Since I have been in the McNair Program I have learned so much about applying for grad school. Before McNair, I had no idea how to get to graduate school. The Program’s staff are very pro-active and work closely with scholars throughout the year. Part of this “hands on” approach involves having a plethora of guests speakers, most or all of whom have Ph.D’s and who explain the step-by-step process of graduate school work. Additionally, I learned how NOT to make common mistakes when preparing my applications. In several McNair workshops we heard from graduate school administrators on what to avoid when submitting applications. As a McNair Scholar I have learned strategies that gave me an edge and helped me to stand out among prospective graduate students from all over the country.
Working with a faculty mentor who is committed to my success has helped me remain motivated. My mentor, Dr. Nicolas Baham jumped in, with both feet, offering invaluable guidance, advice and academic assistance. The interest my mentor shows to my research is sincere and enthusiastic. Dr. Baham also doubles as my ‘cheerleader’ when I feel discouraged and overwhelmed. Faculty mentorships is an advantage to receiving strong letters of recommendation. Building relationships with faulty as a undergraduate is critical to the graduate school application process.
I also learned a lot from the McNair Graduate School BOOT CAMP. The graduate school preparation BOOT CAMP is a test of will power, motivation, and endurance. I exceeded my own expectations in all three of these arenas. Not only did this provide a boost in personal confidence, it also gave me the opportunity to meet and truly bond with other members of the McNair group. I consider my McNair family a part of my extended family. It is wonderful to know that whether we run across one another on campus or bump into each years from now, the bond we have will still be recognized.