Some students who finish their studies here at Purdue Fort Wayne may choose to pursue further education at some sort of graduate school. The Career Development Center offers services intended for those students who wish to go further with their education.
“More employers are seeking candidates with more advanced education. Even if a master’s degree isn’t listed as a required qualification, many companies will offer a higher starting salary to those holding advanced degrees,” PFW’s Career Handbook states.
Before deciding to enroll in the Counselor Education program at Purdue Fort Wayne, current graduate student Kaliyat Gamba said she thought extensively about what program would be the best fit.
“Grad school is expensive. I wanted it to be worthwhile at the end of the day. Before I went, I had to know what I am really passionate about,” Gamba said.
The Career Development Center offers a grad prep appointment, where students meet with a career counselor to discuss what the student is looking for in graduate schools. The Center also discuss scholarships and deadlines, Tracey Hanton, associate director for career development, said.
Hanton said she also likes to think beyond the academic aspects of preparing for graduate school, like preparing a student who is planning to go to school in a cold place.
“In July, you need to go get your car looked at. You don’t want to get out there in the middle of November and realize that you need new tires, sitting out in the middle of Colorado. That’s not the time to find out that you need new tires, July is the time to find out if you need new tires,” Hanton said.
After making the decision where Gamba would attend graduate school, she said she still had to produce several documents to lead her to the point where her admission status was in the hands of the school.
According to the graduate studies section of the Purdue University Fort Wayne website, in order to apply to a Purdue Fort Wayne graduate program, a prospective student must provide official transcripts, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, application fee, and additional materials subject to the student’s program of choice.
Gamba said she struggled the most with drafting her statement of purpose.
A statement of purpose is a 700–1500-word essay describing why you want to go to the school and what do you hope to learn out your chosen program, though this varies with each program, Hanton said.
Gamba said, “I wanted to stay true to why I was going into the program, but also try and not sound too generic. It took me a few weeks and I was satisfied by what I came up with, because I believed it was true to my desires, passions, and drives.”
The Career Handbook Development Center states that preparation for graduation involves many steps and that a student should usually begin the steps throughout their junior year.
Gamba said, “In hindsight, I wish I started a year ahead. Because of unforeseen circumstances, I had to start in the fall instead of the summer semester. If you want to be intentional about grad school, 12 months before you start is a good time to get the ball rolling.”
Additional information about graduate school can be found in the Career Handbook at https://www.pfw.edu/offices/career-development-center/docs/Career_Handbook_Career-Development-Center-508-DIGITAL.pdf.