Although many students enter the workforce after graduating from college, others go on to graduate or professional school. One thing we are really proud of at NSCS is our ability to help both career-track and grad school-track students.
Our internships and networking opportunities can be really helpful for those who are job-searching after graduating — but in this post, we really want to focus on our members who are preparing for graduate school and how NSCS membership helps them.
Graduate and professional schools are typically looking for students who have leadership experience. They want students who are not only driven to be outstanding in their field, but who are also prepared and willing to take charge of a situation, lead others, and get things done.
The typical college routine of attending classes and taking exams does not offer students a lot of chances to develop their leadership skills. So, NSCS is happy to fill in the gaps. Our students can gain experience leading their local chapter, organizing volunteer activities, and coordinating outreach programs at their home school.
We asked Kevin Dong, a student at the University of Iowa, how NSCS helped prepare him for graduate school. This is how he responded,
“NSCS Has helped me a lot during college. For the interview process of pharmacy school, I had to list leadership qualities and what leadership positions I’ve held.”
Kevin has done a great job as the Chapter President at his university, and that position has certainly prepared him well as a leader. It’s clear from his response that graduate and professional schools are specifically asking about leadership experience in their application process.
Public Speaking Opportunities
Graduate school classes often take place in more of a seminar format. Students are expected to speak and discuss literature they’ve read prior to class. Student presentations are also quite common. Many graduate students feel a bit unprepared for this class format because they were not required to do a lot of public speaking in undergraduate school.
NSCS members have many opportunities to gain experience with public speaking during their college years. Members can speak at meetings, conferences, and induction ceremonies. The public speaking experience they gain helps them become more comfortable with speaking to groups in general, and also with engaging in class discussions. We’ve even had students say their public speaking experience helped prepare them for the interview portion of their graduate school applications.
The importance of networking is often stressed for students who plan on finding a job after graduation. However, networking is important for students applying to graduate school, too.
Through networking, prospective graduate students can find professors they are interested in doing research with. They can also start making contacts and deciding what they may want to do, career-wise, after graduate school. This can help guide their choices when it comes to selecting a graduate school and choosing a thesis topic.
NSCS students have plenty of opportunities to network through chapter meetings, volunteer projects, mentoring, and even internships. We have had some students participate in internships even though they planned on continuing to graduate school. Through those internships, they were able to meet professionals in their field who helped them choose the best path in graduate school. Networking is important, regardless of your career path.
If you are a college student who plans on continuing on to graduate or professional school, we highly recommend you consider joining NSCS. From public speaking skills to leadership opportunities, your NSCS experience can make you a more sought-after candidate while also preparing you for your graduate school work.