5 Things You’ll Only Realize In Graduate School

I have always known I’ll pursue further studies after college, as to when and what specifically the field is, I only found out last school year. On my first job I’ve met a lot of professionals, young and old, who also the share the same want to study further. But as I transferred from a company to another I found that many aspire but only have a few have the courage, resources or real desire to study again. I knew right then that I don’t want to be one of those people who plans but stopped at just planning. It has been a hundred and eighty degree turn for me when I started school again but as knowledge hungry as I was before I embarked on this journey, I am thirstier for wisdom now that I came across a few realizations I wouldn’t have known had I not started.


You think college provided you with all the knowledge you need for your chosen field? Think again. Of course your degree equipped you with the technical and practical know-how about Marketing, Engineering or whatever the case may be but it is better to find out now that out of all the 300-page books you’ve read only a few paragraphs apply in real life. When you start working, you’ll learn to device your own strategies just to fit the no longer theoretical problems of reality. But how do you improve from here? You study again. You’ll learn that you can never learn enough. Once you learn something, you apply it and found out that there’s something to learn again. Graduate school will help you reconcile the technicalities of the field and the wisdom you acquired while you’re actually on the field. Which brings me to my second realization – do not do it as soon as you graduate.


Yes you can go straight to grad school right after graduation but why the rush? It is not a race where you actually have to learn as many as you can so you can take home the bacon. Between a person fresh out of his MBA but without a professional experience and a young professional with at least two years solid on-the-job experience, an employer will most likely hire the latter. Not because of knowledge, but because of the wisdom he has acquired from actual experience. But being hired should not stop anyone from further studying. For a few years, being fresh out of college and your short experience in the profession can excuse you from lapses and flaws but there will come a point that you will have to up your game. Who wants to be an assistant or junior associate all his life? That is where grad school steps in. With the wisdom you already have and the new formal knowledge developed while you are out in the real world learning another way, grad school gives you learning in the different perspective. It will provide you with mastery of what you already know, and more. It gives you an edge over what you once were and makes you fit to become more.


It may not be a consideration at first but this is actually one of the real perks of further studies. The kind of people you meet. Meeting them on the same class that you are I means you share a thing or two professionally – more than the field you are trying to master, you can have the same industry, target market, and even personal interest. You can learn from a classmate’s professional experience as he can learn from you: how to handle crisis, customers, clients, stakeholders and the likes. You’ll meet people of the same wavelength as yours, of the same degree of ambition and the same track of career aim with no direction other than progression. It’s good to keep you high school friends with you till the end but if it ever comes a point where your likes becomes different and not helpful towards your professional endeavors, it’s good to have other friends who speak the same ‘speak’ as yours.


Of course your ‘cum laude’ is important to you and your parents. You earned it, you wear it proud. It may have brought you a decent position in your first job and immunity to some other exams but it will not be an entitlement you can abuse in grad school. Once you enroll, you are of the same footing as any other student who qualified to the same program you are in, regardless of your present employment, age, social status or even grades in college. You get the same classes and subjected to the same tests. It is a badge of honor to carry your Latin honors with you because it is yours to carry in the first place but unless and until you get the same from grad school, you cannot rub it in to everyone because they will not be impressed.


Let’s assume that all of us had our days of shame I middle or high school – of not being able to participate in class because of fear of answering incorrectly for the nth time or because your classmate delivered a much better speech before your turn. You will be a bolder student now than you have ever been. You will not be afraid to speak up because this is where you voice needs to be heard. This is not P.E. or some class you are not forced to attend. You chose this, and unlike your previous educations, you are even probably paying for this. You will not fear of answering incorrectly because you will be too mature to worry about that. You will be more interested in expressing what you know o finding out the correct answer after realizing that you answered wrong. You won’t care what your classmates might think of you in your sharing of thoughts, because you honestly know that they won’t just judge. You are all professionals now, after all. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Flickr / scui3asteveo

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