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Featuring Amy (Wolff) Beresik '02

Graduate School: Duquesne University

Graduate Program: Music Education

Information on Amy's employment profile

Position: Choral Director

School: Dorseyville Middle School, Fox Chapel Area School District

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

(Profiled: December 2011)

 

♦  What influenced your decision to go to graduate school?
♦ 
How did you explore graduate schools?

♦  Do you have any tips related to the application process?

♦  Did you obtain a Graduate Research/Teaching Assistantship?  If so, what was that application process like?

 

What influenced your decision to go to graduate school?  

I always knew I wanted an advanced degree and I would love to pursue a doctorate.  I just love to learn and grow--I want to be the best I can be wherever I am. In addition, I knew I would have the chance to network through my contact with the faculty there.

 

How did you explore graduate school?  

I spoke with friends who attended, compared application materials and visited the campus. I also considered schools that offered graduate assistantships and had prolific faculty members I could learn from and work with.  These associations can set you apart on a resume.

 

Do you have any tips related to the application process?    

Research your grad school choice and consider how going there would position you for optimal training as well as networking and employment connections.  In addition, depending on your field, consider that it may not be necessary to go right away.  Some jobs will pay for you to advance toward a master's degree once you are employed. Is it worth possibly taking on debt if you won't be employed to the degree that you can pay it off? The risk I took was that a school district might not be willing to pay more for my advanced degree when I didn't have any public school teaching experience. Taking some time to get experience can't hurt anything, but I will say that it greatly benefitted me personally to attend full-time. I was able to serve as a grad assistant and thereby get to know my professors especially well - the ones who would be later writing job recommendation letters for me! - as well as gain additional leadership experience.

 

Did you obtain a Graduate Research/Teaching Assistantship?  If so, what was that application process like?  

I did--I was awarded a full tuition Graduate assistantship.  I remember filling out an interest form for it.  The professor ended up calling me on the phone to get a more personal idea of what I was like.  We had a great conversation and connected very well.  Remember to sell not just your experiences but the SKILL SET you have developed in them (think broad: administration, management, communication, planning, correspondence, etc) because while experiences are specific, a base of skills is broad and transferrable.   Remember that the Lord has a very specific plan for you and may not lead you in the most direct way! Be receptive to the doors that open for you and put Him before you in your planning. See the potential and opportunity in each situation.

 

More information about Amy's experience with Fox Chapel Area School District and employment-related tips

 

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Maintained By: Deb Snyder | Last Updated: January 2014