Tips for Juniors
Donald Asher, author of How to Get a Job with Any Major, From College to Career, and Graduate Admissions Essays has assembled a list of tips for junior students. Consider the following advice when planning your third year of college.
This is the year that sets up success after graduation!
- Prepare in the first semester to get a summer internship (see "Third Summer" below).
- If you have not by now, settle on a major and meet with an academic advisor to plan the sequence of courses that will allow you to graduate on time.
- Consider a semester abroad (first semester is preferred over second, but this is not a critical choice).
- Continue to see faculty outside of the classroom.
- Continue to be involved in departmental activities.
- Continue with an academic activity.
- Consider adding to your list of activities (academic, service, sports, interest); consider seeking a leadership role in one or more especially if you’re grad school bound.
- Begin to talk about your future career with fellow students, faculty, alumni, visiting speakers and VIPs, friends of the family, parents of your friends, etc.
- Visit alumni and professionals in your chosen field for a "shadowing" day, or at least an information interview.
- If you are applying for an elite graduate fellowship (Rhodes, Watson, Marshall, etc.), most successful applicants start first semester of the junior year to prepare their applications; find the scholarship advisor and plan your application strategy.
- Research graduate schools: look up prominent graduate faculty in your field of interest, read articles in the academic journals for your field, look at Peterson’s and other grad school guides.
- Begin to correspond with faculty in graduate schools of interest.
- If grad schools on your list require the GRE, plan to take it late in the second semester, or in June of the coming summer.
- If grad schools on your list require a GRE subject test, register in February for an April sitting.
- If headed for medical school, register in March to take the April MCAT; you can take it again in August if you don’t like your score.
- If headed for law school, register in November to take the December LSAT, or in January for the February sitting; you can take it again in June or October of the following year if you don’t like your score.
- Visit all the graduate schools you can during the school year.
- Try to go to an academic conference in your field.
- Watch your grades! These are the last grades that will show if you plan to apply to graduate school next year.
- Get by without a car; your grades will be higher.
- Live on campus; your grades will be higher.