The first session of classes is concluding, and I’m left wondering where the time went! Luckily, only one more final to go!
I’ve had an increasing number of people recently ask me what the differences between undergraduate and graduate school are. My initial thought is that you need to show up. I mean REALLY show up (Yes, literally. Go to class!). Also, BE PRESENT (Be prepared and ready)!
Several undergraduate classes are designed as lectures. However, that’s not the case for most graduate programs, and certainly not the MHRM program. Instructors expect students to have read the assigned readings and come prepared to engage in conversation and ask questions about the readings. This may be intimidating to those who are not comfortable public-speaking, as this is something I continue to challenge myself to improve on. Nonetheless, the instructors and classmates are extremely supportive and provide continual encouragement. Plus, this provides a great opportunity to learn from peers, and practice and apply real principles and concepts that are related to the field!
Another large difference for many students is having to adjust to the 7 week session classes. So when I was asked last week what I would do differently thus far in the program, I would advise anyone to start off strong with your best foot forward. There’s no more “syllabus day.” So during the first class of each course, when the instructor explains the course project (most courses have 1-2 exams and a paper/project), there’s no waiting until later. There’s not really a “later” to rely on because the session moves pretty rapidly. Use your time wisely and plan ahead. So if the semester looks like it is going to get increasingly demanding, get the ball rolling on the project earlier in the session or semester. Trust me, you will be incredibly thankful!
Additionally, since graduate programs are typically smaller in size, I think it’s fairly natural for a stronger sense of community to be created with classmates. Fisher plays an integral part in helping to create this community through different intentional efforts, though. Between the discussion-based classes, group projects, and weekly outings, graduate school definitely creates a very strong sense of community. It’s the best of both worlds. Fisher creates a space to learn and grow, as well as laugh and play.