Questions to Ask Alumni about Grad School
Get the inside scoop before you commit
One of the best ways to find out about a graduate school is to talk to someone who completed the program. You can find out everything from which professor to take for your first set of classes, to where to find a parking spot that's almost always empty. As much as you can, find alumni whose interests and study habits are similar to yours. To get the most out of your discussion, ask good questions. Here are some ideas:
Was your graduate school experience worth the price?
Education is an expensive product. Some degrees are worth the money, but others are not. If the degree isn't worth the expense, better to find out before you apply to graduate school than after you've put time, effort, and money into it.
Did the curriculum prepare you for your next job?
This is a big question. If the program doesn't prepare you for the job you want, chances are you don't want to go with that program. Maybe a similar program at another graduate school will be better, or perhaps you need to look at an entirely different graduate program.
How much interaction did you have with other students?
Graduate school is as much about the school work as it is about networking. You never know which of your classmates will be able to clue you into your next job.