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You’re Training for the Big Leagues: Preparing to Apply to Grad School

Here’s a great guest post from Dr. Thomas at YourGradSchoolCoach. Enjoy!

If you are anything like me, you were never quite athletic or coordinated enough to excel at sports. And if you aren’t like me and you enjoyed your share of years as Athlete of the Year, kudos for having those glory days to look back on and remember. However, if you’re reading this right now, chances are that you have very different goals in mind than shutting it down on the sports field. Your dreams now include getting into grad school and getting on with creating the career of your dreams.

Anyone who has vied for a spot on a varsity sports can see a huge parallel between those tryouts and the audition-of-a-lifetime that lies ahead in getting into grad school. The crowd of hopefuls is just as large. The competition is fierce. Stakes are high. And you are just as jittery and nervous about your performance as back in high school. Only this time, your chances of making the cut is judged on the basis of your transcript, test scores, and overall application package.

Grad school admissions is an arena where only the best-prepared and well-practiced advance to the Big Leagues. Being chosen as first round draft pick doesn’t happen by accident. Much like the young sensation who has been training to play pro sports for years until he gets drafted, you have got to start prepping today if you want to be in the game tomorrow.

If you’re applying to masters, MBA, or Ph.D. programs in the next few years, now is the time to start “training.” Here are some questions you need to figure out in order to secure top billing at Grad School Tryouts:

  • What are the top ten programs in your field?
  • Are the top ten programs *your* best programs or are you choosing them simply because some magazine article said so?
  • Which university faculty members would you give your left arm to work with or learn from?
  • Are there summer programs you can apply to to get a taste for the work you’ll be doing for the rest of your life?
  • Which internships or volunteer experience can you sign up for to offer real-life practical experience for your future career?
  • Which professors do I need to establish a good reputation and working relationship with so that they are able to write a great letter of recommendation for me?

Triumph in the grad school admissions process means showing up fully-prepared to get in the game and CRUSH IT. Practice due diligence now to find out the best programs for you and adequately set yourself up for compete at the top of your class. Training to be in the Big Leagues starts now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Khia A. Thomas is the founder of She blogs about how to “get into grad school and get on with your life” and provides one-on-one consultation to help you get into your first choice graduate program!

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