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“WHY GRADUATE SCHOOL?” “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” Sponsored in part by The National Consortium for Graduate.

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Presentation on theme: "“WHY GRADUATE SCHOOL?” “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” Sponsored in part by The National Consortium for Graduate."— Presentation transcript:

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2 “WHY GRADUATE SCHOOL?” “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” Sponsored in part by The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Science and Engineering, Inc. Dr. Sandra Cruz-Pol Associate Professor ECE UPRM

3 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 2 FAQs BY STUDENTS  Why Should I Go to Graduate School?  How Can I Pay for Graduate School?  How Do I Apply for Graduate School?  How Do I Apply for a GEM Fellowship?  Where Can I Go to Graduate School?  Tips for Getting Fellowships?  How To Succeed In Grad School?

4 “WHY SHOULD I GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL?” “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Science and Engineering, Inc.

5 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 4 WE NEED YOU! Source: NACME Research Letter, Vol. 6, Number 1, May 1996

6 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 5 BENEFITS  Increased compensation Higher starting salary Greater ability to earn independently  Enhanced career flexibility Competitive advantage Greater choice of work Greater mobility  Fortified self-confidence Demonstrated ability to perform rigorous tasks

7 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 6 IDENTIFIES YOU AS A LEADER  A seat at the table.  Solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing problems lie in science and engineering: Healthcare (AIDS, Cancer, Alzheimer's) Environment Transportation Communication Civil Infrastructure

8 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” WHO BELIEVES IN GRADUATE EDUCATION? Over 50 GEM employers, including: Hewlett Packard Intel Lexmark Int’l Lucent Merck Microsoft Motorola NASA QUALCOMM Raytheon Sandia Nat’l Lab Siemens Timken Texas Instruments 3M Agilent Technologies AMD BP Amoco Compaq Corning, Inc. Daimler Chrysler Dow Chemical DuPont Eastman Kodak Co. ETS Exxon Mobil Ford Motor Co. General Motors GlaxoSmithKline

9 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 8 “HOW CAN I PAY FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL?” “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Science and Engineering, Inc.

10 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 9 GEM DELIVERS!  Portable Fellowships to 88 Universities M.S. Engineering Fellowship Program Minimum $10,000 stipend over 3 semesters/4 quarters Full tuition and fees at GEM Member University Ph.D. Engineering Fellowship Program Minimum $14,000 academic year stipend for 5 years Full tuition and fees at GEM Member University Ph.D. Science Fellowship Program Minimum $14,000 academic year stipend for 5 years Full tuition and fees at GEM Member University  Summer Internships at 51 Company Members

11 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 10 OTHER FORMS OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT  Research Assistantships (RA) and Teaching Assistantships (TA) A form of financial aid where the graduate student is paid for work which is often related to the student’s studies or area of specialization. An RA pays a student to assist a professor on a research project; a TA pays a student to teach sections or classes of undergraduate courses, or to help grade papers or examinations.

12 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 11 RESOURCES FOR FINANCIAL INFORMATION  GEM’s Web site -  The Financial Aid Web site-  The Graduate Office at your University  The Graduate Office at Universities of interest to you  The department you plan to pursue your degree in  McNair Scholars waives application fees. Go to  Project 1000 waives up to seven application fees Go to

13 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 12 “HOW DO I APPLY FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL?” “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Science and Engineering, Inc.

14 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 13 The Graduate Admissions Process  Graduate School Application: Complete application forms and questionnaires at University and Department levels as required. Submit transcripts, letters of reference, and statement of purpose. Apply for admission at member universities before January 1 st for additional funding opportunities. Take Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Submit ALL documents at once.

15 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 14 The Graduate Admissions Process (continued)  Supporting documents: Ask for STRONG letters of recommendation from faculty. Allow sufficient time for letters to be written (2-3 weeks). Have faculty review statement of purpose before submittal.

16 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 15 The Graduate Admissions Process (continued)  Graduate Record Exam (GRE): Two parts: General and discipline exams; October 2002 new exam guidelines include a writing section. Go to Computer based exams offered continuously; Resources include search services, on-line practice exams, and on campus workshops/seminars; Submit GRE scores with admission packet; Review Peterson’s Guide for scores (previous class) submitted at various universities; and Submitting GRE scores is required for funding opportunities at some universities.

17 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 16 “HOW DO I APPLY FOR A GEM FELLOWSHIP?” “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Science and Engineering, Inc.

18 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 17 GEM FELLOWSHIP PROCESS  First year students should begin exploring options now. Participate in undergraduate research experiences. Gain internship and/or co-op experiences in industry and/or government laboratories.  Juniors may apply. Begin to target specific graduate programs at member universities. Go to web site for list of members.  University alumni/ae are encouraged to apply.  Apply on line at by December 1 st deadline.

19 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 18 GEM FELLOWSHIP PROCESS (continued)  Eligibility requirements: Minimum 2.8 GPA for MS Engineering Fellowship; Minimum 3.0 GPA for Ph.D. Engineering and Science Fellowships; Submit two (one from faculty) letters of recommendation; Detailed resume; Include statement of purpose; Undergraduate and graduate transcripts; Be member of underrepresented majority group (African American, Latino/a, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and American Indian); and Be a US Citizen.

20 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 19 GEM FELLOWSHIP PROCESS (continued)  Internship Expectations: Internships begin summer before Fall enrollment at member university except Juniors; Juniors complete three internships with employer. M.S. Engineering Fellows are expected to complete two internships with employer sponsor; Ph.D. Engineering and Ph.D. Science Fellows are expected to intern at least once with employer; All interns are evaluated as potential full-time employees; and Employers pay internship salary and travel.

21 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” vs APPLICANTS

22 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” vs SELECTIONS

23 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” M.S. ENGINEERING APPLICANTS AND SELECTS Applicant Profile: 308 (71%) African Americans 112 (26%) Latinos/a 12 ( 3%) American Indians 200 (46%) Female 363 (84%) >3.0 GPA 190 (44%) >3.3 GPA Select Profile: 80 (73%) African Americans 27 (24%) Latinos/a 3 ( 3%) American Indians 44 (40%) Female 99 (90%) >3.0 GPA 74 (67%) >3.3 GPA 52 (47%) >3.5 GPA

24 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” Ph.D. ENGINEERING APPLICANTS AND SELECTS Applicant Profile: 64 (68%) African Americans 27 (29%) Latinos/a 3 ( 3%) American Indians 40 (43%) Female 39 (41%) >3.5 GPA 22 (23%) >3.7 GPA Select Profile: 16 (61%) African Americans 8 (31%) Latinos/a 2 ( 8%) American Indians 13 (50%) Female 13 (50%) >3.5 GPA 8 (31%) >3.7 GPA

25 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” Ph.D. SCIENCE APPLICANTS AND SELECTS Applicant Profile: 56 (63%) African Americans 31 (35%) Latinos/a 2 ( 2%) American Indians 60 (67%) Female 41 (46%) >3.5 GPA 19 (21%) >3.7 GPA Select Profile: 5 (50%) African Americans 4 (40%) Latinos/a 1 (10%) American Indian 5 (50%) Female 7 (70%) >3.5 GPA 2 (20%) >3.7 GPA

26 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 25 NETWORK Faculty University Reps GEM Staff Company Reps Alumni/ae network

27 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 26 TIME LINE TO APPLY  September 1 – APPLY ON LINE. Remember to apply to graduate programs at various member universities and take GRE; and Indicate up to four employers of choice on GEM application.  December 1 - Submit GEM Application and Graduate School Application. Selection Committee will match your employer preferences with internship opportunities available.  February 1 - Announcement of GEM Fellows.

28 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 27 TIME LINE TO APPLY (continued)  March - GEM Acceptance Forms Due.  May - Forward Transcript & School Selection to the GEM Office.  May/June - Internship Begins.  August/September - Fall Semester Begins; Meet GEM Representative on Campus.

29 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 28 “WHERE CAN I GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL?” “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Science and Engineering, Inc.

30 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” Start Your Search Here! Over 80 GEM universities, including: MIT Cornell Columbia Georgia Tech U of Illinois Johns Hopkins U of Michigan Northwestern Penn State Princeton Purdue Yale U of Puerto Rico U of Arizona UC Berkeley UC Davis UC Irvine UCLA UC San Diego Drexel Stanford Texas A&M Rice U of New Mexico U of Notre Dame

31 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 30 How to Research a Graduate Program  Research university libraries Peterson’s Guide Chronicle of Higher Education Directory of Graduate Programs  Request information be mailed to you from the department Visit schools you are interested in Surf the Web

32 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 31 How to Research a Graduate Program (continued)  Gradschoolshopper.com Your guide to graduate programs in physics and related fields; go to gradschoolshopper.com, enter search parameters (i.e. geographic or academic preferences), and receive pages meeting these criteria.  Gradschools.com Worldwide web site dedicated to post-baccalaureate educational programs; tens of thousands of programs listed, continually updated; go to gradschools.com, enter search parameters (i.e. geographic or academic preferences), and receive pages meeting these criteria. Student prospector.com - draws prospective students from the gradschools.com web site and offers them a place to create & store a academic profile; recruiters subscribe to this service for a fee.

33 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 32 Identifying a Graduate Program  Are Faculty members conducting research in your area of interest? Ask about faculty to other students.  What is the educational infrastructure (labs, library, computers, etc.)?  Does the curriculum support your interests?  What are the degree requirements?  What is the average time to degree completion?  Is financial support available?  What will be your work/study environment?  Are the social outlets adequate?

34 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 33 “TIPS FOR GETTING FELLOWSHIPS?” “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Science and Engineering, Inc.

35 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 34 Tips for Getting Fellowships!  Start Early Application deadlines range from early November to early February.  Research your options To find a program or a fellowship that matches your interests and goals, plan on doing some serious research. The money won’t necessarily come to you – you have to go to it (or at least tell them how to find you...).  Pay attention to the restrictions Some programs put a limit on the number of credit hours you can have finished before application.

36 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 35 More Tips!  Follow directions Although this may seem obvious, follow the directions in the application packet to the letter.  The Name Thing... When applying for fellowships, you should be consistent in how you report your name. The name on your SS card, your graduate school admissions application, and your fellowship application should be identical.  Supporting documents matter Letters of Reference and Statements of Purpose can make a difference in the selection process.  Keep trying If you don't get an award one year, apply again next year.

37 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 36 “HOW TO SUCCEED IN GRAD SCHOOL?” IN GRAD SCHOOL?” “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Science and Engineering, Inc.

38 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 37 Graduate School  It’s unlike anything else; unstructured.  Is not for everyone. Independent work Lots of reading Commitment; (not finding a job is not a reason to go to grad school)

39 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 38 Goal and Objective  Your goal is to graduate  Need unique (interesting) thesis topic  To graduate, Be a good researcher; (READ, READ, READ!) 7, understand. Organized: keep journal, file of papers Stay motivated Show initiative in research ideas

40 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 39 Today’s Situation in Grad School  In Engineering Schools Hispanic graduates comprise less than 10% of the students!  So you may find (Most people don’t find this)  Discrimination  Harassment  Isolation  Lack of support  Yes, you’ll be different, so? Con: Have to work twice as good Pro: Your face will be easy to remember

41 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 40 Choosing the Right Advisor *  Advisor is the most important person for your MS or PhD!  Area of research, fame, good school?  Interview advisor, ask about average time to graduate, your special circumstances like family.  Talk to his/her current grad students Ask about failure rate, relations, support  You should get along and trust advisor.

42 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 41 Discrimination: …Breaking the stereotypes  Both races are sometimes in fault.  Create awareness, in a polite way (jokes?)  Don’t leave the Discrimination Radar ON  Mingle; football, golf, parties …  Appearances ARE important dress up appropriately for work and research

43 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 42 Modus Operandi + Intelligence = Ph.D.  People skills  Networking is important  Network with supporting societies (e.g. SHPE, MEP)  Get to work, be disciplined, make a schedule  Set time for recreation too!

44 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 43 Family Priorities; for couples studying together  Make sure spouse understands children are responsibility of both, that your work should also be a priority for him.  Two cases to avoid: Non-cooperative husband “Self-slaved” wife (yes, it happens)

45 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 44 Grad school  Don’t give up! At some point everybody thinks that “they’re not going to make it.” Keep the faith!  In addition try to (specially in PhD), Write journal papers Attend conferences

46 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 45 Thesis  Start with the thesis proposal This is required in many programs Some also require candidacy and oral tests.  Write a chapter at a time. Writing journal or conference papers helps for thesis.  Significant content is important.  Good writing style is very important.

47 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 46 Key factors for success Success of underrepresented students in graduate school?  Know how to “play the game” -Attitude  integrate  married status helps  do a great job  be professional

48 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 47 Elements to speed transition What are the key elements that enhance their transition from graduate school into academia and/or industry ?  Find mentor and role model  Integrate to group  Focus

49 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 48 Summary  Choose the Right Advisor.  Keep a positive attitude. Make friends (these will be your future collaborators)  Be strong and don’t let others bring you down with discrimination comments, etc.  Work together with spouse to set goal straight.  Be a leader, take initiative to do good research  Read a lot of papers (ask your advisor)  Organize, work efficiently  Set time to relief stress with entertainment  Don’t give up.

50 “Turning Today’s Technical Talent Into Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” 49 ece.uprm.edu/~pol >>>>>StudentResources Hispanic Caucus web page Visit


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