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Old 06-06-2002, 01:50 PM   #1
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post graduate studies

anyone have any interesting post-graduate experiences?

how far did you go: masters? doctorate? fellowship?...
was it worth it? academically and financially speaking in the long and short run?
did school begin to drag on just a few years to long or was it entirely fulfilling?

that's a lot of questions but come on...you're scholars!
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Old 06-06-2002, 01:55 PM   #2
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I have a Masters in Architecture. I really enjoyed getting it, but have to tell you that it was the most work I have ever done. I have to say that I was "up all night" at least twice a week for three years. It was very intense.

Anyway, I have some friends who breezed through business school and are now making three times as much as I do. In retrospect, I do not know if it was worth it, or if it was just the field I decided to go into.

dunno.

I would say it is worth it to go back to school, however as I believe furthering one's education is always a good thing.

K:

What are you planning on going for?
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Old 06-06-2002, 02:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by ouizy
What are you planning on going for?
that would be the eternal question, wouldn't it?
well i will be graduating with an honors degree in mass communication, a minor in economics, and all the requirements for a minor in what is best described as societal effects of emerging technologies(multi-disciplinary platform involving communications, sociology, science, engineering and economics).

logical continuations for at least a masters are communications or journalism. i have also looked at urban design which is a recreational topic which has peaked my interest in recent months.

i guess i have to figure out possible careers and see if masters and/or doctorate would pay off. ultimately, and sadly, it is a largely financial decision.
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Old 06-06-2002, 02:10 PM   #4
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Can I add another question to the list? (If not, ignore me.)

How did you fund graduate school?

I want to go to grad school in the UK next year but I have absolutely no money and I'm still paying off debt from undergrad.
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Old 06-06-2002, 02:23 PM   #5
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I just completed my master's course work in Exercise Physiology at the U. of Delaware. I have been a teaching assistant for the past two years which means that my tuition has been paid for, plus I received a stipend. That is the best way to pay for grad school. I worked maybe 20 hrs a week teaching great classes and covering the computer lab.

I have not ruled out a Ph. D, but for now, I am getting burned out of school. I went right from undergrad to grad so I am tired of studying and all that stuff that comes with it, although I would recommend going straight on from one to the other. I know too many people who say they are going back, and never do.

Now I just need to complete my thesis, yikes!!!

Brian
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Old 06-06-2002, 02:28 PM   #6
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I *might* go for a grad degree after I do my 2 years with the Peace Corps. Of course, what happens in those two years could radically change my outlook on life and the universe, so I'm trying not to make any hard and fast plans for post-service yet.

However, at this stage, I would be very much interested in furthering my studies in economics, but more specifically in economic development with the goal of humanitarian work as a career.

We shall see...

at the moment I'm sick of school and will be glad to have a break from it.

kobesan, you are a smart cookie. Someday when you win a Nobel prize for something, can I say I knew you when?
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Old 06-06-2002, 02:28 PM   #7
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i haven't started graduate school yet, so i can't really answer any of your questions, but i will be starting law school this fall. i am paying for it using a combination of help from my parents, loans, and financial aid.

meegannie, i looked into doing a grad program abroad as well (i still might go far a master's in art history at the courtauld institute or an LLM from LSE). while looking into these things, i found that most people pay for school through a combination of fellowships and loans. one word of advice though- a lot of master's programs, although they're very interesting and FUN, don't actually open up many doors in terms of jobs.... that's something serious to consider, especially if you're worried about paying back loans. i looked into simply getting a master's in art history, but then i realized that the only thing i could do with that would be to work in a gallery or museum as an assistant- and that pays less than $30,000 a year. i couldn't really justify spending so much on grad school, and getting so little in return! (even though i would LOVE to just go to europe and spend my time studying art.... *sigh*)

i think some of the more "practical" master's degrees are probably more useful in the long run- and they open up more doors in terms of getting more interesting/higher paying jobs. that's why i decided to study art law, b/c i'll be able to earn more money and do more interesting things- and hopefully i'll one day have enough money and/or have made enough contacts with powerful people to open my own gallery, which is my dream.

grad school is a serious decision- if i had all the money in the world, i'd just get a bunch of master's degrees for the rest of my life and never worry about actually paying for it!!! GOOD LUCK figuring stuff out- i really hope it works out for you!!!

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Old 06-06-2002, 02:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
kobesan, you are a smart cookie. Someday when you win a Nobel prize for something, can I say I knew you when?
i think nobel prizes are likely, and deserving, to be directed towards those who are working to better the lives of those less fortunate in a global scale.
such as...yourself
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Old 06-06-2002, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by *Ally*


meegannie, i looked into doing a grad program abroad as well (i still might go far a master's in art history at the courtauld institute actually open up many doors in terms of jobs.... that's something serious to consider, especially if you're worried about or an LLM from LSE). while looking into these things, i found that most people pay for school through a combination of fellowships and loans. one word of advice though- a lot of master's programs, although they're very interesting and FUN, don't paying back loans. i looked into simply getting a master's in art history, but then i realized that the only thing i could do with that would be to work in a gallery or museum as an assistant- and that pays less than $30,000 a year. i couldn't really justify spending so much on grad school, and getting so little in return! (even though i would LOVE to just go to europe and spend my time studying art.... *sigh*)

i think some of the more "practical" master's degrees are probably more useful in the long run- and they open up more doors in terms of getting more interesting/higher paying jobs. that's why i decided to study art law, b/c i'll be able to earn more money and do more interesting things- and hopefully i'll one day have enough money and/or have made enough contacts with powerful people to open my own gallery, which is my dream.
I know there's little return on what I'd be studying (most likely history), but I double-majored in history and political science in undergrad, neither of which is very practical. I thought about going to law school when I was in undergrad (I was actually the president of our pre-law society -- ), but I just don't have any interest in it, really. The past year of working has taught me that I definitely do not want to work in politics, and I love history, so I've decided to try to do something I really want to do, so maybe I won't be unhappy forever. I'm already poor now, anyway, so it can't be much worse after a year of grad school! The only issue really (other than where I want to go and what exactly I want to study....) is money because I have none, and neither do my parents (they're both unemployed at the moment, actually!). I just don't know where to look to get enough financial aid to cover all of my living expenses as well as my school costs. I am perpetually .

By the way, I love art history too -- must be the shared birthday ;D! I would have majored in that and history in college, but my school didn't offer it. Then I was going to do English and history, but our English department was crap. Hence, the poli sci -- yay.
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Old 06-06-2002, 02:56 PM   #10
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they always say there are tons and tons of unused of scholarship dollars each year meegannie...
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Old 06-06-2002, 03:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by kobayashi
they always say there are tons and tons of unused of scholarship dollars each year meegannie...
I know....I just don't know where they are and if I can apply them to study history in the UK. Almost everything I've seen has been for studies in technology field or for teaching.
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Old 06-06-2002, 03:33 PM   #12
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I'm headed to London School of Economics in the fall to get a masters in History of International Relations. It's probably not the most practical degree, but I am fascinated by it...I just can't bring myself to get a degree in something I don't love, even if it will secure a career. As for $, I'm getting a large loan and using some savings.
Quote:
they always say there are tons and tons of unused of scholarship dollars each year meegannie...
I've heard this as well, and I should probably be doing more research on it...supposedly there are some, even if you are studying abroad I've just seen the well-known ones that are pretty much impossible to get, but they probably are out there.
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Old 06-06-2002, 04:26 PM   #13
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Just an addition to my previous post:
yeah, so even though I'm in the middle of the process, if anyone does have advice on locating those scholarships, etc., or funding in general, I'd welcome it
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Old 06-06-2002, 11:47 PM   #14
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As a person who spent many years in grad. school, I can answer a few questions.

Often, people pay for their schooling by getting a stipend, a fellowship, a teaching assingment, loans, or working. Sometimes it is a combination of the above. But often, this depends on the field and the department.

For example, I studied science. I would not have even been accepted into the program if my graduate school could not offer me a stipend. This stiped waived my tuition. I was also a lab T.A. for the first year. This provided me with some funds on which to live. The department mandated that all students T.A. for at least a year. So by doing this, I not only fulfilled a department requirement, but I also didn't have to worry about income.

Later, I received a fellowship. These are like scholarships and are just as prestigious. Usually, most graduate students will get a fellowship at some point. The exception to this might be those who get a MBA or Masters in Architecture as those are far shorter programs. Usually Ph.D. candidates will get a fellowship. These also waive the tuition and provide income. They may also provide extra money, for travel and/or computers. Plus, they relieve the burden of teaching - so that a student can focus on his/her studies.

Different departments though have different rules. For example, in science, most Ph.D. students received at least one fellowship (for one year) during their studies. However, a person studying history might really have to fight to get that fellowship. And some students had to get jobs to continue their education.

Even if you receive a fellowship, the income is small. I had to take out several loans to supplement my income just so I could survive.

In other words, it is a challenge. But if you think grad. school is really for you, then look into it.

As for obtaining a fellowship, usually you have to be accepted and IN school before you can be exposed to these items. If you have already been accepted, I would then speak with the department chairman to assist you. Also, talk to your fellow students. They are often the best source of information because they are trying for the same things. Most students will be happy to share this info., but I'm sure there are a few competitive idiots out there who won't tell you. Ignore them and keep asking.

Now for your questions:

anyone have any interesting post-graduate experiences?

Yes.

how far did you go: masters? doctorate? fellowship?...


A fellowship is not a degree. And I obtained both my M.S. and Ph.D.

was it worth it? academically and financially speaking in the long and short run?


It is financially challenging. I will probably be paying back my student loans for a while. However, I fully believe that my career will be able to advance much further than if I had restricted myself with just a B.S. (or even an M.S.). So while I lost out on $$ that I would have made had I been working instead of going to school all of those years, the pride at my accomplishment, the WEALTH of information I learned, the confidence I obtained and my future career potential made it very worthwhile.


did school begin to drag on just a few years to long or was it entirely fulfilling?

School does drag on. My academic advisor was VERY demanding of his students. Most took 6-7 years to get their Ph.D.! Some poor students took a whopping 9 years to graduate! Granted, those students usually had some "problems" - but that's still an enormous amount of work. Universities are now trying to force their professors to get graduate students out in 4-5 years in an effort to entice more students to matriculate. After all, who wants to go to school for 4 years for a B.S. then another 7 for a Ph.D.? That's a lot to ask of someone.

While there were plenty of times it seemed long, various milestones helped me realize I was making progress. Passing the graduate school exams (almost all will have a series of written and oral examinations you must pass to continue in the program) is a good sign of your progress. Presenting and publishing your research is another great sign. These milestones really help keep you focused.

Plus, you are in school. So often the environment is a bit more relaxed. You can "escape" at 2 in the afternoon on a great day if you want from time to time. Try doing that at work!

Overall, if you are thinking about it seriously, I would say you should go back to school. I think you will enjoy it.

Good luck!
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