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How useful was grad-school?

As my graduation approached in the winter of 2005, a little bit of a trend was going around campus. Today, I like to call this ‘phenomenon’ the “It’s 4th year- now what?” epidemic.

All of a sudden, friends who were studying business, politics, and art (!) wanted to become lawyers experts in Cohabiting couples and property rights. Friends with backgrounds in philosophy, sociology and economics wanted to become teachers. And everyone in between was applying for grad school.

I was one of the grad-school-bunch. In January of 2005, I applied to the London School of Economics and was accepted to do an MSc in Economic History.

The big question is: How useful was it?

In terms of the actual education, it’s hard to measure. Do I use the knowledge I gained in my year at the LSE on a regular basis? Absolutely not. Did it make me a smarter person overall? Yes, probably, but if this were my only argument for grad school being useful, then it would be a weak one.

The biggest things I gained from my education at the London School of Economics were:

  • A highly respected brand name
  • An internationally recognized brand name
  • The opportunity to learn in small class settings with students from around the world (in my Economic History of Europe course, we had a representative from almost every European country)
  • The opportunity to socialize with clever students from around the world
  • The opportunity to study in an environment with high-standards and high-quality resources
  • Great stories
  • European exposure

As a consequence of some of these points, I entered the workforce with a greater level of confidence in myself and my worth – maybe even a sense of entitlement. And of course, without the European exposure, I probably never would have had the idea of TalentEgg.

So, was my grad school experience worth it? Yes, definitely.

Written by

Lauren Friese is the founder of TalentEgg. After graduating from Queen's University and receiving her Masters from the London School of Economics, Lauren entered the workforce. She landed her first ‘real’ job shortly after, but thought there had to be a better way to transition from school to work. The idea was born and TalentEgg hatched in April 2008! Contact her at lauren@talentegg.ca.
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