Summer Homework

In the 6th grade, Mr. Lawlor gave us homework for the summer since we were about to enter the next level in the fall; 7th grade. I laughed off his assigned homework and opted for the more desirable distraction of spending an entire summer dominating the orignal Mario Brothers. Had I listened to Mr. Lawlor, I might now be working for Google, eating foie grass egg rolls in one of their lavish cafes.  The point is listen to your teachers when they give you summer homework and in some round about way I’m suggesting you listen to my advice.

Things to do this summer to strengthen your application:

  1. Study for the GRE, but before you start studying, register to take it. You’re probably much more likely to study if you put down the $190 registration fee, plus then you’ll have a day on the calendar by which you need to be ready.   Do not put off taking the test until January. If you do, you will not have a chance to retake it if you do not like your score.  Spoiler alert, 9 out of 10 applicants do not like their scores.

2. Start working on your personal statement. For applications to the fall of 2013, we want all MA applicants to answer these three questions:

  • What is your career goal upon completing your graduate degree and what are your longer-term career goals?
  • Explain why you have chosen to pursue a graduate degree and how the degree program you have chosen will prepare you to reach your specific career goals.
  • What skills and previous experiences have helped position you to reach your career goals and how will the Josef Korbel School help you achieve these goals?

I can guarantee you now that most applicants will not actually answer any of these questions. Instead, they will write one personal statement for all 8 schools that they plan to apply to. You on the other hand will be smarter than that. If you’re not, then I can also guarantee you that you’re application will be less competitive. You should contact all the schools to which you plan to apply and ask them what questions or topics they want you to cover in your personal statement. Whatever you do, at least update the sentence in your statement that says “It has always been my dream to go to [insert school here that is not the Josef Korbel School]”. We get about 5 of these per year.

I think this is a good start for the summer homework. Make sure to enjoy the pool and play a game of mario…keep it to one game.

Brad Miller

Director of Admissions

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