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Picking a school is about preparation

Hey guys!

I'm hoping that some of the experiences that I've had over the last year or so could help some of you find your perfect school. I'm currently a graduate student at OCAD University. I'm studying Digital Futures and for the most part, I couldn't be happier with my choice of school.

I started my search for a graduate school about a year and some months ago. It started with an empty sheet of paper and an idea of the things I'd want to learn. In an extremely naive way, I looked at the areas that I am interested in and focused on the things I could leverage while applying for graduate school. The three things that interested me were people, technology and design.

I spent months doing research, going through school website after school website. I categorized the shortlisted schools under my three areas of interest and picked a top school and ranked the other ones right after. I made a list of about 11 schools along with contact information, deadlines, requirements and how much I really wanted to get in. I took all that information and put it on one large chart paper, putting it down on actual paper for some reason really does help me.

The next step was starting to reach out for letters of recommendation as well starting to working on a covering letter. I gave myself about a month or more to organize this along with a two week buffer period.

The key learning I'd like to share with you here is that, applying for schools seems like a really daunting task because of what seems to be at stake but it's extremely important to remember that there isn't really a wrong answer and as long as one can can stay focused, motivated and planned. It's just like doing any other task.

I'd love to help anyone with more specific questions or problems.


P.S.: OCAD was my top pick and I did get in. :)
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