Prospective students have to decide by tomorrow whether to come to MAPH. I’ve always thought it is a useful exercise (whether you’re a current student just finishing up the first draft of your thesis, or an alum from the class of 1997) to think about the reasons why you came to MAPH in the first place. Thinking back to my own experience, I came to MAPH frustrated by the PhD application process, pretty panicked about my life, and very disappointed about my inability to make a decision about what I wanted “next.” MAPH settled me down and made me think clearly about what a PhD would entail (and why it might not be a good fit for me). Here’s an excerpt from my piece “Why a Terminal Master’s?” Full text can be found here.
What were your reasons for coming to MAPH? Are they the same now? MAPHCentral would love to hear your comments.
Over the course of the past year working with MAPH I have spoken with a lot of our 1500 alumni. Our graduates live around the world and work in diverse fields—everything from non-profit management to hedge fund risk management. They find jobs in development, investment banking, law, journalism, advertising and public relations, corporate finance, secondary education, and curatorial research. One alumnus ran the 2008 Obama campaign’s finances in Florida. One is studying to be a veterinarian. Others are administrators at charter schools, English teachers, guidance counselors, and of course, professors.
We have no astronauts. Yet.
Why has a program that focuses so tightly on the development of humanistic skills produced successful alumni in diverse fields? It can’t just be that we leave the University with a healthy understanding of the classics and wind up running creative departments at advertising agencies. Rather, the breadth of success serves as compelling evidence that graduate work in the humanities can be (don’t laugh) integral to one’s long term career satisfaction. Graduate work in the humanistic disciplines improves one’s ability to engage in most activities that characterize the professional world.
That said, no one should trivialize the financial commitment of student loans that are associated with graduate school. I certainly don’t. My loans are growing, even as I type. And they’re not going away any time soon. But I don’t cower in fear of them, and I certainly don’t dodge my statements when they arrive. The important thing to think about when considering whether to take the plunge (ie: take out huge loans) is that any graduate work should be seen as an investment in oneself, and an opportunity for self-enrichment that will accrue benefits in the long run.
Continued at My Footpath here.