Why I said ‘No’ to grad school – for now

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When you enter that final sprint of your final year at university, you’ve likely already come across the question of graduate school at least a dozen times.

From your counsellor, professors, peers, friends and family – this last one’s always the kicker!

The funny thing is you will have probably already made your decision by the time you turn the corner and have that final sprint in clear view due to application deadlines, approval processes, admissions, etc.

What I detested most about this process was the fact that I had to decide about grad school before I had even graduated. Did I want to keep that plush security net of education? Or, was I willing to rough it?

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In reality, there were other factors I took into consideration: time, finances, job experience and overall willingness. With this simplified checklist in mind, I reviewed what I knew to be the next big decision of my life. (Photo credit: Danielle Lorenz)

I chose to rough it.

I finished the fourth year of my undergraduate degree exhausted. I was done with school and all of its affiliations. The absolute last thing I wanted to do was to return for another year (or more).

The key determinant in that decision: change. I wanted and needed it. To be away from the classrooms, textbooks, academic expectations and the like promised to be refreshing – and it was.

Luckily, I was aware enough of my own desires that I was able to succinctly state that grad school was not the right option for me.

In reality, there were other factors I took into consideration: time, finances, job experience and overall willingness. With this simplified checklist in mind, I reviewed what I knew to be the next big decision of my life.

Willingness – Going back to school was a less-than-attractive prospect, so I wasn’t willing.

Job Experience – Depending on the university and the program, previous job experience was a prerequisite which, at the time, was a quality I could not boast.

Finances – I had no money of my own left because it had all gone to my undergrad. Loans were always an option but an additional stress I was not looking forward to shoulder.

Time – At least a year, probably more if I wanted to pursue a more reputable degree (in either Business or English) and, without trying to, I had circled myself back to ‘willingness.’

I was suffering from academic fatigue. I wanted out and I was lucky enough to be offered an amazing marketing job that changed my perspective of it all.

If you’ve been reading my previous articles, you know that I was a victim of recession layoffs.  So, that “amazing job” I just mentioned is no more. I have found a new one, though, and I’m still learning but without a textbook in front of me.

Time away from school has bestowed me with greater appreciation. And, oddly enough, I do see myself going back some day. (Where do you see yourself in the next five years? – a golden interview question!)

Will I be:

Simren Deogun, HBA, MBA

or

Simren Deogun, HBA, MA (English)

I guess you and I will have to wait and see…

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About the author

Simren Deogun recently graduated with high distinction from the management and English programs at the University of Toronto with a CGPA of 3.6. Her career goals include establishing herself within the field of marketing and communications, and engaging in writing or literature-related ventures in her free time. She enjoys dabbling in graphic design and is always finding new ways to enhance her skill set. She also developed and runs her own marketing blog.