Updated: Feb 27, 2019
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Scholar: Ola Esho
Undergraduate Course and Grade: Biology and Chemistry (GPA: 3.4/4.0 (no grad honors, cut off is 3.5 for the school)
Undergraduate University: University of Texas, Arlington
Graduate Course and University: Masters to PhD track - Cornell University - Food Science and Technology
My decision to go to graduate school was more of an expectation than a decision. That made things easy, as I was able to tailor my undergraduate career in such a way that I would shine during graduate school applications. I participated in research internships, government internships, took additional classes, held leadership positions among other things. These activities helped demonstrate my actual abilities as a student and scientist. What can you do right now to help demonstrate your abilities? Do them!
My actual graduate school preparation started about 18 months before I was supposed to resume school. And I tackled my required exam first, the GRE. I used Magoosh online to study. It allowed me flexibility to study on the go. I was working 2 jobs, 1 was fulltime so lunch breaks and commutes became my study sessions. The mobile apps, short videos, as well as practice problems allowed me to master as much information as possible. I wrote my GRE in June of 2016, after studying for about 8 weeks. I allowed this much time because I figured if I did not do well enough the first time, I would still have time to study and take another exam before application deadlines in December 2016. By God’s grace my results were excellent the first time around!
The next step was to start gathering all the other documents and writing the essays that I the schools required. And this proved to be the hardest part of the whole process for me. I contacted my dear friend about her education consulting business, asked her for help and we got the ball rolling. They came up with a schedule/plan with deadlines for essays including drafts, resumes, and letters of recommendations. They reviewed everything and edited in detail. Look there’s no other way of saying it, they did an excellent job!