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Depressed Symptoms and 3 Guaranteed Ways to Cure Depression Forever – Depression

Before you can begin to stop depression, you must first start off by understanding what causes depression and what the depressed symptoms are. This is the very first, if not the most important step in defeating depression.So what causes depression?Well, depression can be caused by a number of things, some of which you have 100% control of and some of which you don’t.Here are a great deal of the causes:Biochemical makeup (your brain has neurotransmitters which generally act as on/off switches for happiness and depression)
Heredity (if someone in your family has depression, then you’re two times as likely to get depression yourself)
Psychological makeup (things such as long-term abuse as a child and neglect add to your risk factor of becoming depressed as a teenager and an adult)
Changing hormone levels (pre-menstrual syndrome, menopause)
Stressful life events (a bad breakup or divorce, loss of a job or death of a family or friend)
Alcohol or drug abuse
Getting “burned out” (becoming over-demanded or over-worked)So now that you know what some of the causes for being depressed are, let’s discover some of the depressed symptoms:thoughts of suicide
irritability
uncontrollable crying
difficulty sleeping
lack of motivation
weight gain or weight loss
inability to concentrate
negative thinking
fatigue
loss of pleasureDo these sound familiar to you? If you answered yes to them then you’re probably suffering from some form of depression. The good news though is that feeling this way isn’t permanent. Here are just a few ways of getting rid of your depression:Put yourself first. What used to make you happy? Obviously you can’t just force yourself to start liking something again but if you could find the little things that used to make you smile, you’ll be just that much closer to smiling permanently. Also, take time out from your busy work or school schedule and plan something fun like seeing a baseball game or taking a short vacation.
Exercise and eat healthy. I know what you’re thinking, when you’re down in the dumps, there’s nothing you want more than to just indulge in your favorite junk food. Well here’s the thing: that works – for a short time only. What you can do instead is work out, whether you go for a short jog or walk your dog, exercise releases therapeutic endorphins into your brain which has been proven to be just as effective as antidepressants at making you happy again. So not only will you be healthy, but you’ll be healthy and look good in the long run.
Reach out to friends and family. Obviously we always have times when we are going to argue with loved ones, but what about when you guys are all together and there’s no drama, no fighting, just love. This is what you’re aiming for. There are few times that make people happier than spending time with friends and family, so reach out to them. Let them know how you’re feeling I guarantee if you love them and they love you back, it’ll be almost impossible for them NOT to reach back out to you and lift you above your depression.

Moods Are Infectious, Depression Is Not – Depression

Good mood is like a bright smile, extremely contagious. Happiness latches on with ease from one person to another. It is natural to feel happy being in the presence of someone brimming with joy and laughter. A similar domino effect is rekindled when one comes in contact with a person displaying anger or negative moods such as sadness and hopelessness. After a while, one gets conditioned to the same state. Psychologists have a name for what guides such behaviors – social contagion. According to this theory, behaviors or feelings exhibited by one person can guide the moods or behaviors of others.Depression is one of the most debilitating illnesses in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) points out that nearly 300 million people across the world are affected by it. The disorder is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. It increases the risks of comorbid health complications such as diabetes, hypertension and poor cardiovascular health.Depression and low moods are often confused as one and the same. However, while “feeling blue” is a result of temporary fluctuation in emotional balance, depression is a severe mental illness which normally arises when one experiences prolonged periods of sadness. A recent study delved into the inherent difference between depression and low mood and came up with some startling conclusions. According to the study, while moods are transmitted, depression is not.Differentiating between depression and low moodDuring the course of the study, the researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health for conditions pertaining to mood. It also looked into seven common signs of depression – anhedonia or loss of interest in day-to-day activities, lack of appetite, clarity in routine work, prolonged grief, helplessness, worthlessness and tiredness. The levels of participants’ mood and depression were calculated using the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D). The ratings based on the answers to the questions ranged from 0 to 54. Higher rating indicated worse mood. The results indicated the following:

The more the number of worse mood friends an American adolescent has, the more likely he/she would experience bad mood. They would also have lower chances of getting better.

The results were found to be similar for all depressive symptoms underlined earlier except appetite.

The researchers observed that depression did not spread in the same manner, suggesting that clinical depression is more than a mere experience of low mood as commonly believed. However, low mood is a result of depressive state, which can reduce social interactions during the process.The criticality of the study can be assuaged from the fact that it addresses the issue of teenage or adolescent depression which is rife in recent times. According to the authors, the subthreshold levels of depressive symptoms is a cause of concern as it lowers the quality of life considerably. Untreated condition can continue into adulthood and strain personal and professional relationships.The researchers suggest that friendships should be forged as long as they help in spreading happiness and reducing the risk of depression; the aim should be to stop spreading negative mood. Based on the observations, individuals in the subthreshold who had friends with lower CES-D scores were more likely to improve their mood to the extent that they could be no longer classified as depressed.Acting before it is too lateIdentifying the signs of depression during early stages is of critical importance to contain the symptoms from aggravating. Interventions and best practices in schools and colleges should aim at improving one’s circle of friends. It is also essential to keep a check on one’s negative moods from time to time to identify traces of any impending illness. If a person going through depression is not treated soon, there is a grave risk of him or her committing suicide.

Online Insurance Continuing Education Helps

You can obtain your continuing insurance education credit by taking an online CE insurance course from the comfort and convenience of your own home. You can now complete the CE insurance course that you have selected as well as those required for certification from the course catalog listed online which are all approved by the insurance department of the country where you work. In addition, continuing online insurance education helps you have a competitive advantage in the insurance market where you must prove your skills and courage to generate maximum sales from insurance policies.

You have to be well aware of the
different types of insurance products available in the market and earn
insurance credits on a majority of courses to keep yourself abreast with
the ever changing rules, laws, policies, procedures, products and
features of the insurance sector. Continuing education insurance courses
are available for life, health, property, fire, adjuster and many more.
You only need to have the zeal to learn and excel in your area of
expertise and there are infinite resources online to train you
accordingly. You can now take the online insurance continuing education
for stipulated number of hours as per your convenience and write the
online test to earn your credits and certifications.

There are
many online insurance continuing education courses that provide for self
study and you can even print them from your browser if you chose to
study that way. Whether you wish to renew your single insurance license
or acquire new licenses for dealing with multiple insurance products you
have to earn your credits by clearing the courses in insurance
continuing education. Alternatively, WebCE can also ship the insurance
course materials to you via the UPS if needed. Some of the states that
are doing extremely well in providing online insurance continuing
education classes to help insurance agents, advisors and professionals
to emerge as successful dealers in insurance are – California, Illinois,
Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Texas.

However
whether you are dealing with insurance products from the states listed
above or from any other state it is immaterial as, the online insurance
education services get your courses approved by the department of state
insurance concerned. By learning new insurance products, concepts,
marketing strategies, competitors, laws, rules and regulations that
govern insurance policies you will be in a better position to sell your
products effectively and confidently to clients without leaving any
scope for your competitors to penetrate into your market share.

If by chance you do not have the knowledge needed to answer questions raised by your clients, then you can immediately lose customers because they will become another insurance agent who is ready to fill your shoes in an instant and do many things. Such is the competition in the insurance sector today. Continuing education Online insurance has a new module that is continually being upgraded every year to make you a more capable and experienced insurance agent in the insurance industry.

A Tool for Technological Intelligence

Patents are the largest source of information technology. The patent is given to the inventor as a gift for his innovation in the form of a exclusive monopoly right for a period of 20 years from the priority date of discovery. Due to advancements in the IT and internet sectors, this valuable document is now within the reach of the general public. Everyone who is an expert in this field can go through various patent databases and after a search can obtain the patent documents of their needs. There are different patent databases namely, USPTO, EPO, JPO, etc. free for public access. If we look at patents relating to certain technological fields, we will be able to find a lot of information about the innovation life cycle of innovation, that is,

o evolutionary path of a specific technology,

o technological development,

o technological diversification,

o technology merges,

o major players in specific technological area,

o key points of the specific technology,

“The
World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) revealed that 90% to
95% of all the world’s inventions can be found in patented documents.”

Patent
analysis can reveals very valuable informations, which is not available
anywhere. After patent search the crucial part is the patent analysis,
and one have to be very concise about their objective of the study. The
information in the patent documents can be utilized in different form
according to the need and mapped accordingly to get the picture of the
entire analysis in snapshots.

Patent data can be used for the
preparation of technological landscapes. Logistic mathematics and circle
mathematics can be very useful in the plotting of the technological
landscape. It can reveal the evolutionary trend of a technology, how it
is evolved from a basic technology, along with the period of the
technological diversification and its nature. These maps will also give
the detailed overview of the merging of the different technologies to
give rise to break-through technologies. These types of maps will be
very useful for the R&D personals to evaluate the position of their
research and technology, and also they will find way to more innovate
more advanced and valuable technology.

In the today’s global
context firms need to know what technologies can competitors choke
easily, and may be attempting to. They also need to know the spaces in
technologies where competition is intense, and the areas where
competitors are concentrating their IP development and their R&D
efforts. They need to be able to track patent acquisition and
development strategies and chart out the competitive landscape. To
evaluate technology before making any investment decision, firms need to
know the pace of patenting activity in the technology, which patents
embody fundamental ideas in the technology and how vulnerable the firm’s
technologies are to patent infringements. This will give them much
needed information in deciding between technology development and
technology acquisition.

The ability to extract relevant
information from patent literature is a crucial success factor for
anyone involved in technological innovation. The technology mapping
technique’s that can be used to transform patent information into
knowledge that can influence decision-making.

Patents are an
important source of technological intelligence that companies can use to
gain strategic advantage. Technology Intelligence is a can be used for
gathering, analyzing, forecasting, and managing external technology
related information, including patent information. Computational patent
mapping is a methodology for the development and application of a
technology knowledgebase for technology and competitive intelligence.
The primary deliverables of patent mapping is in the form of knowledge
visualization through landscape and maps. These maps provide valuable
intelligence on technology evolution/revolution, nature of various types
of pioneering; big; pure; and emerging players, state-of-the-art
assessment, etc.

These types of technological maps will prove to
be a valuable multiplier in R&D and commercialization activities, in
various ways including the following:

o Developing further insights in response to strategic requirements and policy formulation in the organization

o Forecasting and identifying technological activities and trends in the industry

o Aiding in the visualization of alternative development and growth paths available to the organization

o Enabling pre-emptive recognition and action on potential licensing opportunities

o Identifying prospective partners and clients

o Identify technology discontinuities and areas of opportunities in their chosen technologies

o Monitor and evaluate the technological process of competitors and potential competitors

o Support decisions on foray and investment into particular technologies and sub-technologies

o Surveillance of technological progress of competitors as well as to alert oneself to new entrants to the field

o Spotting of white spaces or opportunity areas within a dense technological domain

o Creative tool to simulate new ideas and create new IP

o Complementing corporate IP filing strategies

o Support technology proposals for large scale national and international level projects

o Support investment and technology due diligence on companies

Patent
mapping can be an integral part of IP management. It can uncover
valuable information hidden in patents and can provide useful indicators
for technical trends, market trends, competitors changes and
technological profile and innovation potential of a company. Patent maps
are visual representations of patent information that has been mined
and aggregated or clustered to highlight specific features. There is a
high degree of flexibility in visualization, which may be in the form of
time-series or as spatial maps. We provide a more market and technology
oriented analysis of the complete set of patent portfolio assets via
our patent mapping services. Patent mapping can be used to ascertain the
quality of patents with respect to prevailing technology and the extent
to which patents affect the technology. This is a valuable input in
technology sourcing/development and R&D decisions. Patent mapping
can be indispensable for both firms that have an under-utilized patent
profile and are looking to license/assign it at the most favorable
terms, as well as to firms that are looking at developing patent
portfolio strength in a particular technological field.

Mere
subject specialization is not enough for this, but analytical thinking
and innovations are very essential. Today lots of software resources are
available for mapping the patent data, but almost all are confined to
bibliographic informations. The machine work cannot be compared with
that of human intelligence. Patent mapping requires many skills. First
and foremost among these is an ability to understand the complex
scientific ideas protected by the patents themselves. Although it is
possible to create a patent map by analyzing the relationships between
patents without understanding the subject matter, such a map is often
useless and needs to be refined by someone who understands the
intricacies of the particular scientific discipline that is the basis of
the invention. Thus, I expect that the need for people with scientific
(and engineering) expertise in the field of patent mapping is on the
increase. That’s why today lots of KPO firm are looking for the right
individual and there is a huge demand today, which will certainly
increase in the near future.

Depression is a State of Separation – Depression

Depression is called a “disease,” but it is so much more; it’s a state of separation. People suffering from depression tend to feel separate from everything and everyone, including themselves. The word “depressed” is frequently misused in our society. Many people use the word depressed to describe when they are feeling sad, but “depression” is so much more than sadness. There are a variety of factors in depression, as well as varying degrees per individual; it can be all of them or a mixture of them, which is why depression is often easily mistaken or overlooked. Many of the depressed people themselves do not recognize their symptoms for what they truly are. Some of the main debilitating factors are: A tendency to feel lost and alone, feelings of hopelessness, unmotivated and disinterested in most or all things, an inability to think clearly, lethargy, a disturbance in eating or sleeping or both (i.e. binge eating or insomnia) and crying inexplicably. Some manage to continue functioning but do so with symptoms interfering significantly. Others can be around many people and still feel terribly alone.Depression has many masks and some sufferers even hide it intentionally out of shame and fear. Others minimize their symptoms not wanting to admit they are depressed and even lie to their doctors resulting in being undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. This confusion of recognition in itself is a huge problem. It is also common for those who encounter a depressed person to feel uncertain as to “how to react” or “what to do,” and feel awkward and helpless. This helplessness tends to make people want to fix things or run away, but those who stay and want to help would benefit greatly from detailed guidelines that explain exactly how to accommodate what is needed. It isn’t easy for those observing depression to understand why the person suffering doesn’t just jump up and act on the suggestions given as solutions when they seem so possible and realistic, but looking through the eyes and experience of depression is nothing like the reality others see. People who mean well and try to “fix” the depressed with suggestions or solutions tend to do so in an unemotional manner and depression is an emotional and usually chemically imbalanced state, so to the depressed, cerebral offerings feel invalidating and the furthest from they are truly needing, which comes from the heart; understanding, sensitivity, compassion, support and love.That natural tendency for others to want to fix a depressed person can be destructive for several reasons, a few being: The unintentionally harmful assessment that they “need to be fixed,” which only serves as confirmation to the depressed person that they are in fact broken, and are as defective as they already view themselves; another is, any of those offered “solutions,” may sound relatively simple to those not depressed, but they sound confusing to those unable to think clearly, causing additional feelings of overwhelm. Sometimes, even hearing suggestions while depressed can feel overwhelming because it contributes to the already existing feelings of guilt for not doing what they themselves have already thought of but feel too immobilized to accomplish with no energy, hope or desire to achieve them.Depression makes it appear and feel like there is no answer, no matter what the suggestion or offer of help, which subsequently increases the horrible feelings of hopelessness and futility; and, what increases their feelings of isolation is the repeated proof that no one understands what they’re going through, as indicated by the intellectual and sometimes patronizing suggestions they receive. This can cause them to get defensive which confuses those who thought they were helping. Many depressed people are so consumed by their overwhelming “cocoon of depression” that it doesn’t even occur to them to reach out for help, and for some, the depression worsens due to not having anyone to reach out to. Depression can easily create the perception and belief that you aren’t worthy of help, or for that matter even asking for it and all you feel is defective and lost in the maze of your dark world. Then there are those who think of it and want to call someone but feel scared to do so for fear of other’s reactions, or worse, interference that can feel threatening, i.e. being taken out of their surroundings that feel safe while depressed or being taken to a hospital against their wishes and losing control of whether or not they can leave.Depressed people who have previously felt confident and competent, and still do at times, feel they can’t reveal their depression to others for fear that the labels of incapable and incompetent will remain no matter what else changes down the road; this tends to cause them to isolate all the more, intensifying the depression. The world at large needs to learn more about the needs of the depressed, other than the list of symptoms and known chemical solutions, to ensure that the whole person is addressed; with the increasing global catastrophes and personal crises happening more frequently we had better. We all need to know what to do if it happens to us or someone we know. Understanding and compassion are at the forefront of what is needed, followed by the very necessary practical help and support. Listening to what the depressed person’s perception is, to understand the darkness they are experiencing, is necessary no matter how scary; and if you listen with your intellect it will make no sense, since there is no logic found in that darkness. If you think you are scared of it imagine how it feels to them! Listening to all they have to say, and really hearing them, extends the gift of validation and dignity, as well as alleviating much of their aloneness with it.The unexplained crying bouts and emotional outbursts increases the discomfort and feelings of helplessness of others, which only stresses the importance of the person present checking in with their own heart to ensure they are focusing on being emotionally present; just “being with them” with compassion, caring and empathy is the greatest gift you can give. Being with people who are crying, including those not suffering from depression, makes a person feel less alone and comforted. That alleviation of feeling all alone with depression is enormously helpful, so for those who truly want to help, learn what it takes to “be emotionally available.” So many people find being emotionally available challenging, but it’s necessary for everyone, not just the depressed. Some depressed people want or need to talk or cry, or both, to get things out that have been bottled up inside, whether relevant to their present circumstances or not. For others it’s the opposite, they just want company and don’t want to think or talk. If they do want to talk, remember to just listen and don’t intellectualize or try to fix whatever they verbalize, they feel great safety from someone who listens from an emotional point of view. AFTER they’re done with their venting or verbal unloading you could ask them if they would like some suggestions. If you just offer suggestions, the depressed person could feel overwhelmed, due to not feeling like they could possibly accomplish what is said and feel worse for it, but asking them if they would like some suggestions empowers them (since this particular question feels like caring in the way they need) because it indicates they can have control over something, at a time that they feel they have no control at all. This feels empowering to make a choice and decision in an area they feel capable, which may seem small to others but is positive and huge to them.If you clearly recognize a person is depressed and mention it and they try to minimize it, trying to hide it, don’t let that sway you if you feel your recognition is accurate, be gentle and venture in slowly, especially if they are not ready for the depression to be visible; start with caring, nurturing gestures; fixing them a cup of tea, or something to eat, sitting and talking (but don’t go deep and heavy right away if they seem reluctant, unless they do first), watching TV or a movie together or if they are open to it, getting outside for a walk and some fresh air. Sometimes leaving the house when depressed can feel too exposing and unsafe. Even trying to decide what to wear and getting dressed can feel overwhelming for depressed people (when mentally confused, making any decision can feel too challenging) so lending a practical hand in this area would be helpful as well. Perhaps they need other practical help like food in the house (because a lot of depressed people have isolated and have not gone to the store or even eaten for that matter) or some form of medicine, or if they haven’t showered for a while gently encouraging them to take a shower; volunteering to pick out their clothes for them and literally leading them to the shower and doing the prep work, turning on the water and adjusting the temperature, laying out the towel, shampoo, etc. These things may seem small and insignificant to people not depressed but they are significant to those who can’t think clearly and have no motivation for the slightest things.People often do not understand how much practical help is needed when a person is depressed person due to the overwhelm factor. You can ask what is needed to see if they are able to say but often you might have to look around and see what needs to be done or what hasn’t been done in a while. Perhaps do the dishes, or tidy up (when depressed it is natural to let everything go), open the windows for air and light, make the house more comfortable instead of feeling like a cave or prison. These are things that a depressed person might very well not think of. Depression can be very confusing. Thoughts tend to go in circles and it feels exhausting so you just give up even trying to make the smallest decisions. What can help a person consumed by depression the MOST is someone acknowledging how they are feeling; the sadness, the aloneness, the inability to think clearly and feeling lost and everything else they are actually experiencing without judgment! Acknowledging the reality that they are experiencing is joining them where they feel the most alone and changing that. Most people are afraid to do this because they think they are encouraging the depression or sadness but the opposite is true. It makes the depressed person feel less alone.Depressed people feel so full of despair and hopelessness that frequently they experience suicidal feelings, but in actuality it’s not their life they want to end it’s the tunnel of pain, darkness and isolation; but the distorted perception of depression does not afford them the ability to make the distinction between the two. If you or anyone you know might be suffering from depression or even suspect so, don’t let fear, shame or judgment stop you from reaching out for help, to family, a friend or a professional; no one has to be alone in the dark. Until depression is addressed successfully we will continue to watch many people slip away into darkness. The rest of the world must learn to embrace and include those suffering from this dark demon to help bring them back to the light.

How To Apply Graduate School

Graduate
school provides a more specialized level of training and enhanced,
expert instruction in a particular field. The most critical decision in
applying to graduate school is not in selecting the institution but
rather in identifying the most favorable area of study. Unfortunately,
the decision-making process does not end there. Other considerations
such as timing, location of study, financial aid, and the student
population should all be given appropriate attention.

In this
publication, we offer tips to jumpstart your search for a Master’s or
Doctoral degree. We explore the common reasons for applying, the
selection process, test taking, and the necessary preparations leading
to attendance. These guidelines will provide you with insights into
approaching the application process with confidence and will serve as a
reference as you go through the application steps.

Good luck!

I. Top Reasons for Applying to Graduate School

Career Change/Advancement

People
with several years of working experience often realize that their
career path slowly becomes limited, or even spares no room for
professional growth. Some also discover that their skill set is no
longer applicable to their field of exposure and subsequently pursue
specific training in their industry as a means to move forward.

On
numerous occasions, a rank-and-file employee may have already acquired a
knowledgeable understanding of how a company is managed, and may wish
to pursue a supervisory position in the company or in another
enterprise. Whether you are planning to switch careers or aiming for
advancement, a graduate education can greatly offer more flexibility.

Increased Salary

Higher
earnings directly correlate with higher education. Management and/or
supervisory positions are often restricted to those with advanced
degrees, thus limiting your earning potential if you do not have these
advancements. According to studies, a graduate degree holder in the
United States can earn an average of 33% more than someone with a
bachelor’s degree alone.

Personal Improvement/Intellectual Stimulation

Discounting
future career and income potential, other people opt to pursue graduate
studies simply because they love to learn and are genuinely interested
in acquiring more knowledge on their chosen field.

II. Determining if Graduate School is the Right Choice for You

Graduate
school is perfect for people who enjoy research and learning. It is not
ideal for people who merely want to take more courses, or for those who
are in a rush to get a job.

Undergraduate study differs from graduate education in that it
requires more of your time, motivation, and effort. It also entails
forming professional and personal relationships with professors and
other students. Generally, it challenges you in what you want to achieve
in your life.

III. The Right Time for Graduate School

The
right time to pursue an advanced degree is situational. You can embark
on graduate school right after you receive your bachelor’s degree, a
year after graduation, or even several years later. If you are
approaching graduation, and you have decided that graduate school is the
next step for you, it may be helpful if you ask yourself the following
questions:

1) Are you ready for another three to eight years of studying?

2) Should you take time off before moving on to graduate school?

3) If you want to take time off, why?

If the main reason for
taking time off is fatigue, then ask yourself if the two or three months
of vacation before graduate school can help you revitalize yourself. If
you are convinced that graduate school is the next step for you, then
there is no reason why you should delay your application.

Right after Graduation

If
the knowledge you acquired in your undergraduate education is
specifically relevant to your graduate program, then this option may be
the right one for you. Other reasons for going straight to graduate
school include your excellence as a student; your current status of
having few (or no) obligations, both personally and financially; and
your interest in pursuing an area of expertise that requires a graduate
degree.

Take time to ensure that graduate school is right for you.
Advanced study requires a considerable amount of motivation and the
ability to work independently. Sometimes, a vacation from studying may
help intensify your motivation and enhance your skills. As such, you may
want to consider the following option.

After a Sufficient Rest Period

Many
graduates take a year off before they start their graduate program. You
can use this time to work, both to help you fund your studies and to
gain experience. Perhaps, you simply want to travel. If you are
traveling, remember to apply for courses at the right time, keeping in
mind that you might be asked to attend an interview or an admission
test. You will need to plan well ahead, sometimes as long as 18 months
prior to application. In the case of some overseas programs, it is
common for students to put together a timeline before they begin
focusing on their time off.

It is important to understand that
pursuing a graduate degree a number of years after undergraduate study
is not uncommon. Some time off can be valuable if it improves your
qualifications and primes you for the pressures and rigors of graduate
school.

After Working Full-time

The reasons for acquiring
work experience before graduate school include acquiring a better
understanding of your professional objectives, obtaining relevant work
experience, and developing a more responsible attitude toward studying.
If you know in advance that you intend to pursue a graduate education
after several years of work, look for an employer with a tuition
reimbursement program. Often, employers are willing to finance part, or
all, of the expenses entailed in graduate study.

While Working

The
biggest percentage of the graduate school student population consists
of part-time students. The idea of supplemental education is a growing
trend because rapid industry changes affect almost all fields of
expertise. Continuing to work, whether on a part time or a full time
basis, can also be a means of paying for expenses incurred during the
course of your graduate study.

IV. Master’s vs. Doctoral Degrees

It
is a common misconception that a prospective PhD student must possess a
Master’s degree to enter a doctoral program. Although majority of
graduate programs do require this, it is not always the case. It is
better to conduct your own research and investigate the degree
requirements for a program as opposed to making an assumption. In this
booklet, we provide some of the more significant differences between
being a Masteral and a Doctoral candidate.

The Masteral Candidate

You
will spend, on the average, about two years in graduate school. The
purpose of this program is to provide you with solid education in a
specialized academic discipline

Your First Year The enrollment
process is similar to that for undergraduate study. You are required to
fulfill the coursework requirements of your degree. However, the work
will be heavier, the course topics will be more specialized, and much
more will be expected from you than when you were an undergraduate. With
your adviser’s help (chosen by you or assigned by the program), you
will start to solidify your academic focus.

Your Second Year You
may take more advanced classes to complete your course requirements.
Having determined your research direction, you will gradually spend more
effort toward the completion of your thesis. Depending on your pace,
you may need one semester or an entire academic year for you to finish
your masteral thesis, the objective of which is to show your mastery in
your area of study.

The Doctoral Candidate

You will spend,
on the average, five to six years in graduate school. The purpose of the
program is to provide you with comprehensive knowledge of your field,
prepare you to conduct original and significant research, and make you
ready to become a member of a teaching faculty.

Your First Three
Years You will enroll in classes to fulfill your degree requirements and
obtain comprehensive knowledge of your field of study. You will
gradually establish your research direction, often consulting with an
adviser (usually) appointed at the start of your graduate study. By the
end of your second or third year, you would have completed a thesis or
taken comprehensive exams, or both. The thesis and/or exams will allow
your professors to evaluate your capabilities to continue with doctoral
studies.

Your Last Three Years Coursework becomes a minor
component of your academic workload, and may even disappear as you
conceptualize your dissertation, a novel and significant contribution to
the available knowledge in your specialization. You will teach more and
more classes and gradually collaborate more with senior faculty
members. You will form a close professional relationship with a faculty
member who shares the same research interests as you do, and he/she will
become your dissertation adviser. Your program will end with the
completion of your dissertation, which may entail an oral defense of
your research before a panel of faculty members and/or experts in the
field you are in.

V. Selecting a Graduate Program

The
following are some of the more important factors and questions that
students need to consider and answer when deciding on what graduate
program to apply to.

Specialty

This criterion will
ultimately depend on your interests, but we always suggest job market
consideration. Certain fields may undergo positive developments after a
few years, while those that are currently experiencing rapid growth may
become stagnant.

Ranking

A graduate program’s ranking is
critical for some prospective graduate students. They believe that a
program’s ranking signifies the quality of education they will receive
and the level of resources that will be available to them. However,
different sources of information – school Web sites, published rankings,
and independent ranking organizations – all have specific criteria for
evaluating a specific program. Students should therefore be aware of the
factors that are considered in determining a program’s ranking, as well
as the evaluation methods (if any) that are implemented.

Location

Location
can play a large factor in your graduate school experience. You will
establish many ties in graduate school and should therefore consider if
the school of your choice is located in an area that you would consider
living in. On the other hand, if you are looking for temporary residence
in a place you have no intention of living in permanently but desire to
live in for a few years, graduate school is an opportune time to gain
that experience. Wherever you are, you should be comfortable with the
location because you will be (usually) staying in that place for the
next two to eight years of your life. Some questions you need to ask
yourself are the following: Are you more partial to a small or large
school? Urban or rural? Country or city?

Cost

Take into
account all direct and indirect costs (tuition, miscellaneous fees,
books, and especially cost of living) and the availability of financial
assistance. The amount of financial assistance you receive often depends
on whether you are pursuing a Master’s degree or a PhD. It is not
unusual for a university or college to waive tuition requirements if you
are applying for a doctoral program. Moreover, many PhD students are
given some form of funding or stipend.

Admission Standards

It
is better to select a graduate program with stringent admissions
standards. Schools with lower admission requirements may provide a lower
quality of graduate education. Majority of schools and universities
make this type of information available to the public. Look for the base
requirements for admission; these usually include the necessary
undergraduate GPA and standardized test scores.

Teaching Personnel

Narrowing
down your program choices will prove much easier if you are definite
about your research interests. It is recommended that you apply to
programs where the faculty members have research interests that coincide
with yours.

It has often been stated that a graduate program is only as good as
its faculty. It is important to learn from and train under professors
who are respected and recognized in their chosen specialty. The easiest
way to evaluate the quality of a program is to look at the proportion of
classes taught by full-time faculty. At the same time, indicators such
as the number of scholarly publications and the professional experience
of the teaching staff could also provide insights into the reputation of
the faculty.

Facilities

Check if the program you intend to
apply to has the facilities/amenities that you need. Can they provide
you the tools necessary for your research? It is important to
investigate whether the “state-of-the-art” facilities promoted by the
school or university are truly as claimed.

Time for Completion

Ask
yourself how quickly you want to complete the program. Do you want to
finish in two years? Three? Four? Do you have other plans after earning
your graduate degree and thus have to finish it within a specific
duration of time?

Career Planning

If your reason for going
to graduate school is career related, then it will be wise to find out
what types of professional development activities are available in the
program/university you are pursuing. Are there opportunities for
networking or training with actual practitioners in the field of
specialization you have chosen?

Many students love the field of
study they are in, but are confused with what specific positions they
can apply for after graduation. The program or department will have
information regarding the average salary earned by their graduates and
the proportion of students who land jobs after graduation. You can also
check if the department has connections with various
organizations/companies to assist its students in finding employment
after graduation.

VI. Finding Top Graduate Schools

Seek Out Fellow Graduate Students

Seeking
out and talking to students enrolled in your program of interest is one
of the best ways to conduct research on graduate schools. Getting the
“inside scoop” on what you can expect upon admission into a program will
certainly help you obtain “real-life information” about the program.
Aside from obtaining information on courses, tuition, and faculty
members, you may also be lucky enough to hear personal experiences with
regard to the quality of instruction, the rigors of the program, and
other factors that will aid you in making a decision where to apply.

Graduate School Rankings

Graduate
school rankings provide a practical guide for finding the school that
is suitable for you. Aside from general rankings, information such as
average grades and test scores are included in these records. This will
help you establish whether or not your qualifications are competitive.

In
fields such as medicine, business, and law, rankings can be very
useful. Rankings in these disciplines are frequently determined based on
meticulous scientific evaluations, and if applied properly, these can
direct students toward organizing their applications by enabling them to
highlight the aspects they will be competitive in. Nonetheless, these
rankings are not the end-all and be-all of selecting the right graduate
school. Many students focus too much on international or national
rankings. Combined with careful research, however, graduate school
rankings can most certainly point you in the right direction.

VII. Applying for Admission

Materials

The following materials are generally required for applying to graduate school:

a. A completed and signed application form

b. The application fee

c. Certified true copies of transcripts from colleges and universities attended

d. Statement of Purpose or a Personal Statement

e. Recommendation Letters

f. Standardized test scores

VIII. Timetables for Applying to Graduate School

The
earlier you complete your application, the better your prospects for
admission. In this manual, we provide two options of a timetable you can
utilize as you prepare for your application to graduate school.
Carefully review each, and choose the one you believe will work best for
you.

TIMETABLE (Option 1)

1. Conduct research

– Obtain information online – both institutional and external sites – and visit campuses (if possible).

– At graduate school fairs, speak with representatives from the
schools. Collecting materials is often less effective than spending your
time in verbal communication with people who are a reflection of the
school. Generally, the material in brochures and distributed paperwork
contains the same information as that of the online site. Talking to
people may help you make better use of your time.

2. Prepare for the required standardized tests (i.e., GMAT and TOEFL)

– This is between one and six months ahead of taking the tests, depending on your initial level.

3. Start drafting your Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose

– Think about your accomplishments, relevant experiences, influences, and inspirations.

– Identify your goals and reasons for pursuing graduate study and/or the specific graduate program.

4. Obtain your Letters of Recommendation

– Decide on and speak to the people you wish to get recommendations from; make sure you give them plenty of advanced notice.

– Discuss your plans, and remind them of your academic/professional achievements and capabilities.

– Give them clear and realistic deadlines for writing the letter (six to eight weeks).

– Follow-up with a call three or four weeks after making your
request to find out how the letters are progressing (and as some
recommenders have busy schedules, to remind them to start writing the
letter).

5. Request for your undergraduate transcripts

– Do this at least two months before you submit your application.

6. Take the standardized tests

– Request that the scores be sent to the schools.

7. Finish drafting your Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose

– Provide copies to friends and colleagues and ask them for their opinions regarding your work.

– Obtain the services of a professional English language review and
editing company like KGSupport to enhance your essay’s content, improve
English usage, and make your statement competitive.

– Type or write neatly. If your application is unreadable, it cannot be evaluated.

8. Mail all completed applications

– Do not wait for deadlines. Submit early!

– Keep photocopies for your records.

TIMETABLE (Option 2)

9-12 months before graduate school starts

– Select the programs you wish to enroll in.

– Obtain application forms and requirements from the
university/school. Inquire from the admissions office if you have any
questions.

– Decide who you will ask to write your letters of recommendation.

7-9 months before graduate school starts

– Start drafting your Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose.

– Collect your Letters of Recommendation.

– Complete the application in preparation for submission.
Double-check that all necessary information has been provided. Read the
instructions and follow them carefully.

– Keep photocopies of your application form, Personal Statement, undergraduate transcript, and Letters of Recommendation.

6-8 months before graduate school starts


Submit your application documents. Check if there is a difference
between deadlines for online submission and mailed applications.

– Begin looking for housing if required.

5-7 months before graduate school starts

– Request that your undergraduate transcripts be sent to your intended school/s.

– Acceptance letters are usually sent out around this time. If you
have not heard from your school, contact them to make sure your
application is complete.

3-6 months before graduate school starts

– Complete all your admission requirements: final transcripts, registration, medical checks, others

IX. Standard Tests/Exams Necessary for Application

GENERAL

1. GRE – Graduate Record Examination (General and Subject)

The GRE General Test measures a person’s verbal reasoning,
quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills
acquired over a period of time, and not related to any specific field
of study. The standardized score serves as a yardstick for evaluating
your qualifications as an applicant.

The GRE Subject Tests measure undergraduate proficiency in the following eight disciplines:

Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Literature in English,
Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and
Psychology

2. IELTS – International English Language Testing System

The
IELTS is an internationally recognized English language test. It
enables students to show their ability to pursue courses in English. It
is accepted by universities in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and
Australia. However, it is not accepted by most universities in the
United States. The score that students must obtain to be eligible in a
university that requires IELTS depends on the course and the university.

3. TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language

The
TOEFL is the most widely accepted English language test in the world.
It measures the spoken and written ability of non-native,
English-speaking students. It is best to check the Web site of the
university/school you wish to apply to before deciding on which English
test to take.

4. TOEIC – Test of English for International Communication

The TOEIC assessment measures the capability of non-native English-speaking people to use English in everyday work activities.

5. TSE – Test of Spoken English

The
TSE assessment measures the verbal communication ability of nonnative
English speakers in an academic or professional environment.

SPECIFIC

1. LSAT (Law)

The
LSAT is intended to measure skills regarded as indispensable for
success in law school: accurate reading and comprehension of complex
texts, organization of information and the capacity to obtain logical
inferences from it, critical reasoning, and analysis and assessment of
the reasoning and opinions of others.

2. GMAT (MBA)

The GMAT
is a standardized test that aids business schools in evaluating the
qualifications of applicants for advanced degrees in business and
management. It is often used by business schools as a predictor of
academic performance. The GMAT measures basic verbal, mathematical, and
analytical writing skills that have been developed through education and
employment.

GMAT requirements vary depending on the school. You should research
on the average GMAT scores at the universities you wish to apply to.
This information should be readily available. Remember that top business
schools view a score of at least 600 as competitive.

3. MCAT (Medicine)

The
MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice test intended to evaluate an
applicant’s problem-solving, critical-thinking, and writing skills as
well as knowledge of scientific concepts and principles essential to
medical study. These scores are considered by medical schools as an
essential factor in their evaluation process. Majority of medical
schools in the United States require applicants to submit MCAT scores.

4. DAT (Dental)

General
academic competence, grasp of scientific concepts, and perceptual
ability are among the factors measured by the Dental Admissions Test.

X. The Admissions Interview

Although
not all graduate programs conduct admission interviews, it is better to
be prepared for this possibility, especially if the university,
program, or field you are applying to is particularly competitive.

What
is the purpose of the admissions interview? Sometimes, graduate school
applicants are not as ideal for a program as they appear on paper.
Therefore, the interview helps the people involved in the selection
process to identify if a candidate can be successful in their program.
It often provides insights into a person’s motivation, fundamental
knowledge, and interpersonal and communication skills.

The
interview process is different for each university and program. It may
even vary within the program itself, depending on the person or panel
handling the interview. During your interview, do not expect the
interviewers to remember anything about you. They may have read your
application essay or have gone through your transcript or resume, but
keep in mind that they have likewise reviewed hundreds if not thousands
of applications. Therefore, be ready to repeat certain details that are
already presented in your file.

Before the Interview

o Conduct research about the program and faculty. Identify the program’s strengths and the faculty’s research interests.

o Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. What is it about you that make you suitable for the program?

o Step into the faculty members’ shoes. Try to determine what it is
they want from a graduate student. Will your qualifications enable you
to positively contribute to their program and research? What skills do
you possess that will prove valuable to a professor as he or she
conducts his or her research?

o Think about obvious questions that will be asked, prepare
potential answers, and rehearse them with a friend (or even by yourself
in front of a mirror).

During the Interview

o Always keep your goals in mind during the admissions interview.

o Try to sincerely communicate your passion, enthusiasm, and proficiencies.

o Be natural. Do not attempt to second guess what the interviewers
are looking for. Be yourself, and most importantly, do not invent
stories or accomplishments to impress the interviewing panel. You may
succeed one time, but it could cost you your opportunity to get into the
program if you are found out.

o Listen carefully to what the interviewers are saying and/or asking. When answering, remember to speak slowly and clearly.

o Establish and maintain eye contact with the interviewer/s and
remember to smile. Show them you are happy for this chance to talk to
them.

o Some interviews involve social affairs like a small gathering.
Keep in mind that although it is a party, it is still part of the
interview. You might not see it or feel it, but you are being evaluated
all the time.