First Impressions of Grad School

24 Aug

I’m only three days into grad school but I have to say that right off the bat, it’s so much better than how my undergrad studies began. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect of the experience and from my past attempt at it, I wasn’t ready to get my hopes up. Still, when orientation went well and I liked all the faculty, I was encouraged. Now that I’m starting to see what our assignments are like, I’m loving it even more. Here are the big differences I’ve noticed between undergrad and grad studies.

It’s more of a mentoring process: You form relationships with instructors and advisers who have similar interests and experience in areas you like. These professors get to know you and help guide you as you decide what path to take. They’re also there for you when you start your job search and even after graduation. What I love about the library science field is that it’s dominated by women who come along and Mother Hen you. They’re smart, capable ladies who are invested in helping other women grow and succeed. Can you imagine?

You decide what you will get out of the program: With all my assignments, even group projects, we’re encouraged to explore our interests and passions and incorporate them in a way that’s relevant to our career. The program is generalized in this sense because it forces you to develop your own specializations. Depending on how hard you work and how much you use your imagination, you can come out with new ideas that will help change the field for the better. Another thing I love about library science is that it’s always changing. Not just because of technology but because librarians are dedicated to improving the system and helping people at every step.

Networking becomes a big deal: I only talk to a small handful of my peers from undergrad but I have a feeling that I will be networking with my current ones for years. From experience volunteering and getting to know librarians in other areas, I’ve noticed that a surprising number of them know each other. They either went to school together or attended a seminar once or maybe they just belong to the same organization but you can bet that they keep in touch. We’re already off and running on providing a support net for each other and will probably continue to do so through team work and group projects.

I’m loving this career choice so far and I’m actually pretty excited about the course work. I can’t wait to find out how to make my own little niche of expertise and research the topics that fascinate me. I’m so lucky to have found myself working towards a career that fuels my creativity instead of depleting it.

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