While many graduates in the Class of 2015 prepare for the job market, some have sent out their personal statements and curriculum vitae to request entry or have been accepted into a graduate school programs. Whatever their destination,
graduation candidates and staff in Xavier’s Office of Graduate Programs agreed that research and planning early was important to successful acceptance into
a graduate or professional program.

The office’s motto is “We don’t start a graduate program, we finish them,” said Tracie Thomas, Grad Placement’s director as she spoke to students during a “Graduate School Here I Come” event in March.

Through the office’s Ronald  E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Xavier has increased the number of first generation students entering graduate school. McNair scholars visit graduate programs and meet graduate deans as part of the program. In the class of 2015, eight of the 11 McNair Scholars enrolled in graduate and professional schools, Thomas said.

“The McNair program has been instrumental in my success to applying to graduate school,” said Jesslyn Magee, a senior, biology major. The program also gives students the tools to meet application requirements. Ariana
Mitchell, a senior psychology major said, “As a [McNair] scholar, I received free practice books, a free GRE class, and a free GRE practice test.”

The Office of Graduate Placement assists students in applying to graduate programs, offers useful pointers on professional emails, and stages mock interviews for jobs to ensure students are fully prepared for interview
questions. The office provides individual counseling so students
have an increased chance of getting accepted into a graduate

The Office of Graduate Placement is in the St. Joseph Academic and Health Resource Center, Room 306. The Xavier Herald spoke with several members of the Class of 2015 who shared what’s next in their life.


Lydia Mensah
Chemistry, ACS
Baton Rouge, La.
“Accepted into the materials science and engineering Ph.D.
program at University of Michigan “There are many programs
that McNair has had that have helped me get to the point I am, but the most integral was the application party they held this past fall. I was able to sit
with other students and work on finishing my applications and get
my personal statement read.”


Donielle Curry
Birmingham, Ala.
Accepted into the University of
Montevallo, Master in Clinical
Mental Health Counseling;
Alabama A&M, Master in
Clinical Psych; Jacksonville
State University, Master in
Clinical Psych
“Don’t limit yourself on where you can go for graduate schools. Start looking for schools across the nation for a program that fits you. Start your personal statement as early as possible, so by the time you need to submit
it, it will already be revised and perfect.”


Catherine Fakler
English/English Education
Phoenix, Ariz.
Accepted into the University of
Arizona, Ph.D. in Literature
“What really helped me with the application process was finding a mentor in my area of interest (English) and having her walk me through the process.
Definitely don’t wait to take the GRE until senior year, you should take the test your junior year because it makes the application process a lot easier.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to contact people in the program you are interested in, because making connections will only strengthen your application.”


Bria Joshua
New Orleans, La.
Accepted into the Southern
University Law Center in
Baton Rouge.
“Mr. Brian Waldrup suggested that precise descriptions on a résumé are
much better than more broad descriptions. This suggestion alone changed the dynamic of my résumé for the better and has even influenced my interview
and networking habits. It’s not what you’ve done, but how you can prove [what you’ve done and how it] will aid your future


Kayla Irby
Pearland, Texas
Accepted into Nova
Southeastern University M.S.
in Family Therapy; University
of Los Angeles, M.A. in Clinical
Psychology, Marital and Family
Therapy Specialization
“Before senior year, I had very little idea about how to search
and apply for graduate school programs, but with the one-on one meetings and the informative seminars, I was easily able to find programs that matched my
professional interests, while also meeting my graduate school
qualifications. I strongly urge all students who are interested in any graduate program to stop by their office, especially if you have any questions about which schools you should look at or even how the interview process works.”


Ariana L. Mitchell
New Orleans, La.
Accepted into the University of
South Alabama Ph.D. Program
“The questions I was asked in my mock interview were nearly identical to the questions asked in my actual interview for graduate school. Therefore, I felt
extremely well-equipped. This remarkable opportunity made
me a much more competitiveapplicant.”

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