Getting Into Grad School: Questions to Consider

It may seem early in the semester to be talking about graduate school, but starting early has its benefits. This process is not something you want to rush, and if you’re a senior, setting a timeline and applying early may increase your odds according to The Princeton Review.

To help you out on this journey, each month we will highlight another facet of your graduate school application such as your Personal Statement, Recommendation Letters, Admissions Essays, Resume, and other final touches.

For now, we want to make sure you have taken time to consider this decision carefully since going to graduate school can be costly in both time and money. Below are helpful questions to ask yourself whether you are a freshmen, sophomore, or junior considering graduate school for the first time, or a senior who has already taken a few preparatory steps in this application process.

Questions to help you decide if graduate school is right for you:

  1. Why graduate school? Is it necessary for my desired career? Does it open up new opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise?
  2. Why now? Is there something I want to accomplish before going to graduate school? Is this feasible during this phase of life?
  3. What hurdles may there be? What resources are available to help me overcome them? What steps would I need to take to find or obtain access to such resources? Who can I ask for guidance?

Questions to help you select a graduate program:

  1. What is the emphasis of the program? Strengths? Weaknesses? Research interests of the faculty?
  2. Does the program offer field experience, teaching, research projects, or opportunities to publish?
  3. How rigorous is the program? How competitive is enrollment? Does it meet higher standards or have accreditation?
  4. What are the employment outcomes of the department? What do their alumni do? Are there networking opportunities?
  5. How long does it take to complete the program? How flexible is the schedule?
  6. How large is the department? Will I receive proper attention like a mentor, supervisor, or peer advisor?
  7. Where is the school located? What are the requirements for obtaining in-state residency?
  8. What are the total costs? What sort of financial aid/scholarships are offered?

Ready to start applying?

Stay tuned as we continue this series each month with tips on the application process. Next up: How to ask for a Recommendation Letter.

Additional Resources

If you have any questions about the above content or would like help in this decision-making process, schedule an appointment with a career counselor by calling our office at 336-334-5454.

You may also check out the resources below for further guidance:

Event: Part-Time Job Fair

Have a little room in your schedule for a job? In need of some extra funds? Want to boost your resume with some great experience? Find and apply for a job at our Part-Time Job Fair coming to you this week!

When: Wednesday, August 26th. Drop in anytime between 12:30-4pm.PTJF-300px

Where: Cone Ballroom, EUC

Who: We have many local employers attending this fair who are looking to hire UNCG students.

For the specific companies that will be joining us, log into SpartanCareers and check out the event page, or review our Part-time Job Fair board on Pinterest. You can also download the “UNCG Career Fair Plus” app which will help you navigate through the Job Fair with comfort and ease.

What to wear: For this event, we are asking all students to dress neatly and in a presentable manner. Business casual preferred.

What to bring: We recommend a complete resume and a great attitude! Need a last minute resume review? Drop into our office between 10am and 5pm, and one of our Peer Career Ambassadors will help you get your resume Job-Fair ready! 

See you on Wednesday!

Welcome Back!

Welcome to the 2015-2016 academic year! The Career Services Center is excited to welcome you back to campus for the semester.  We have a full semester of events planned, and can’t wait to hear about all the exciting things you did this summer.

As you start the new fall semester, take a minute to set some goals for yourself.  Whether you’re just starting your college career or just finishing up a few credits before you graduate, there is always something to work on with your Career ID.


Maybe you haven’t updated your resume since completing your summer internship.  Maybe you’re not as excited about your major as you were when you started, and wondering about what else is out there.  Maybe you’ve heard of LinkedIn but don’t really know what it’s about or how to use it.

Wherever you are in your journey, when it comes to your professional future, the Career Services Center is here to help with each and every step.  Our drop-in hours are open from 10am-5pm every day when classes are in session, starting today, Monday August 17th.

We’re here to help you become a Career Savvy Spartan!

Finding a Work-Study Job

Have you been awarded work-study funds as part of your financial aid package for the semester? Do you know what to do next? Here are a couple of things you’ll need to know as you start looking for a position so you can land something on campus!

What is Federal Work-Study? Federal Work-Study is a financial aid program where students earn funds for school by working for a department on campus or in the community.

How do I know if I’ve been awarded Federal Work-Study? You can check in your UNCGenie account to see if you’ve been awarded Work-Study as part of your overall financial aid package. See more instructions from Financial Aid here.

What kinds of Work-Study positions are there? Tons! Academic departments often search for Office Assistants, and the Jackson Library and the Rec Center have lots of student workers. There are also opportunities to work in the Greensboro community with some local nonprofits as your work-study!

How do I find a Work-Study position? The best place to start is Spartan Careers, on the Career Services Center’s website. There, you can log in and use the search filter we’ve set up for Work-Study positions.

SC - Work-Study

See? We’ve already done some of the work for you! You can also go directly to some departments’ websites and offices, because they may have their own application procedures for their positions.

Make sure to stop by our drop-in hours from 10am-5pm every day once classes begin to get your resume reviewed before you start applying! There are some forms to complete as well before you can start working – make sure to review the full list here!

Ten Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Business

There are many college students out there who want to change the world and start a new company.  It feels like everyday a new start-up is formed or a new app is available for our mobile phones.  But it’s important for every entrepreneur to ask themselves the important questions before starting a business.

Top 10 Questions For Starting a Business:starting a business

  1. Why am I starting a business? What product or skills are you offering to the public? Are you passionate about the product you are selling?  Are you looking to make easy money?  These are some of the questions that every entrepreneur should ask themselves before starting a business venture.
  2. Who is my ideal customer? What type of customer do you want to reach with their product?  What type of customer are you going to market their product too?  Every great entrepreneur should be thinking about the changing marketplace and asking themselves what type of customer are we trying to reach?
  3. Am I prepared to spend the time and money needed to get my business started? How much money are you willing to lose in your first year?  How many hours are you willing to sacrifice to get your company off the ground?  Unfortunately, it takes most businesses three years before they are able to start turning a profit.
  4. What differentiates my business idea from others? How can you show that your idea is better and different from your competitors?  Many companies are started because one individual saw a flaw in another company’s product and they believed that they could make a better, faster, higher quality of product.
  5. Where will my business be located? It would be a good idea to brush up on the tax code for the state where your business is being set up.  There are many individuals who set up their businesses in either Texas or Florida because there is no state income tax in either state.  Some states offer tax incentives to encourage companies to set up shop.
  6. How many employees will I need? What job and roles are vital to the life of this start-up.  Many start-ups begin small and hire more employees as they become bigger in the second or third years.  Many entrepreneurs want to do as many jobs/work responsibilities as possible to save money during the challenging first years.  It’s important for any entrepreneur to figure out what work they themselves to do and what responsibilities need to have an employee hired to complete the task.
  7. Will I need to get a loan? Every entrepreneur needs money for the initial start-up and to pay the bills when the company isn’t turning a profit.  It’s important for you to look over the finances and create a budget so that the bills are paid on time.  Many start-ups need a loan so that there is a steady cash flow to pay the bills while the company is trying to find its customer base/audience.
  8. Who is my competition? Every entrepreneur should think about the industry that they are a part of and know who they are competing against.  Every entrepreneur should know their competition’s history and should look at how their product and marketing is different from everyone else’s.  An entrepreneur should also know whether the industry they are entering is growing or shrinking; they should know if the business is strong enough to support another company entering the fray.
  9. How will I price my product in comparison to competition? How much does a customer need to pay for a product so that the company can still make a profit?  If a computer is able to make their product for a lower price, they can lower a price to their customers and make life difficult for a new company.  While some companies value offering their customer’s products at the lowest price possible, other companies are willing to sell their product to a more select customer base who are willing to pay more for quality.  For years, customers have been willing to pay more money for Apple iPhones, Disney movies, and Nintendo videogames because there was a greater expectation for the high quality of these products.
  10. What kind of insurance do I need? Many companies get sued for a variety of reasons; it’s estimated that Apple Computers, Microsoft, and Google get sued every day. It’s important for new entrepreneurs to spend money on liability insurance for both products and employees.  Nothing is guaranteed in this life and it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected.  As the company grows it’s important to adjust insurance as necessary and also look at legal representation.