prove that you've been trained with advanced management skills, you can qualify for most upper level management and specialty jobs in the business world.

An MBA, or any kind of Master's degree actually, can also open a different door – education. When you have a Master's, you are qualified to teach most remedial and many general education classes. At some schools, you may even be able to be an adjunct professor in the business department. Even if you've never thought about teaching before, the pay is usually decent, and it's a lot of fun to have a positive impact on a student's life.

How Can You Get It For Free?

Another common question is "How can I get my MBA for free?" You've probably heard the great stories about other professionals getting their Master's degree for free, and you want to know how to do the same. It all starts with your employer.

Many employers are willing to pay for your education if you promise to work with them for a certain amount of time. They want to reap the benefits of the education they are paying for, but they are usually willing to give you the raise you've earned once you get your degree.

Most employers will have an education policy in their handbook, and you can read over it to see if (1) it's worthwhile and (2) you're eligible. If your employer doesn't have an education policy in writing, talk to your immediate supervisor about your interest, why it would be good for the company, and what you are planning. With the right sales pitch, you just might get your education for free.

Living Large

An MBA allows you to expand your options, and with all the competition in business, expanded options is certainly a good thing. If possible, get your education for free so that you will no longer have to worry about student loans. Once you get your degree, you will have thousands of options and you'll be living large.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Business,Graduate and have No Comments

5 Reasons Why Graduate School is Right For You – Now, Not Later

graduation cap 5 Reasons Why Graduate School is Right For You   Now, Not LaterMany undergraduates decide that at some point that they would like to pursue their goal of earning their advanced degree. Some decide to take some time off between their undergraduate and graduate education. Others go straight from earning their undergraduate degree to graduate school. Which way you decide to go depends on you personally, but here are 5 reasons why you should consider going to graduate school right now…

1. You are already in a "school" mode. As an undergraduate you have spent the last 4 or so years of your life studying and engrossed in a college environment. While graduate school is a deeper commitment than undergraduate school, what you learned from your undergraduate education is still fresh in your mind when you enter graduate school. You still have a school mindset and it is easier to take what you have learned in undergrad and apply it toward your graduate degree if there isn't a lapse in time.

2. While you are still enrolled at your college or university, information about graduate schools and their programs is more readily available to you. You still have immediate access to your teachers and professors, career advisors, and libraries of information about graduate schools, etc. If you have already graduated and moved on, you can still access this information but it takes a little more work to find and research the information. It is not at your fingertips like it is during your undergraduate study.

3. It is easier to request reference letters from faculty and staff. You, as a student, are fresh in the minds of your professors when you are still enrolled as a student, rather than after you graduate. You can walk to their office, request the letter, and pick it up without much effort at all. If you have already graduated, you will have to contact the professor, hope that he or she remembers who you are, and then make arrangements to receive the letter of reference from them.

4. Another reason to go straight from undergraduate to graduate school is that some advanced programs recruit recent graduates versus those that have been out of school for a period of time. While this doesn't mean that you won't get accepted to graduate school, it just means that the process may be simpler and less stressful if you pursue graduate school immediately following undergrad.

5. It is less disruptive to the flow of your life to go straight from undergraduate to graduate school. Once you are finished with school, both undergraduate and graduate, then you can carry on with your career and your family and home life. You avoid the interruption of having to go back to graduate school after you have been in the "real world" for a few years if you follow-up your undergrad with grad school.

Graduate school can be a very rewarding experience, but it should not be entered into lightly. It is a huge commitment of your time and money. Choosing to go to graduate school is a decision that you should make based on your own personal needs, goals, and desires. There are many factors that you should consider very carefully before making your decision.

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What Are The Time Requirements of an MBA?

mba What Are The Time Requirements of an MBA?Time requirements of an MBA differ if you're obtaining one part-time, or in a full-time program.

For both part-time and full-time students, prerequisites might be a factor of time before you even get started. Calculus, basic statistics and basic accounting would have to be taken before being able to tackle the application and first core classes of a Masters of Business Administration. If you haven't taken these yet, count on a semester to lay the framework for your MBA program.

Assuming you have selected a part-time MBA program: the average semester-based (twice yearly, as opposed to the thrice or quadruple yearly quarter system) program usually consists of three classes each for a total of 12. Usually this is comprised of half core classes, the other half towards your MBA specialization. Plus, most programs require one or two more classes to further hone your area of concentration.

By now, you've probably already read or guessed that a part-time MBA would take you anywhere from two to four years to complete, depending on your work and home schedule.

But what are the time requirements on a day-to-day basis?

Again, speaking in general terms, you'll spend two or three nights a week in a classroom, for two to three hours a session. Of course, if you have a part-time program that allows you to break up coursework over a longer period of time, like three years, this could be as little as one or two nights a week.

The classroom work is definitely not the end of a part-time MBA time requirement. There's usually two hours of homework, group study or research time required for each hour of classroom work. During non-midterm or final weeks, students might need to spend about five hours per class studying or working on a team project.

What are the time requirements of a full-time MBA, which generally takes 18 months to two and a half years to complete?

Again, first year most often consists of "core" classes, maybe five or six. Taking three per semester, you can expect to spend 2-5 hours per class hour to have success at the program. Doing the math: three classes times three hours times an average of three hours of study equals 27 hours of MBA-intensive time!

In other words, full-time MBA students can expect to spend 20-30 hours a week outside the classroom, the upper end of the scale allowing for midterm and final test or project weeks.

Both part-time and full-time MBA programs require an internship to complete the degree. This is usually done in the form of full-time work over a three-month period of time, perhaps the summer, or during non-work hours or overlapping work hours for part-time students. Any way you slice and dice it, it's a full time job for the equivalent of about three months.

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posted by qualitypatrick in Business,Graduate and have No Comments

How to Select the Right Online Course for You

tips How to Select the Right Online Course for YouIf you ever have done any research into online education you know how confusing and complicated things can be.   There are literally thousands upon thousands of different degree programs, courses and classes available.  Some universities offer their entire curriculum online.  Some universities and colleges combine a mix of online courses coupled with classroom work, and still other online resources offer educational opportunities purely for fun or personal satisfaction.    How do you navigate this complex maze to find the online education that is suitable for you?

Online courses offer the flexibility and convenience of continuing your education from your home or office.  Many people who take online courses do so because they can fit it into their busy schedules.  The demands of career, family and other obligations often leave people with little free time.  The advantage of taking online courses is that they are very flexible.  You control when and where you take the course.

The most important information to consider when pursuing educational opportunities online is to determine what you are looking for.  What are your personal goals?  People take online classes for a variety of reasons.  Some wish to increase their earning potential in their current career.  Others are looking for new career opportunities.  And still others pursue online education to satisfy a personal interest or goal.

To begin your search for the right online class for you several questions should be taken into consideration:

Are you a good match for online learning?  Do you do well completing assignments and tasks independently or do you prefer a structured classroom environment?

What level of education have you already completed?

What level of education would you like to attain?

What subject would you like to study online?

What type of time commitment can you dedicate?

What type of computer do you own?  Some online courses require you to have the most up-to-date hardware and software.

What type of internet connection will you have during your course of study?

How proficient are you in navigating your computer?  This is an important factor to consider.  An interesting and fun online course could turn into a frustrating experience if you have problems operating your computer.

It is important to take these considerations into account before you start your online education search.  They will allow you to narrow down your options to provide a custom online education for whatever your needs may be.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Finding Your Degree,Finding Your School,Online College and have No Comments

Characteristics of Business School Superstars

businessman Characteristics of Business School Superstars

If you want to succeed in business school duplicate the characteristics of Business School Superstars. Post this list of characteristics where you can see them throughout your business coursework: commitment, self awareness, independence, people skills, literacy, quantitative and technology skills.

Students who apply the following characteristics are well on their way to becoming a Business School Superstar:

Commitment: Establish clear reachable goals, write, revise and check your goals off as they are accomplished. Look at your goals daily. Be passionate and persistent in completing your goals. Acknowledge and appreciate your strong work ethic.

Self Awareness: Realize your strengths and weaknesses, your style of learning; auditory, visual, or tactile. Once you’ve identified your learning style, determine effective study habits to accommodate your learning style. Identify what skills you need to improve on and what skills you are willing to teach others. Tutoring other students builds confidence and effective communication skills.

Independence: Self motivation, determination and your positive attitude will propel you through course work. Participate in class discussions and ask questions. Confidence grows with every success you experience. Seek out all support services available to you on campus and online. Use the services that benefit you as often as needed.

Strong People Skills: Work well with others in small and large groups. Focus on your listening skills. Share your thoughts clearly; rephrase what you believe you heard to confirm your understanding. Know when to empathize, re-direct or diffuse confrontations. Accept change that will benefit an objective. Moreover demonstrate appreciation and speak highly of others often. A willingness to participate on team projects facilitating discussions and activities is a highly desirable characteristic in business.

Literacy: Reading, writing and presentation skills are essential. Read proficiently, articulate thoughts effectively, employ memory techniques, highlight key concepts and ask questions. Writing effectively builds credibility. Identify your audience prior to writing. Choose words with clear meaning. Correct punctuation and spelling are a must. Presentation skills are acquired by actually presenting! Practice in front of a mirror, friends or on a mountain top. Volunteer to read in class or recite as much as possible. Drink water not coffee on the day of your presentation. An effective communicator is held in high esteem by others.

Quantitative: Hone your skills and build your confidence in algebra and statistics. Seek assistance from available support services.

Technology: MS Office Suite, wireless technology and project management software will be used on a regular basis. Take advantage of the benefits of using all available technology available to you to produce your assignments and complete projects. Stay abreast of the new technology in your area of expertise and study. You don’t need to be the expert, locate an expert and ask for help.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Business,Developing your Strengths,Strategies for Success and have No Comments

Organizations for Graduate Student – 5 That Should Be Considered

social software impact individual organizations Organizations for Graduate Student   5 That Should Be ConsideredGraduate students are busy people. They are busy with their coursework. They are busy with their research. They are busy with their thesis. And in some cases they are busy with their family and work life.

It is important though that graduate students take time out of their busy schedules to become involved in organizations that will help them while they are graduate students and beyond. Colleges and universities have so many student organizations to choose from that it can be difficult to even narrow down organizations that may be most beneficial to a graduate student and their goals.

While this is definitely not an all inclusive list, here are 5 graduate organizations that students should consider becoming a part of to add to their graduate student experience to help shape and refine them as professionals. This list is no particular order.

#1 Part-Time MBA Association

This organization is dedicated to representing MBA students that go to school on a part-time basis. Students who are earning their MBA on a part-time basis have different concerns than those who are attending a full-time program. This organization acts as the liaison between the students and the college or university. As a member of this organization students are able to take part-time MBA student issues to the school of business administration and its faculty. This organization works for the good of the part-time student body to help improve the quality of the education that they receive, the amount and quality of academic support, and the professional services and advice that students can receive. By joining this group MBA students will find a sense of community among their peers, while continuously trying to improve student relations.

#2 MBA Association

The MBA Association's goal is to provide a community where graduate students can interact through activities and services that allow their members to grow as students and as professionals in the business world. This group acts as a liaison between current students, Alumni and faculty to help students define their career goals, strengthen their skills, and develop a strong network of professional peers.

#3 Graduates As Parents

According to the Census Bureau the amount of graduate students attending college that are also parents increases by 60 percent each year. By becoming a member of this organization, graduate students will find a community of their peers that are balancing their family life with their school life. Through their peers members can pick up pertinent information regarding daycare, how to balance their lives, tips and trick for the juggling act, etc. With all of the stress that being a parent brings combined with all of the stress that being a graduate students brings, this group will allow students to de-stress their lives by surrounding themselves with like-minded people who are going through the same challenges that they are.

#4 Graduate Student Government

Graduate Student Government works on graduate student's behalves in the area of student affairs and financial affairs that affect graduate students. This organization is the liaison between graduate students and the university on matters with housing, parking, fees, and transportation. This organization also helps students to learn the ins and outs of running an organization, including problem-solving resolution skills. It also provides a place for students to interact with leaders in the organization and in the school to acquire and foster their leadership skills.

#5 Graduate Students in _____________ (insert specialization here)

Whatever the graduate student's specialization is, they should also consider joining the graduate student association for their specialization. The goal of these organizations is to provide a community where graduate students specializing in a particular field can interact through activities and services that allow their members to grow as students and as professionals in their field. These groups also act as liaisons between current students, Alumni and faculty to help students define their career goals, strengthen their skills, and develop a strong network of professional peers.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in 10/5 Top Tips!,Developing your Strengths,Graduate,Strategies for Success,Working & Going to School and have Comment (1)

Building Your Future

Choosing a college is choosing a future, or at least building towards it, so certain things should be kept in mind like future finances, job opportunities and location. By taking into account these things, applicants can work toward a rewarding future.

One of the worst things a young person can do is start life in incredible debt. Scholarship hunting is gravely important, and more so as tuition rises across the country. An honest look at the family finances will help determine exactly what is affordable now, and in the future. Talking with a professional financial planner may help, but setting a reasonable level of possible debt can be done without help. Attending a $40,000 year school on loans alone is not advisable; students should find as many scholarships as possible, and if the search doesn't net any, and the schools don't offer big scholarships, an education at an affordable state school is a very reasonable alternative. Most state schools cost less that $5,000 a year in tuition, and even doubling it to include living costs for four years would be less than a year at a private institution. Without a tremendous amount of debt around a student's neck, they have the freedom to explore a variety of options after graduation without having to immediately find a job and begin paying back the money.

Choosing a major in a growing field, or in a field where there is steady employment is also advisable. Sure, students should pursue their passions and dreams, but they should also be practical in their choices, especially if they will have a large debt after college. If a student plans on graduate school, studying at a more affordable school might be advisable, but not entirely necessary. Loan companies usually offer deferments for students enrolled in graduate school, and graduate schools often have programs to reduce the cost of tuition through teaching or research.

In building toward a successful future, an applicant should choose schools in places with good job prospects and opportunities for internships. As enjoyable as it maybe to attend college near the Great Lakes or close to another venue of outdoor adventure, studying in a major city affords the student a greater chance at landing worthwhile internships and eventually jobs. Highly motivated students from rural areas can find go internships too, but a student in an urban environment has a better chance of learning of an opportunity through their growing network in the city. Professors often associate with professional in the field they teach from nearby cities or in their city, and this connection can prove very valuable, and rare when compared to the opportunities a student at a rural college might have.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Choosing a Major,Finding Your Degree,Finding Your School,Making the Decision and have No Comments

Are You A Good MBA Candidate?

Am I a good MBA candidate?

Depends. Are you a good MBA candidate because you possess the external factors that will get you into the program of your choice? Or are you a good MBA candidate because you have the internal motivation, passion and stamina to complete your program? The external factors to consider are numerous. And despite popular wisdom, obtaining or possessing great math skills is not necessarily the primary or only indication of whether you'd be a good MBA candidate.

First, consider whether you can handle the financial responsibility and foundation needed to attend graduate school. The stresses of steep tuitions and possibly not working while obtaining a Masters in Business Administration can be quite heavy.

Next, if you haven't already, assess your undergraduate grades. There is a wide range of MBA programs, from not so competitive to the extremely selective when it comes to your G.P.A. By now you've probably done some research on what certain schools require when it comes to grades, and if you're still not sure, contact the programs directly to find out what their median acceptance G.P.A. has been thus far.

It should be emphasized that great grades are not the only indication of whether you'd be a good MBA candidate or not, but they certainly are a huge component, and one of the objective things that's telling of how you might perform in the future.

Of course, the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is also a huge factor in both acceptance of any application you might turn in, and it's also a barometer for you to see how well you can absorb information and perform in certain competencies. A frank discussion with your college counselor or the admissions coordinator with a local MBA program can give you a strong indication of how well you need to perform on the GMAT in order to succeed at various programs.

Examine some internal factors, which can be just as important as the above when asking yourself whether you'd be a good MBA contender.

Do you have well-defined career goals? Have you been thinking about them for a long time, and could you explain to someone in three sentences or less what it is you'd like to accomplish career-wise? This is perhaps one of the strongest indicators of someone's future stamina to complete and MBA. People with unclear visions of what they'd like to do with their life typically don't have as high a completion rate as their peers who do.

Closely linked with the consideration above is motivation. If you are someone who does not want to change your routine in the near future, or have to deal with deadlines, study sessions and internship/work study, you should probably consider whether an MBA program is right for you.

The most important idea to remember when debating whether you'd be a good MBA

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Business,Choosing a Major,Finding Your Degree,Graduate and have Comment (1)
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