Why DO I want to go to grad school anyway?

So on Friday I took the GRE (totally rocked it, btw…well maybe I shouldn’t pass judgment until I see my writing scores…) Anyway, now that that’s over I’ve been working on personal statements. For one of my schools I have to write TWO of them! (That’s okay, UW-Milwaukee, I still love you….)

One of the aforementioned two-for-one personal statements required me to wax eloquently about why on earth I was pursuing graduate studies in the first place. That’s a damn good question.

The simple answer is: “Because I don’t want a second bachelor’s degree.” Which is true, and pretty darn valid as well. I COULD break into clinical laboratory science/laboratory medicine/medical technology (pick a name, already, profession!) by earning a second bachelor’s degree, or a certificate. If I don’t get in to grad school I’m going the certificate route. I just want to feel like I’m moving UP in the world, you know? Or at least that I’m not being stagnant. I HATE sitting still. (Though I’ve been at my computer almost all day…playing that new addicting gem My Tribe.)

The more complicated answer is harder to come up with. I have plenty of reasons, written down in a neat little Word file, for wanting to go into clinical laboratory science. But when pressed to say why I wanted to specifically go to graduate school, I found I had to do a little thinking.

What I ended up writing is that I 1) want the added knowledge and experience that comes with a master’s degree, 2) like the research environment and want to hone my skills in a research-based program, and 3) am aware that there is talk of making a MS degree the entry-level requirement for the field, and in turn creating a PhD. I want to have the education necessary to be successful in a PhD program should one arise before I’ve been out of school too long.

I really hope that my sincerity in saying that I do not want a second bachelor’s degree doesn’t come back to bite me. I hope that it shows that I have indeed considered the multiple paths to this career, and chosen the best one for me.


About evolutionofascientist

I'm a 2009 graduate of the University of Minnesota. I majored in genetics, cell biology, and development. I'm currently living in Syracuse, NY and hoping to start grad school in the fall of 2011.
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