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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Getting to graduate, professional school

Students+can+attend+the+Graduate+and+Professional+School+Fair+this+Thursday%2C+Oct.+13%2C+2022.
Photo by Kalena Agpasan

Students can attend the Graduate and Professional School Fair this Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022.

The Career Center’s Graduate and Professional School Fair takes place on Thursday, Oct. 13, at Rudder Exhibit Hall, from 12-3 p.m.

For many of the current postgraduate students, the COVID-19 pandemic provided time to reflect on their career trajectories and consider other career paths. This has led to an increase in postgraduate enrollment for many Americans. Tiffany Tran, a second-year Texas A&M School of Law student, said she did not have a linear path towards law school.

“I was bio[logy], pre-med, originally. And then I realized that medical school wasn’t for me.” Tran said.

Tran said she advises prospective students to be open to opportunities and pursue what feels true.

“I actually had fun studying for the [Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT], as bad as that sounds,” Tran said. “I think that’s what drew me to law school: I wanted to feel like I was good at something and that’s how I felt when I was studying for the LSAT.”

Breaunna Friels, a MBA student at the University of North Texas, knew she wanted to further her education beyond her bachelor’s degree after entering the workforce. 

“I started thinking about [getting a] MBA at the end of undergrad[uate],” Friels said. “When I was at my job after undergrad[uate], I realized I needed to go ahead and get it done.”

Concurrent with her program, Friels works as a real estate professional. She urges prospective graduate students to weigh their options and make an informed decision.

“Undergrad[uate] should consider their career [trajectory] and what is necessary to be a competitive applicant in their field,” Friels said.

Friels felt drawn to a MBA program due to its transferability across industries. Friels said  students should take their time and enter the workforce before committing themselves to a postgraduate program.

“Work definitely made me more eager to go back to school,” Friels said. “I wanted to continue to learn in a structured environment while continuing to gain valuable career experiences.”

However, many students  go directly from undergraduate to professional school. Timothy Richard-Jackson, a first-year at the A&M School of Law, began law school at age 20.

“Starting law school at 20 is isolating,” Richard-Jackson said. “You’re more alone than anyone else because there’s a limited amount of what you can experience.”

Like Friels, Richard-Jackson encourages students to take their time and explore different options. 

“Make sure you’re doing your research,” Richard-Jackson said. “Make sure you know what it would entail and you know what you’re getting yourself into.”

Beyond the program however, when considering postgraduate education, you must weigh the financial investment against the support you’re likely to receive. Jeff Green, director of admissions at the A&M School of Law, advises students to weigh the cost carefully.

“Students that have support both individually as well as financially have more opportunities to pursue additional degrees,” Green said. “To take the risk of what could be more debt.”

Green previously advised students to also consider the diversity of potential mentors when deciding whether a program is a fit.

“As students are considering law schools, [don’t just] look at the race and ethnicity makeup of the student body, but the faculty,” Green said. “Diversity among your professors is a huge component of having the support and mentorship to help you succeed.”

Pursuing a postgraduate education is not a light undertaking. Luckily, the Career Center provides many helpful resources for those interested.

“The Professional School Advising Office strives to be a continued source of accurate information for our students, for this reason we have created a handout for each pre-profession we advise,” Green said. 

The Career Center has many resources to offer, year-round. 

All A&M students can attend the fair to meet with representatives from various graduate and professional school programs seeking applicants for their respective programs. 

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