Transitioning from Undergrad to Grad

Transitioning from Undergrad to Grad

By: Morgan-Victoria Johnson


Trying to get through undergraduate school is already a challenge… But now you have to think about what comes next for you. Do you continue your education and move on to graduate school or do you go straight into the job field? To gain more knowledge on the subject, I asked two students currently in the graduate program at Shippensburg University to give their personal experience in transitioning from undergrad to grad.

  Charles Blackwell: Bachelor of Social Work - Shippensburg University 2015




Alexandria Honsberger: Bachelors of Science and Sociology - Mount St. Mary's University 2015



Alexandria Honsberger and Charles Blackwell are both in the process of attaining their masters in College Student Personnel at Shippensburg University. As undergraduates, they shared similar experiences pertaining to how great it was for the both of them. They took advantage of the opportunities that their undergraduate schools had to offer, they made connections and relationships with people and took on leadership positions.


Alexandria was a resident assistant, and is a member of Rho Alpha Sigma, which is a National Resident Assistant Honor Society and Charles is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity incorporated. They both gained experience in working with people and expanding their horizons through their undergraduate years.


When it comes to why Charles and Alexandria chose to attend grad school, they both had a plan of furthering and bettering their education so that they could be successful in the fields they have their degrees in.  Alexandria specified that her only choice was grad school because the field of work that she is going into requires you to at least have your master’s degree and without that, she would not be able to move forward with her plans.


The biggest question that most people have when it comes to grad school is how much more difficult it is than undergrad. Charles explained how grad school may seem more difficult because those students are most likely working full-time. Alexandria is a three quarter time employee at Shippensburg University and holds the position as a Resident Director. She is also a part-time grad student but explains that even though she only has two classes a week it is a higher quality of work and it really requires a more attention than undergrad.


Lastly, I asked if these two grad students had any tips for undergrad students looking into grad school and they left me with two things:


“Stay focused and invest your time” Charles said. “Don't give half of your effort because you'll get half of the reward.” As we all know, for any type of schooling, that you should give your all, but the higher the education, the more that is expected of you.


Alexandria wants people to understand that you should not “just go because there's no other options or that you cannot find a job. Go because you really think that is your next step in your career. Some jobs require you to have a masters. A lot of people can do other things. Look for opportunities to not pay for grad school. Call and ask questions! Try to go for free, employers can help, so many opportunities. Look at it as a growing experience.”


When deciding what you want to do after graduate school, consider all possibilities and do your research. If you know what route you want to take for your future, look for all the requirements that is needed. Be prepared for the work that will be headed your way and just like these two grad students, invest in your future by choosing the path that is best for you.