On March 29, the L&S Honors Program co-hosted a new event: Demystifying Graduate School. This was an evening for first- and second-year undergraduate students who are exploring the possibility of graduate school and aren’t sure how to get started, what the options are, or what to do next. Over 70 undergraduate students in the Honors Program and/or other high-impact programs across L&S, including Undergraduate Research Scholars, BioCore, First-Year Interest Groups, and the Center for Academic Excellence, attended and heard from a panel of twelve current graduate students in a range of L&S-affiliated programs. The graduate panel even included an alumna of the L&S Honors Program, Megan Binkley!
After dinner and opening introductions from the graduate panel, attendees spoke with graduate students individually and in small groups. Graduate panelists shared their experiences and answered big picture questions such as “What is the best advice you have for someone considering, but unsure about grad school?” and “What is something you wish you knew before you started grad school?” They also addressed student questions about gap years, ways to finance graduate education, how to start preparing for graduate school as an undergraduate, and life as a graduate student.
Feedback from students and panelists was overwhelmingly positive. Students shared that they learned a lot about common structures of graduate programs, different pathways available, and what research can look like across disciplines. They also heard graduate students stress the importance of figuring out what is best for you as an individual.
Sincere thanks to the Bill Cronon Fund for Pathways to Excellence for sponsoring this event. We also share many thanks to planning committee members and the graduate panelists who offered their time and expertise to make this event possible.
Event Planning Committee:
Hannah Bailey, Chair, Undergraduate Research Scholars
Kelly Cuene, L&S Student Academic Affairs
Christine Evans, L&S Honors Program
Kari Fernholz, First-Year Interest Groups
Nathan Phelps, First-Year Interest Groups
Jenny Saffran, L&S Honors Program
Diana Tapia Ramon, Biology Core Curriculum (BioCore)
Graduate Student Panelists:
Desia Bacon, Psychology
Megan Binkley, Anthropology
Mollie Comella, Bacteriology
Jasenia Hartman, Neuroscience
Sabrina Manero, Environment and Resources
Caroline Mohr, Public Health
Tirumular (Drew) Narayanan, Art History
Uyen Thy Nguyen, Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Jeannie van Vianen, Wildlife Ecology
Migena Vula, Public Affairs and Law
James Warwood, English
Brandy Wilcox, German Studies