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Is grad school for me?

Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What’s my motivation for applying to graduate school?
  • Do I have a career objective which requires an advanced degree?
  • Am I aware of the career areas for which the advanced degree will prepare me and the employment outlook for these field?
  • Do I have any relevant experience?
  • How much will my job/salary prospects be enhanced by a graduate degree?
  • Is this the right time personally and financially?

Start your journey early

There are many schools out there who offer Master programs. If you think you might be interested, or have heard of a great program, start looking early. At the beginning of October, Carleton typically hosts a Graduate School Fair in the Galleria with many schools across Canada represented – a great place to start.

Some common graduate paths for BCom/BIB grads:

  • MBA, Master of Business Administration
  • MAcc, Master of Accounting
  • MSc, Master of Science (e.g., in International Business or Information Systems)
  • MGB, Master of Global Business (uVic)
  • MFE, Master of Financial Economics
  • LLB, Law. Read this article on becoming a lawyer from the University of Toronto.
  • Some students consider college courses to augment their degree. Read this article on attending college after university by Talent Egg.

Sam-Tersigni“The Sprott BIB program confirmed, for me, that I was in fact going in the right direction. I discovered which aspects of business in which I am truly interested and developed my passion for languages and culture. The University of Victoria’s Master of Global Business program was a clear choice as my next step, providing me more diverse hands-on international experience, a higher level of international business knowledge, as well as training in an additional language.” – Sam Tersigni, BIB ’16

How do I find schools/programs?

To find schools or programs, you can consider:

Applications

Apply to most graduate schools using the following five steps.

  1. Research the school: Visit if you can, talk to professors who teach in the area, speak with students who are currently in the program, use LinkedIn to find Sprott grads who have taken the program, look at the school’s social media feeds. Ask about the schools’ statistics related to graduate employment rates of internship positions – questions about when and how this information was gathered as well as sample size.
    Many programs will require:

    • Standardized entrance test, like the GMAT
    • References
    • Official transcripts
    • Resume and/or Academic CV
    • Personal Statement/Letter of Intent
    • Admission Interviews (some schools are now using video interviews)
  2. Personal Statement: This is not a review of your resume but should let the reader in on your personality, interests, career goals and why you would be a good fit for their degree program. A good personal statement will cover experiential background (co-op, TA experience, exchange), talk about significant projects/research you have done, hobbies/interests, and what career path you believe you will follow after graduation.
  3. Recommendations/References: You will need to provide reference letters in your application. Choose people who know you well and can speak to your professionalism and/or academic success. This bodes well for keeping in touch with a favourite prof while you are an undergrad! Be sure to refresh their memory of who you are by mentioning your notable projects or contributions to class. Try to give references at least one month’s notice.
  4. Tailor the application: Just like a job application, you need to tailor the application to the school and the program. Why is this school/program so relevant to you? For example, if you have a keen interest in the theories of the finance world and enjoy how economics plays a role in money markets, plus you were an active member of The Sprott Student Investment Fund, this could be a huge motivator for your application to the University of Toronto’s Master of Financial Economics (MFE) program. Admissions officers will consider what you will bring to the program as well as what you will get out of it.
  5. Proofread, proofread, proofread! Have a couple of people read over your documents. In particular, your personal statement is a sample of your writing. Spelling, grammar or awkward sentence structure looks unprofessional.

christopher-rozan“To gain a better perspective of International Business and to complement my IS background, I chose the Ivey Master of Science (MSc-IB). Pursuing an MSc now rather than an MBA after working for a few years was a matter of understanding myself. I become very engaged in whatever I am involved in at a given time, and I knew once I started my career, I would not leave to go back to school.” – Chris Rozon, BCom ’16, IS Concentration