Bright and early Saturday morning on Sept 10, students streamed into the colloquium space on the 15th floor for NYU Shanghai’s first Grad School Blast. The event, which was organized by the Career Development Center (CDC), was primarily aimed at seniors who are in the middle of preparing for life beyond NYU Shanghai (many of whom are still in major denial about this) but saw widespread attendance from all four classes.
The event started with a workshop addressing reasons why students would want to apply to grad school in the first place. This was followed by a workshop getting down to the actual mechanics of researching and applying to schools and global awards and panel discussions led by previous grad students from a diverse range of fields such as arts, science, law and medicine, sharing their own experiences and advice.
The event seemed to be a learning process for the CDC as well as students: students trying to figure out what they wanted out of grad school while the CDC worked on how best to help students take this next big step in their lives.
As such, it’s difficult to definitively say whether the event was a success or not: many students definitely felt they were walking away from the event with many of their questions answered while others felt the event did nothing to quell their anxieties or came away with more questions than had been answered. Some concluded that the event had helped them see that grad school definitely wasn’t for them.
Senior Tyler Rhorick said that he “blasted out of grad school before it was even over. I realized that I was using grad school as a crutch for my lack of career focus. But grad school shouldn’t be a backup plan, it should be what you’re passionate about.”
Hopefully the CDC will use feedback from this year’s event to make next year’s even better. To all the seniors applying for jobs and grad schools this year, good luck!