Do your Research! Be Specific! Send Emails!

Graduate applications can be intimidating. Many people that apply to grad school are highly qualified with plenty of experience, and it’s easy to doubt how you stack up against the competition. However, what potential advisors are looking for is someone that is passionate about their research and has the enthusiasm and commitment to see it through. They don’t set out looking for someone with impossibly high grades and nineteen internships; they’re looking for the person they think will thrive in their specific niche. So you need to show them why you’re a good fit!

When I applied for grad school, I researched which professors were studying the topics I wanted to study, and then sent them all emails asking what they were currently working on and whether they were taking new grad students. Even if they weren’t taking on students, many offered advice about other professors I could contact! Then I tailored each application to namedrop the people I was interested in working with, mentioning why I was interested in their specific research and why I thought I was qualified to study it. This shows them that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in their work.

I also highly recommend talking to the professors in your department. If you don’t know what professors in your field are looking for, who better to ask than a professor in your field! They all want to see you succeed, and will have advice that is specific and helpful. Go send one an email (even if you don’t know them!). Good luck everyone, you’ve got this 🙂

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Academics – Atmospheric Sciences – Meteorology, Class of 2023
Interests – Physical & Life Sciences; Sustainability/Conservation/Energy
Identities – she/her

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