The Realities of Graduate School

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By Elisa Corsetto

Staff Writer

In my senior year at William Paterson, I thought about how to put my Bachelor’s degree to use but I was also set on earning a Master’s degree. When I was accepted into the William Paterson University graduate program, I was ecstatic.

I also did not know what to expect.

Before entering class as a graduate student I expected a similar education system as the undergraduate experience here at WPU.

Once you get to graduate school you realize that it is very different than undergrad. The biggest differences are what you learn and the work load. In every graduate class, you are learning how to apply the methods and subjects you studied in undergrad to real-world organizations within your field.

For example, in undergrad you learn the basics of topics like business management. In graduate school it is taken a step further and you learn how to actually apply business management within your own business as if you were a top executive. You study how to manage the company and apply different theories and tactics. The work is specially tailored to your career or major.

When entering graduate school and specifically the Professional Communication track, I recognized the differences within the registration and overall structure of the program.

The Professional Communication program recommends full-time students take up to three classes. As an undergraduate you can take as many classes as you can handle. At times, I took six undergraduate classes in one semester.

The graduate program paces you in this manner so you do not overload yourself with work. The assignments are challenging and lengthier but you acquire knowledge to apply within your career path.

Another notable difference is that students who choose to go to graduate school want to be there. Everyone has a desire to learn at a higher level and they are enduring the same experience as you.

Networking is key within the graduate program. You can meet numerous people who are working in the industry that you are targeting because many students in the program have full-time jobs.

People may be harder to connect with but once you start talking and interacting with each other everyone is friendly and helpful. Professors also expect more from graduate students. They will not treat you like a child. As graduate students, you have to want to learn.

I would not change my decision to further my education. I believe that knowledge is power and success is what you make it. If you work hard for your goals, they will be attained.

We have the rest of our lives to work and right now the focus is furthering my education to assist my future professional career choices. Knowledge will only be an asset to you in your future. Set goals and achieve them.


Photo courtesy of William Paterson University

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