What to know about grad school

You’ve finally arrived! All of your hard work, dedication, sweat, and tears have paid off – congratulations on making it to graduate school. Seeking higher education is such an accomplishment, but adjusting to the immense pressures of grad life can be extremely difficult and challenging. Luckily, five of our very own Emersonian grads have some words of wisdom to share on what to know about grad school.

Alyssa Barzach, Communication Sciences and Disorders:

“Before I entered grad school, I was so nervous! I wish I would have known how incredibly supportive the CSD faculty were going to be, and I especially wish I would have known that all of my classmates were in the same boat. Now, after being in the program for over a year, I really wish I would have known how many wonderful friends I’d make through this program. It really feels like a community! Having that strong sense of community in the CSD program makes the hard days a lot better.”

Chrissy Reilly, Theatre Education:

People aren’t as scary and serious as I thought they were? Don’t get me wrong, the people at Emerson are amazingly passionate about what they do, but they are also so friendly and wonderful. I was really nervous about making friends, meeting new people, and wondering if I would have the expertise I needed to succeed, but I have found such a wonderful community here.”

Semsarah Faustin, Integrated Marketing Communication:

Before entering graduate school, I envisioned my professors to be mean and unapproachable. Fortunately, I was wrong. Professors in the IMC program go beyond the classroom to ensure that students succeed. It’s great knowing that if I need help or advice regarding a class or my career, I have a list of professors I can speak with.”

Rachel Sparks, Writing Literature and Publishing:

I wish I’d known that relationships with your professors are welcome and encouraged. In grad school, you’re more of a peer to the faculty than you were as an undergrad. The professors want to see you succeed and have a lot of opportunities to help you do so, but only if they know what you’re looking for. Take the time to get to know them, share about yourself and your goals, and find a mentor. They could be the one to help you land your first job.”

Shamime Shaw, Film and Media Art:

“The B line is really slow, so make sure you allow yourself enough time to get to class. Take all of the workshops that are offered to you during your first year because they are so worth it! Using undergraduates for collaboration, crew work, and student groups is an amazing resource, and I have ended up with long-lasting friendships from my time here at Emerson. Also keep in mind that in grad school, you may feel like you have a lot of free time but time management is essential!

Follow Hanna Shemke:

Hanna Shemke is a ’20 Publishing & Writing MA alum and the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Emerson’s Graduate Admissions department. Currently, she is working from home in Michigan and working on her Young Adult urban-fantasy trilogy, the House of Shadows.