With graduate school applications looming and deadlines fast approaching, you’re probably seeking advice on what you can do to better your chances of getting into the master’s or doctoral program of your dreams. That’s all well and good, but knowing what not to do is just as important, so I’ve compiled a very short list of “don’ts” for the application process that should help it go a bit more smoothly and feel at least moderately less stressful:
- Don’t count yourself out.
Don’t think for one second that a particular school’s name or reputation will automatically disqualify you from the running. Whether you have twenty years of experience in education or zero, you—yes, you—have a very real shot of being admitted to an institution like HGSE, so apply!
- Don’t wait until the last minute to contact recommenders or write your Statement of Purpose.
When it comes to asking for letters of recommendation, there is no such thing as starting too early. If you haven’t already, begin reaching out to individuals (former professors, supervisors, etc.) who you feel can make a strong case on your behalf. As for your Statement of Purpose: write, write, write! Don’t sit around waiting for the perfect anecdotal introductory sentence to magically pop into your head because you may end up waiting for a long, long time. Get some words on the page first, then focus on making those words coherent and beautiful later.
- Don’t forget why you want to come here!
Make your reasoning for wanting to pursue graduate study at HGSE crystal clear. Let the passion you have for education spill out of every facet of your application and present your story in a way that only you can.
Monique Hall is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Technology, Innovation, and Education program. She is passionate about children’s media, ice cream, and educational equity.