Professional experience recommended as aid to grad school acceptance

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By Donia Ibrahim

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – American University of Sharjah alumni and Dr. Amanda Murdie, a former director of graduate studies at both the University of Missouri and the University of Georgia, highlighted the features of a strong graduate school application March 15.

Haifa Badi, an AUS journalism alumna, shared her experience with applying to graduate school abroad, emphasizing the need of planning ahead of time. Badi touched upon the importance of pursuing research projects in order to maintain strong relationships with professors.

When it comes to preparing an application, she noted that an application must include a compelling personal statement and letters of recommendation obtained through strong networking skills.

She stated the significance of professional experience before seeking a graduate degree, noting that it allows students to develop an understanding of the industry and their intended career outcome.

Mariam Abdelsamie, an international studies alumna, echoed Badi’s advice, indicating the necessity of a strong personal statement, which might influence whether students are accepted into graduate school.

She advised applicants to conduct thorough research on the university of their choice, including checking the international ranking, faculty, syllabus, and course offerings.

Murdie discussed what makes a solid application for different degrees. She stated that in order to be accepted into a Ph.D. program, one must show dedication to research.

She advised applicants to do extensive research on their prospective university before applying, including reviewing their previous publications.

Murdie suggested including professional experiences in the application and submitting a clear statement of purpose. She said that “It is essential to mention the faculty members with whom you intend to collaborate while applying to the program, especially Ph.D. advisors.”

She recommended that students should prepare a backup plan in case they were not admitted into their preferred colleges, rather than focusing solely on one program.