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Spring 2002

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Tales of the real world

    “ How much difference would a graduate degree make to my salary? Should I go to grad school full- or part-time?” Students had plenty of questions like these for a panel of seven alumni at a “Real World” program sponsored last fall by the Student Alumni Society and the career services office.

Michael Meguerdichian ’02 and Allison Marino ’03, organizers of the “Real World” Q&A with alumni
     M.B.A. student Jeff Anderson ’93 cited studies placing the starting salary for a financial analyst with a bachelor’s degree at $40,000– 55,000, compared to $150,000--plus with an M.B.A. Anderson noted that full-time M.B.A. programs give an advantage over part-time study: “Full-time programs are more intensive and provide a critical network of business contacts,” he said.

     Hospital research assistant Nicole Michaelson ’00 has applied to no less than twenty-eight medical schools. She said schools typically select a first cut of applicants who are then invited to submit a more detailed application. Admissions officers, she reported, “want to see some real experience in a medical environment, so that they know you’re committed enough to finish a five-year program.”

     Laura Forlano ’95 advised students to “stay in one place for graduate study.” She started a master’s in international affairs at Columbia, then switched to Johns Hopkins. Since many schools will cover some tuition for second-year students, it would have benefited her to complete her two-year program at one institution.

     Early-childhood teacher Michelle Miller Anderson ’92 waited six years before graduate school. “I wanted to be sure about my career interests before investing that much time and money,” she said. For her it paid off: she enjoyed her studies in educational leadership, and her degree has broadened her career options.

 
Horse Show in June!

June 12–16 & June 19–23

Be part of the action, come and watch, or ride—we’ll even provide a horse if you need one!

BBQ party with music by Jeff Walton:
Friday, June 14
Special division for alumni competitors:
Saturday, June 15
For a prize list and information, contact Adele Einhorn ’80 at saratogaclassic@skidmore.edu or 518-580-5632.
   Heather McDonald ’99, who obtained a half-tuition grant for her master’s in integrated marketing communications, encouraged students to carefully research sources of financial aid.

     William Lewis ’94, a lecturer in philosophy and religion at Skidmore, stressed good preparation for tests like the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT, because “the higher the scores, the more funding a student will get.” Most Ph.D. fellowships contain a no-moonlighting clause, but “bartending doesn’t hurt.” Lewis also said interviews with the department chair are critical “to help you determine whether you really want to spend the next three to four years working closely with this person.”

     Allison Kupfer ’00 gave up a lucrative job in finance to pursue a master’s in international education policy at Harvard. It meant taking out $32,000 in loans; but, she said, “education is not something you go into for the money,” and for her career goals “a Harvard degree is unmatched.”

     After a Q&A session, students and alumni continued their discussions over dinner. Jeff Anderson applauded the Student Alumni Society organizers for a “well-executed and fun event,” and Heather McDonald added, “It was great to pass along some practical pointers to students, and I had a lot of fun meeting them.” —MM

 


© 2002 Skidmore College