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Considering graduate school? Working toward that second degree will leave a big impact on your career and yourself. If you’re a current junior or senior and about to get your bachelor’s degree, applying for a graduate program could be a good option for you. Here are some important things to know before you start those graduate school applications.

The competitive edge is real

With the number of graduates overpowering the number of jobs, it’s important to stand out. You’re not only competing against recent graduates but people who graduated a few years ago and those looking for a new job. A graduate degree could help you stand out as someone who has more experience and education to back their degree.

Make Connections as much as possible

Don’t just attend classes then leave. To really get the most out of your graduate experience join organizations, talk with professors, attend lectures, and search for internships or teaching assistant opportunities. Every one of these things requires meeting new people and networking. These people could be valuable in the future when searching for jobs in your field.

Don’t be ashamed of weird habits

This could mean your coffee addiction or the fact that you eat ramen for every meal. You’re a student and you’re probably not rich. It’s okay to eat ice cream for dinner or find a crazy study spot. You will be memorizing a lot so your brain will be beating to a different drum. Be prepared for your sleeping and social schedules to change.

Prepare to read and write…A lot

A single professor can sometimes assign over 20 different books to read per semester. This is on top of journals and articles too. Prepare to take in as much as you can by skimming the most important information. Most professors also require lengthy writing assignments or research write-ups. It’s important to not procrastinate, be direct, and be thoughtful with your writing.

It can be stressful

On top of classes, some graduate students may be required to perform research or be a teaching assistant for undergraduate classes. The workload can be extremely overwhelming. If you have been out of school for a while, this could also mean juggling a full-time job and a family.  Graduate students must remember what they are working for and to always put your best interest first. Some people realize graduate school not for them in the end. If you do your best and end up happy with what you do, that’s all that matters.

Graduate school is a huge accomplishment. You’ve tackled and finished undergrad, now graduate school is a whole different ball game. If you think you’re up for the challenge, the world of education awaits you. If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in data and analytics, the Masters in Business Analytics from MSU will help you become a part of the leading industry.

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