Tools for Success
Student Support Services empowers students to clarify and attain their career and personal goals and prepare for life after graduation through a variety of programs and services, which include:
- BMOS Internships
- Career Mapping and information regarding self-assessment tools
- Workshops and Alumni Q&A events
In addition to offering workshops on success strategies for applying to graduate school, you can book a one-on-one appointment to review your grad school application including your statement of interest and CV.
Questions to Answer Before Applying to Grad School:
Why am I interested in applying to a graduate program?
What kind of career do I want when I am done?
What is my area of interest and why is it important?
Are the programs that I am interested in funded? (What is the average amount of funding? What is the tuition? If it is not funded, are there scholarships available?)
Timeline for Applying to Grad School:
SEPTEMBER: Start narrowing down the schools and programs that you are interested in applying to (if required for your program). Apply to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GREs) in October, and start studying.
Tip: Take practice exams and focus on areas where you need the most improvement.
OCTOBER: Fill in the attached tracking sheet and contact the graduate chair for each program to see if you can have a campus visit and meeting.
Tip: Research individual faculty members and their areas of interest to see if there is anyone that would be a good match for your thesis and then contact that faculty member directly. This is a key factor in whether you get in or not.
NOVEMBER: Request that your undergraduate transcripts be mailed to the institutions to which you are applying. Contact your favourite professors and ask if they are willing to write you a letter of recommendation.
Tip: Send an information packet to the people who write your letters, including your resume, undergraduate transcript and a list of accomplishments. Be sure to follow-up with a sincere thank you, as writing these letters takes a lot of time and effort on their part.
DECEMBER: Write your statement of interest and have it reviewed by the writing centre and a faculty member in the same discipline as the program that you are applying too. Finalize and mail or complete on-line application.
Tip: Make a backup copy of your application packet. Consider sending it through registered mail.
JANUARY: Confirm that your professors sent their recommendation letters and that all elements of your application have been received by your programs of interest.
MARCH: Accept and decline offers.
Tip: As soon as you have two offers in hand, pick the one that you prefer and immediately decline the other.
Parents play a crucial role in their student's career development. Here are some things that you can do:
• Listen to your student's ideas and be open to them
• Encourage them to visit Student Support Services early in their studies and to take advantage of all the information sessions and workshops that we offer
• Talk to your student about opportunities to get involved on campus. These volunteer opportunities help develop the leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills for which employers are looking
• Emphasize the importance of career exploration, skills development, and evaluating his/her own interests and strengths
Western’s Co-Curricular Record (WCCR) is a tool that allows for students to plan, learn, and reflect on their experiences outside of the classroom. These experiences help students gain transferable skills, while being involved on campus, in the London community, and around the world.
To learn more about WCCR and how it can help streamline your experiences, follow the link.