If you’re a student who will soon be leaving college or university — or already in the workforce and just looking for the next step in your career — you may be thinking of applying to professional or graduate school. Law, medicine, and many other applications are generally due around this time of year, which, if you’re in school, tends to coincide with fall term midterms. While it’s nearly impossible to make your application process completely stress-free, there are several proactive strategies you can implement to ensure that submitting your applications goes as smoothly as possible. Check out our top three tips for submitting applications to upper-level schools successfully:
- Start early! While a 500 word personal statement may not seem like a lot, combined with gathering references, transcripts, and other information, applications will be very time consuming — no matter how organized you are. Add that to your coursework or a full-time job, and starting last minute will be recipe for disaster. Give yourself at least a month to start compiling all of the necessary components of your application.
- Ask for your references as early as possible. If you’re asking for an academic or professional reference and you did good work under their supervision, chances are, they’ll be happy to serve as your reference and help you get to the next stage of your career. Do extend the courtesy, though, of giving them as much notice as possible, as they could very well be writing other letters of reference as well. Include information about the program, why you’re interested in attending, and if an academic reference, samples of work you did for them. With academic references, it’s generally advisable to ensure that referees are able to provide you with a strong reference, particularly if your marks in their class were not excellent.
- Get someone to edit your personal statement. When you’ve been working on an essay about yourself for so long, it’s very possible that content might come across quite clearly to you, but not to a fresh reader. Get a fresh pair of eyes to give you some feedback on whether or not what you’ve written is clear, concise, and persuasive as to why you should be admitted into the program of your choice.
Featured image source: Brain Report