By Jake Fain
The Hundley Center for Academic Enrichment recently finished hosting a three-part graduate school prep series to expand students’ understanding of what to expect with all that comes with applying and attending graduate school.
The series began Sept. 25 with the lecture, “The Personal Statement,” given by Michelle Heck, director of law school admissions at the University of Missouri.
Heck expounded on the importance of the application process for graduate school and how a student’s personal statement plays an important role in the admission process.
The second session, “The Application Process,” featured guest speaker Maria Smith, admission counselor at Belmont College of Law.
Smith spoke on the highlights of being admitted to graduate school and law school.
Like Heck, Smith expanded on what is required to be chosen to attend a graduate school.
The series ended Sept. 27 with four guest speakers who took turns recounting their personal experience with graduate school.
Dr. Sean Evans, associate professor of political science and department chair, touched on both Heck’s and Smith’s points, involving a student’s personal statement and the aspect of graduate law schools admissions.
Evans also spoke on the importance of choosing a school that fits a student’s plan best, suggesting that because Union students are from both a Southern and evangelical school, they would sometimes be considered for their diversity.
Renee Jones, associate director of the Vocatio Center for Life Calling and Career, shared her perspective on the benefits and challenges of waiting to apply to graduate school as well as the difficult decisions she made concerning her degree.
Jones suggested that students visit the Vocatio Center so that they may be assisted in finding the right career and graduate school path.
Karen Taylor, associate director of student leadership and engagement, described her experience of being a full-time employee at Union while also being a full-time graduate student.
Taylor earned her graduate degree by taking online courses from Dallas Baptist University.
Taylor said the most important thing any graduate school student can do is be disciplined with one’s time and focus on the future rather than on “the now.”
Justin Phillips, acting director of community and racial relations, spoke on the economic challenges one may encounter through all the stages of graduate school, including the application process.
Phillips attended graduate schools in both North Carolina and California for economical reasons.
“Sometimes it’s best to just follow the money,” Phillips said.