Careers of the Month: September 2009 Edition

Each month, we try to profile two specific careers and provide students with more information about them. If you want to see past entries (e.g., occupational therapist, school psychologist), click on the “Career Options” link on our Topics menu. This month, we are trying something a little different and providing information about one entire category of different careers: the gerontology field.

Gerontology: Many of our Human Development and Psychology students are interested in working with older adults. Never considered a career in gerontology before? Well, here’s your chance to consider that possibility! Visit the Gerontological Society of America website ( and/or their pamphlet on career options in the field ( to learn about many different career paths in that area.

Career Tip of the Month: View the New On-Line Job Search Videos and other Great Resources

Is anyone feeling a little nervous about looking for a job right now? You’re not alone! Our good friends at Career Services have a range of resources to help you in that process – some of which are brand new this year. Check them out!

  1. There’s a new series of short, web-based videos related to the job search process that just might help you feel more prepared. Find them at (click on the link). 
  2. Many of you are probably familiar with PRO ( and using it to look for jobs or internships, but did you know it also contains two great resources for learning more about careers in different fields (descriptions, salaries, industry profiles, etc.), international career opportunities, and U.S. cities where you might be looking for jobs? You can access Facts on File (national database of career information) and Going Global (international opportunities, city guides, etc.) by logging into the PRO system.
  3. Career Services has a range of FREE workshop offerings on creating resumes, interviewing, and applying to graduate school (see for a full schedule). Some of them are scheduled for September, so don’t miss out!

Grad School Tip of the Month: When to Do What

Fall is not only the time for colorful leaves and cooler weather; it’s also the time to get cracking on those grad school applications!  Here’s a timeline to help you get organized for the fall. We realize some of these dates will vary depending on the due dates of your specific schools; this schedule assumes December and January application due dates.  

September of your Senior Year:

  • Sign up to take the GREs if you haven’t done so already.  Determine if you will need to take a subject test.  The subject test is only offered three times a year.
  • Decide who you will ask to write letters of recommendation (usually need 3) and start prepping your information packet for them.  Letter writers will likely ask for a resume, undergraduate transcript, and draft of your personal statement.


  • Finalize the schools to which you will be applying. One rule of thumb might be to apply to 4-7 masters programs or 7-12 doctoral programs, but those numbers could vary depending on the specific schools to which you are applying, their competitiveness, and the number of spots available in the programs. Those interested in doctoral programs might also consider applying to a masters program or two. If you have added any schools at the last minute, double check whether you will need to request additional GRE score reports. 
  • Ask faculty for letters of recommendation (see
  • Begin filling out application and financial aid forms. Note that many schools will require more than one application (general graduate school plus departmental application).
  • Write first drafts of personal statement and have several people read these over.
  • Think about what you could use as a writing sample (if necessary for the application).


  • Send transcripts to the schools to which you are applying. These will often need to be official transcripts sent from the University itself, and you may need to send official transcripts from every institution you have attended (e.g., if you are a transfer student). Note that there are typically fees associated with obtaining transcripts.
  • Finalize applications, financial aid forms, writing sample (if necessary), and personal statements. Make sure you answer the specific questions for each school in your personal statements.
  • Give your letter of recommendation writers an organized list of schools, deadlines, and forms (online or paper). You should provide at least two week’s notice and more (e.g., a month), if possible. Keep in mind that faculty members are writing letters for many students at the same time.


  • Submit your applications! If you are submitting a paper copy, xerox a copy of your application for your records.

Human Development Research Methods is Alive

We are excited to announce that we will offer HUM DEV 302 Developmental Research Methods for the first time this spring as an ongoing part of the curriculum. The course is a requirement for Human Development majors and minors on the 2009-2010 catalog. For those on the 07-08 and 08-09 catalogs it is the recommended substitution for COMM SCI 301 Foundations of Social Research. Wait – there’s more! For those on older catalogs (e.g., 06-07 and earlier) it can serve as an upper-level elective. Unit Chair Dr. Regan A.R. Gurung has even personally endorsed this new offering – in his own words: “A great course. Try and take it.”