Levett Career Center

Grad School - The Real Story Alumni Panel

October 23 , 2012

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Photo of Sylvanna

Sylvanna Bielko-Gingerich '09
Graduate Student and Associate Instructor, pursuing MS in Exercise Physiology
(Will begin duel focus doctorate in Exercise Physiology and Environmental Health in Spring)
School of Public Health, Indiana University - Bloomington
BA, Major: Biochemistry and Exercise Physiology
Greek Affiliation: Alpha Delta Pi

Sylvanna said that HC gave her skills in Reading, Writing, and Communication which really helps her now because 70% of a doctorate is writing. She says that success in grad school comes from keeping good relationships with faculty and that if you do well at HC, you will do well in grad school. Talk with professors in your field at the schools you are applying to and make sure you are interested in what they are researching.

Photo of Andrew

Andrew Hoffman '10
Biological Intern
Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge
BA, Major: Biology, Minor: Environmental Science & Spanish
MS, Biology - Missouri State University

Andrew sees his career heading towards becoming a Professor and is currently between having just completed a Masters and going to get his PhD. He funded his graduate school by being a Teaching Assistant. Andrew feels he didn't search hard enough for a Masters program and should have spent more time on researching programs. Andrew says that experience gets you into Grad school more than grades or the GRE. Make sure you talk to a professor at the school before you apply and that you could see yourself working on their projects, because that is what you will be doing. Andrew said that the most important things you could do is build your resume, be a good worker, be friendly, and network!

Photo of Michael

Michael Smith '10
Pursuing MD
University of Louisville
BA, Major: Spanish, Minor: Chemistry
Greek Affiliation: Lambda Chi Alpha

Michael is currently in his third year of Medical School. Michael had always wanted to be a doctor, but made sure that was truly what he wanted by job shadowing doctors he knew from home. The most important aspects of being a doctor, to Michael, are communication and empathy; you have to want to work with people and be able to communicate with patients in a sensitive way. Michael says that every opportunity you have in college is an important one because it has shaped who you are today and that, "Hanover offers you so many opportunities, so take advantage of them!" One of Michael's favorite experiences at Hanover was studying in Spain for Spring Term. Michael says to also make sure to utilize the Career Center because Margaret Krantz will help you with the application process for medical school, especially for the interview process.

Photo of Chuck

Chuck Summers '10
Director of Investor Services
Midwest Center for Foreign Investment
BA, Major: Spanish
MBA, University of Louisville
CBP (former name of Business Scholars Program)
2010 John Finley Crowe Citation Recipient

Chuck wanted to get his MBA quickly, and actually participated in an accelerated program. Chuck suggested using the HC alumni network via the Career Center for networking because you will be surprised how many people know someone that has gone to Hanover. Join young professionals' organizations in the city that you are living and join professional boards to help you network also. Chuck advised on making sure, while applying to programs, that you have taken all prerequisite courses for the program. Be ready to answer this question when you are applying for grad school: Why do you want to get this degree at this school?

Photo of Karla

Dr. Karla Van Zee '96
Visiting Assistant Professor - Theological Studies
Hanover College
BA, Major: Biology, Minors: Math, Theology
Greek affiliation: Kappa Alpha Theta
Masters of theological Studies (MTS) Vanderbilt Divinity School
PhD in Religion, Psychology, and Culture, Vanderbilt University

Dr. Van Zee initially balked at the Theology requirement that Hanover has when she attended, but look at her now! Dr. Van Zee says that one of the best resources at Hanover is your faculty mentors; Don't be afraid to let people know about the "you" that is outside of classes, because that helps you to stand out. Once you are off in grad school, make sure to keep in touch with your professors at HC because they will always remain a good resource for you. Karla says, "You don't have to go to graduate school right away!" Your parents may tell you that "if you don't go now, you'll never go", but that's not true. She applied to graduate schools her senior year and was accepted, but then deferred her acceptance for a year to take some time off and gain some experience. Try and do many internships because they help give you an understanding of what you would do in a field, and what you may not like. When grad schools accept you, they are investing in you, so make sure you are passionate about what you are studying because they want a good return on their investment.

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