Best Websites for Graduate and Professional School Planning

While you are probably looking forward to some time to relax this summer, do not pass up prime time to work on your graduate school plans.  Whether you expect to be on a college campus, the beach, or your couch this summer, here are a few websites to help you get to the bottom of what you really need to know about graduate and professional school:

1.  University websites

The best way for you to learn about a graduate program is to go straight to the source.  A university’s website will provide information about admission criteria, degree plans, financial aid, and faculty research interests.  Click here for a list of graduate programs at Baylor.

2.  Graduate School Directories

Maybe you just read my first piece of advice and thought it was a great idea…if only you knew which schools interested you.  Though I have not found a single website that provides a comprehensive look at all graduate programs, and Peterson’s are two that I use most frequently when assisting students.  These sites allow you to search by location, subject, and degree type.  If you are interested in reviewing program rankings, U.S. News and World Report rankings are probably the best known.  Students interested in doctoral study might also want to check out

3.  Professional Association and Accrediting Body Websites

Though many institutions offer graduate and professional school programs, they are not all created equal.  Reviewing websites of accrediting bodies will help you to know if your prospective school meets certain standards.  Completing an accredited program often increases your job prospects, as compared to non-accredited programs.  Several professional associations also list related graduate programs on their websites.  Here are a few examples to get you started:

Association of American Medical Colleges

Law School Admission Council

American Psychological Association

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs The Centralized Application Service for Public Health

American Dental Association

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

4. Entrance Exam Websites

Chances are good that your program will require you to submit a score from a standardized test.  Make sure to review the websites of your prospective programs to find out what, if any, scores they require.  Like my remarks on #1 in this list, you really want to go straight to the source for this information.  The following websites will provide you with detail on how to sign up and prepare for your standardized test.







5.  Financial Aid Information

Graduate and professional school is a huge investment.  You can never have too much information on your options for financing your education.  Here are a few websites to get you started:

CareerOneStop Scholarship Search


If you are feeling confused or overwhelmed at any stage of your graduate school planning process, please reach out to the Career and Professional Development staff to help.  We want to help you succeed!

What Can You Do With That Major??


Have you ever answered the age old question, “What is your major?” only to be asked the follow up question, “What will you do with that?”  Next, think about your initial response to that last question — clammy palms, racing heart, cool confidence?  Well, if your initial response is more often one of the first two options than the third, here are some helpful tips, especially if you have found the major you love to study, but have noticed it doesn’t provide a clear-cut list of career options.

1.  Don’t panic.  Whatever your Baylor major, you are developing incredible transferable skills that employers want.  Writing, researching, critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, etc. are among a multitude of skills employers are looking for and skills that a variety of majors provide.  Take a minute and start a list of some of the different skills you are learning in your classes.  If you notice areas that are missing, make an appointment with a professor and ask about additional ways you might develop these other skill sets while staying involved in your field of interest.

2.  Get involved.  Student organizations and volunteer opportunities can be great opportunities to put these skills you’ve developed into action.  Being able to demonstrate your experience utilizing these skill sets in an interview and on a resume will speak volumes to employers.  Take note of specifics, including any quantifiable data about the project or program you worked with.  Also, remember what you learned from your experiences and how that might inform future endeavors you take on.  Any opportunities for leadership in those groups can also be useful, so be on the look out for ways you can jump in and help.

3.  Network.  Do you know someone who is doing the actual type of work you like, but are unsure how they got there?  Ask if you can schedule a meeting to hear that person’s story and how he or she got into the work that sounds so appealing to you.  If you don’t know someone specifically, start with people you do know to see if they know someone.  Don’t forget about your Facebook account!  Sometimes asking if anyone knows someone working in a particular field can yield great results.

To learn more about how one liberal arts student found the right career path, read the following article:  She gives lots of great tips for ways you can begin now to work toward the career you want.

If you are still trying to decide what your summer plans will include, be mindful about your choices and how they fit with your future goals and aspirations.  You might be surprised that these summer experiences can be wonderful skill and resume builders that will help you in the future.  As always, Career and Professional Development is here to help you, so let us know if we can help guide you on your journey!

Focused on Fashion: Careers in Apparel Merchandising

Fashion Show

A major or minor in Apparel Merchandising and Product Development can be an excellent fit for students who want to apply their business savvy in a creative and competitive industry.  Visit the following links to learn more about different career possibilities with this major.

I Want to Be a Stylist (

Career Information- Where can a degree in Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles take you? (Washington State University)

Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents (Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Visual Merchandising Associate Job Description – Retail Career Job Profile ( Retail Industry)

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers (Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Public Relations Specialists (Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives (Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Job Description of a Merchandise Planner (GlobalPost)

What Are the Qualifications to Be a Manager at a Retail Store? (

How is Your Career Reception?

Image courtesy of Master isolated images /

Is there anything more frustrating than being in the middle of a major project requiring internet access and losing your connection?  After refreshing your screen several times to no avail and finally succumbing to the reality that going to a different place with better reception is your next step, frustration can certainly set in, especially if you have gotten all settled into your space, knowing that you have to pick everything up and move to a different locale.

Or what about the phone call to someone you haven’t gotten to see in a long time.  Maybe you’re in the middle of catching up on life when all of a sudden the inevitable dropped call occurs.  How frustrating!  You immediately call the person back.  Maybe this connection is better, but sometimes, even worse, the call drops again and you have to move somewhere else with a better reception signal.  How sweet it is to finally resume the conversation without interruption!

Sometimes life is like that.  You start off in one direction, only to meet a roadblock that causes you to rethink your path.  For some of us, these change-of-direction moments occur when we need to rethink our major or career plans.  Maybe instead of a dropped call, you’ve had to drop a class this semester.  Thinking through the reasons that led you to drop the class might provide some insight into whether a reevaluation of your current major or career plans might be helpful.  Maybe you feel disconnected in your courses of study or when you think about the career you’ve been planning to pursue.  Maybe you’ve lost interest in what you always thought you wanted to do.  If this is the case, you are not alone!  The Career Exploration staff is here to help guide you in a direction that will fit who you are and help you find the place to reconnect with a clear signal.

Maybe you already have clear reception and love your major and career direction.  What wonderful news!  Please let our staff in Career and Professional Development help guide you as you reach for your goals.  We can help review that resume so it shines bright and stands out for recruiters.  We can also help you solidify your interview skills, so you feel confidant and sure during those multiple interview rounds.  Maybe you want to meet with someone to gain clarity in your job and internship search.  We can help with that, too.

Whatever your career need, please stop by our website to schedule an appointment.  We can’t wait to work with you!

Work in Waco Job Fair Tomorrow

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For those of you sticking around Waco this summer or looking to settle here full-time after graduation, consider an excellent opportunity tomorrow to look into employment possibilities.  The Work in Waco Job Fair will showcase local employers from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Waco Convention Center on Wednesday, April 16th.  Employment opportunities include internship, part-time, and full-time positions.  Students are encouraged to pre-register, and a list of employers who will be attending is available on the Work in Waco website.

Graduate School Workshop Videos Now Online

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Did you miss our workshop series this semester?  Don’t fret.  The Preparing for Graduate School workshops were recorded, and you can access the first two videos on the Career and Professional Development website.  The last two videos will be added soon.  Keep in mind that CPD staff are happy to assist you with your graduate school decisions and plans.  Contact us to let us know how we can help you.

5 Summer Plans to Boost Your Career Goals

5 Summer Plans


The summer is prime time to gain valuable experiences that will help you reach your career goals.  What are your plans?  If you are still trying to decide what you will do, consider these options:

1.  Summer Job

If your plans include finding a job for the summer, why not explore opportunities related to a field you are interested in?  Need further guidance to help figure out where to start?

  • Make a career coaching appointment here to work one on one with a professional to help you gain clarity for where to begin your search depending on where you will be this summer.
  • If  you will be in Waco this summer, plan to attend the Work in Waco Job Fair on April 16th at the Waco Convention Center from 1:00 – 4:30 pm.  Be sure to pre-register for the event here.

2.  Summer Internship

A summer internship is fantastic experience for a multitude of reasons.  A few of these include building valuable networks, gaining real-world experience in your area of interest, building and improving necessary skills, as well as obtaining further clarity about what the world of work in your interest area really feels like.  Remember that 65% of internships turn into full-time job offers, so these are important opportunities to take seriously.  Again, feel free to contact our office for specific guidance.  The Work in Waco Fair will also showcase internship opportunities, so take advantage of that resource as well.

3.  Study Abroad

I have yet to speak to someone who studied abroad and didn’t have a fantastic experience.  Studying in another country can expand your horizons and networks in new ways.  You may find that you learn new things about yourself that can contribute to your career goals. Baylor’s Center for International Education provides a plethora of opportunities to study abroad through their Bears Abroad program.  Be sure and stop by their office on the 2nd floor of Poage library or email them at

4.  Volunteer

Another great way to gain experience in your career area of interest is to volunteer.  Volunteer opportunities allow you to gain experience in the work environment, network with professionals in the field, and develop new skills.  These experiences can provide valuable dividends down the road as your resume will reflect these opportunities and may pave the way for internship and job possibilities down the road.  Employers may also notice your determination and dedication to your field of work through your willingness to gain experience in the field as a volunteer.

5.  Job Shadow

The summer can also provide an extended span of time for you to explore a variety of fields you are considering by job shadowing professionals in your areas of interest.  If you are searching for the right career path for you, spending time shadowing someone in that profession can help you gain even more clarity about what that work environment is like and what some of the tasks are.  Another benefit of job shadowing is the valuable networks you build by interacting with different professionals.  If you will be in your hometown this summer, these networks may be right at your fingertips through family and friend connections.  If you would like a little more direction about how to pursue a job shadowing experience or an information interview, please visit this link.  Here we offer suggestions and tips for a successful experience.

As with all of these ideas, please remember that Career and Professional Development is here to help you find your path.  Let us know if we can help with questions, concerns or even figuring out where to begin.  We want you to find the opportunities that fit you the best!

Preparing for the GRE: Workshop Today!

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You likely haven’t experienced this level of anxiety about a test since the SAT or ACT.  Join us for the final workshop in the Preparing for Graduate School workshop series to learn about the sections of the GRE® and different study strategies to help you earn an excellent score the first time.  This session will take place at 4:00 p.m. today in Room 120 of Morrison Hall, and free pizza will be available after the presentation.

If you missed the previous workshops in our series, you can now access videos of these presentations on the Baylor Career and Professional Development website.