Get Involved! Graduate Student Organizations

As an aspiring student affairs professional, if I have not learned anything else in my graduate studies, I have learned that ALL students should have diverse learning experiences that help them grow and develop holistically. Sometimes these experiences happen outside of the classroom in extracurricular activities. This does not only hold true for undergraduate students but for graduate students as well! It is so important to get involved in student organizations.

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Your Best Friend: Funding!

Funding is something very special. It is that thing you never think you’re going to get, and even when you do get it, you don’t believe it’s true. I just want to debunk the myths of the notorious “full-ride.” Funding is real, and it is important.

The most helpful advice I ever received when I decided to go to graduate school was about how I should look at graduate school. I was told that when people ask me why I’m continuing your education instead of getting a job, I should look them dead in the face and tell them, “Graduate school is my job.” Continue reading

A Better You Meets a Better Graduate Student

Wake up. Go to school. Go to work. Go to the library. Go home. Study and write some more. Wake up the next day. Do it all over again. Food? Sleep? Who needs those, right? WRONG! With the scholar grind at an all-time high as a graduate student, it is easy to get so lost in the hustle and bustle that we forget to look out for someone very important: ourselves. No matter how overwhelming the challenges, always keep YOU in the front of your mind. Sometimes, ok most times, this seems impossible to do, but it can be done! How…you ask?

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Dinner, Diversity, and Community Building at IU, Bloomington

As an Emissary, responsible for recruiting diversity to the Indiana University, Bloomington graduate school, I have become much more familiar with the spaces designed specifically to expose grad students to others from the campus community who may differ in culture or background.

Just last night, I was fortunate enough to have dinner at La Casa. This Latino Cultural Center has been vibrant in the local campus community since its inception in 1973. With the rising numbers of the Latino population rapidly increasing both in terms of representation at IU and across the U.S. La Casa serves as a constant reminder of the need for others to have at least a basic grasp of Latino culture in all its complexity.

Over a free (and amazing) meal, we discussed developments for La Casa as well as the tentative future plans for a Latino Learning/Living Center. Rather than simply discussing the theoretical implications behind our ideas, we as a group were involved in a critical discussion where perspectives were asked of undergrads, graduates, and faculty. More importantly from my perspective, not everyone was Latino.

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Preparing Future Faculty Conference

Graduate studies at IU bring opportunities not only for academic training, but also for professional development and developing leadership skills. Obtaining good grades and doing great research indeed are cornerstones for one’s successful career. But adding leadership qualities to one’s toolkit would even exceed the success attained by grades and research. Why? Because leadership qualities let you make a difference in lives of many, not just yours. Continue reading

Waiting To Hear Back? DON’T WAIT

Waiting to hear back from schools that I had applied to was perhaps the most nerve racking experience I had ever gone through. There is no one to call and ask, and except for the April 15th university agreement date, there is no obvious date that you will receive that email. For those of you who are still in school or working full time, this may be enough to occupy your mind. I myself was in my last semester of undergrad and working 30 hours a week and still inevitably creep into my mind.

Perhaps the best advice I can give is to continue to develop yourself as a scholar in your field. Attend any workshops or conferences that can assist you in your career development. Continue to ingest as much information regarding your prospective career. Remember you are training for your vocation in and outside of the classroom. In doing so you focus on what you are trying to create with your continuing education and you leave the decision making process out of your head – as much as possible :-) – and continue working independent of who does or does not accept you.

IU was my final application date (Jan 15th) so by now I had all of my applications submitted. Unless you are applying for a masters degree I suspect those of you reading this who applied for next year have submitted all apps as well. This is an amazing accomplishment!!! And while you may not recognize it you have taken the time to submit a reflection of your previous personal and academic accomplishments and argued why the training of each respective program can develop you into the professional you aspire to be.

Much of the denial process from my perspective was not because I was not qualified, or not “good enough”, but rather my “fit” with that program either did not come across effectively in my personal statement or it did, and the respective committee simply chose otherwise. When you want something and you do not get it the reasons can sometimes be pointless, but remember that there is a program and a place for you, and that was and is your task. I sincerely wish everyone the greatest possible outcome!!! No later than April 15th……….