By Katy Krieger, David Nauss and Morgan Willer

grad school

Why we chose it: Graduate School! Yes there is the possibility of continuing your education after you leave Oregon State. Whether you want to take a year off or push ahead, graduate school may be a great option. Three of our senior ambassadors are moving on to graduate school and share their experiences with you. Hopefully they can help paint you a clearer picture of the entire application process.

KatyKaty I love the university atmosphere, so to think of spending my life in it was an incredible feeling and I went with it! I have always wanted to go for a PhD in psychology so it was a matter of finding my passion (social psychology) and really capitalizing on programs that would prepare me in the field. Right now all I do is school so naturally the next step for me was to continue on with my education, however, this choice may not be so easy for people and you may want to gain practical experience with an internship, job, or field/lab research.

MorganMorgan My career choice requires that I eventually hold a masters degree. As a teacher I am pursuing my masters in my content, which means I will be studying history at the graduate level. I am choosing to go straight into the graduate school process, without a gap year, because I don’t want to fall out of “school mode” and forget the rigorous study that is required to excel.

DavidDavid To be a lawyer you have to go to law school. But more than that why do I want to become a lawyer? I love law, I find it fascinating, intricate, abstract and yet at the same time very human and in very real ways effecting people. I also want to do work with a purpose and within the field of law there are many opportunities for me to do that. Secondly like Morgan I would prefer to just power through law school and get going with my career than take a year or two off.


How did we choose our schools:

Katy I started with a big guide to psych grad schools book and moved from there. The book was really just helping me to narrow down my choices and begin to look at factors like what the school offered for financial aid and opportunities and what I had to bring to the table like strong GRE scores and good references. I tried not to limit myself to an area or state because a list of 100 schools can easily go down to 5 that may or may not fit for you. I used my previous experience at conferences to guide me into where to apply. I focused on strong research programs and schools that would allow me to pursue my passion in social psychology as well as provide me with practical skills like teaching experience and statistics courses. Some places on my list include: UT Austin, Harvard, UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, Michigan, and University of Colorado.

David I am choosing a variety of schools across the US. Three schools in the Northwest, two schools in California, one school in St. Louis, Missouri and one in Houston, Texas. I choose the schools first because they are all good, some even great schools three schools are top 25, the rest are in or around the top 50 (with one exception of a back-up school). More than the academics though I applied to these schools because I think I can be successful in all of them and feel at home. I am from California so I feel at home there, I have spent these last four years in the Northwest and have many friends here, and I have family that lives in Texas so I also feel comfortable in the south. I know that I will most likely end up living near to where I go to school so I wanted to apply to places that I know I could easily call home.

Morgan I’m applying to several schools in the Southeastern United States, like Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Alabama. I chose these schools first off because of their programs and professors. I have a huge interest in Civil War history, as well as Civil Rights, and much of that history occurred in the South. By putting myself in the center of the history I’ll have many opportunities for research. I’ve also always wanted to live outside of Oregon, have many friends in the states where I am applying, and am looking forward to experiencing a new culture while staying in the U.S. Choosing schools takes a lot of time, especially to properly research everywhere you may want to go. I started this process early last year.

How we prepped:

Katy I started by taking the practice GRE that OSU offered online- come on free is great and it gave me a chance to know what the questions looked like. After that I took all summer to study with some helpful books and flashcards related to the GRE so that I could really do well on the exam. I used a handy guide in my field after that to look at specific programs and I would suggest finding what this kind of guide would be in your field (go ask an advisor in your major) so that you can see the short facts about each place and a general idea of what they focus on. The searching and choosing process was much longer than anticipated, so, I was glad I began months in advance so that the December 1st deadlines didn’t sneak up on me. Also, I kept a huge Excel spreadsheet with each schools information like deadlines, payments, and sent transcripts so that I could stay organized. This list was super handy for my professors giving recommendation letters because it kept them organized as well. I had all of my materials ready for each school and then strategically filled out the basic info on the application, uploaded each essay or document, and then submitted them (at least a day prior to the deadline).

David The first prep is in do you really want to go to grad school and if so do you want to right after college. I know law school is going to be brutal and expensive but for me its still worth it and I want to get it done with so I can start my career. Secondly I would start prepping for the test you have to take (GRE, LAST, whatever). Most schools look very closely at your test score so you need to prepare well for it. Take a class, get study books, prepare as best as you can. I personally only studied from LSAT prep books but I studied a lot from them. This past summer nearly everyday I was studying for the LSAT. If you can afford a class though, I would take one (I wish I had sucked up the money and done so). Next for law school applications it is very simple to apply to schools. The LSAC runs all the applications through their website. In this way you really only have to fill out one application and the rest of the applications copies your information from the first. A month before I wanted to turn in my applications I went and asked the professors who I wanted to write my letters of recommendations for their letters. That way they had plenty of time to write them. They then submitted their letter directly to LSAC. Next I asked OSU to send my transcripts to LSAC with the LSAC special request form. I then clicked sent for all the applications and paid the fee. I sent in my applications in early January, even though the first one was not due till mid February because law schools to rolling admissions so the sooner I send mine in the better chance I had of getting in to the school.

Morgan I started by researching where I wanted to go, and looked at their requirements. Was my GPA high enough? How many recommendations will I need? How about the GRE and writing samples? I compiled all the requirements into an excel spreadsheet to make sure I would not miss anything when it came time to apply. I signed up for the GRE early, and bought a test prep book. I studied for a good three months before taking the test, and even then chose to re-take the test to boost my scores. It’s important to give yourself enough time to take the GRE before you must submit scores to grad schools. A month before my first application was due I asked the professors I was closest to if they would write a letter of recommendation for me. It’s important to ask them very early, in person, and express your thanks. They are doing you a huge favor! It’s helpful to know all the schools,  and the dates applications are due ready to present to them, when you ask for a letter. Most graduate programs require three letters. If you are not close to that many professors now would be a good time to strengthen relationships. Finally, when looking at requirements for schools take note if the school requires transcripts from all institutions you’ve attended, or just the most recent. Some schools are picky enough to even require transfer credits from high school advanced placement courses, so plan accordingly.

Materials you will need:

MONEY! But really. Be prepared to pay $50-75 per application, pay for your GRE ($$$) and its supplies, and expect to pay $25 per test score that you send out. Plus any extra money that may be spent shipping transcripts, documents, and other necessities to your schools.

Post-apps and Interviews:

Katy After your apps get ready for the waiting game. it’s awful but everyone gets through it! Try to get a Skype interview instead of a phone interview so that you can rely on nonverbal indicators to help you along in the process. If you are interviewing for the first time, test your phone or Skype, make sure your connection is good and prep for no interruptions, look at your background and clothes and make sure they are professional, and always be early to your interview so that you are the one waiting for them and not the other way around. Nerves are okay but don’t let them consume you; try not to amp up on too much caffeine and speak slowly and clearly especially with Skype. In an onsite interview prepare with ideas of your own- what projects you want to begin with a professor, what your interests are, and what you have done in your undergrad. Also, be ready to be thrown into ten different offices and talk a lot! Sometimes it may not be your first choice professor that wants to interview you so just be ready and know your stuff. In addition, watch out for group interview and don’t be afraid to speak up (or even shut up).


KateBy Kate Virden

Welcome to 2014!  You’ve survived fall term, had a relaxing winter break, and are now working the daily grind.  Winter term is unlike any other at OSU.  It’s not as exciting as fall when everyone is back to school and football season is in full swing with school spirit events happening every week.  Spring term is when the sun finally pokes its head out from the clouds and students can be found lying on the grass in the MU and library quads.   Now we’re left with winter term.  It’s usually a bit of a shock to come back from break and immediately be swamped with homework, so realistically, it can get pretty depressing since the sun is never seen; it’s bone chillingly cold, and often very, very rainy.  The best ways to avoid feelings of seasonal depression that are very common throughout Oregon is to do the things you love!

Exercising is a great way to relieve stress and also release endorphins or feelings of happiness.  I’ve found running for even 30 minutes every day forces me to set aside time for myself and be active.  Even walking a little bit slower to your next class and taking time to breathe in the fresh Oregon air can make your step lighter.  Luckily for us, one of our school colors is bright orange so represent Beaver Pride and wear an orange hoodie one day to spruce up the neutrals that dominate wintertime wardrobes.   Socializing with friends at one of the coffee shops on campus or in the MU Lounge is a great way to take your mind off of never ending to-do lists and laughter really is the best medicine.  Drink non-caffeinated tea before bed to relax or buy some vitamin D supplements if you aren’t getting enough fish, eggs or dairy in your diet.  If seasonal depression really affects you, a Sun Box Light from might be something to interest you.  These boxes use light therapy to filter UV rays and fit on a desktop so it’s like having the sun right on your desk! You can also stop in to the mind spa or the library to use a UV light for free to help boost your vitamin D.

No matter what you choose to do to devote some time to yourself this winter term, it’s important that you set a schedule and stick to it. Good luck and GO BEAVS!

LoganBy Logan Pedersen

Have you been thinking about getting involved in undergraduate research? Or would you like to dive deeper into the topic you’re majoring in? Research offers undergraduate students a chance to expand their knowledge while gaining valuable real world experience in a laboratory research setting. Hands-on-experience is an invaluable part of a student’s college career, and Oregon State University is both a top-tier national research institution and Oregon’s premiere research university. The professors here truly cherish their research. They’re passionate and dedicated to their topics, and they look for students with an equal interest. As a result, they have strict criteria when it comes to selecting students for work in their labs. I spoke with one professor who stated, “my research is like my children, I greatly cherish them.” It is not easy to get in a lab, and many students believe they have to wait until their junior or senior year of college to get involved in one, but this simply isn’t true. Take time to review the research being done by the professors in your department, and if you’re passionate and focused about a specific topic, you may find professors here in the same thing! If you’re still looking around and you aren’t sure about where you want to focus your interest, then look into the research professors are working on and you’re certain to find something that piques your interest. I strongly recommend talking to your professors sometime during your freshman year to at least get a feel for what goes on in the labs.

researchIt takes a lot of work to get involved in a lab, but in the end the experience you gain is definitely worth it. I am currently involved in a lab here on campus, and it feels like a second family to me. They provide a place where students with shared interests can work to discover new things about life. They show you the practical side of the field, and they help apply what you learn in your classes. It can also show you what life is like in graduate programs and in the working world. Regardless of what you’re majoring in, please go and talk with a professor in your field about their research and if inspiration strikes, find out how you can try to get involved. All majors conduct research and professors love to share their work with other dedicated students. Not only will research provide you the opportunity to share your interests with others, it will also help shape your college experience. For many students, our time in college is the only time we’ll be exposed to academic research opportunities. Learning involves more than just going to class everyday and passing exams. Research experience plays a critical role in helping to develop our understanding of the world around us.

By Morgan Willer, Katy Krieger, Kate Virden and Alison Blazer

This school year is already flying by! It’s 2014 and a whole new group of seniors are looking forward to, or dreading (however you see it), graduation. We may all be in denial that our time has come to move on to the real world, but the senior ambassadors figured there was no better time than dreary winter term to start checking things off the Oregon State bucket list! Here we’ve compiled our list of things we’ve never done, or want to make sure you all get to experience, before reality calls to wake you up.

MorganMorgan: My time at Oregon State has gone by so fast, and there are still a few things left I want to do! A huge part of being a beaver is going to athletic events. It’s the perfect place to feel what it means to be “Powered by Orange”! Basketball is awesome, but you should also check-out other sporting events like gymnastics, wrestling, and swimming. You’re guaranteed to have fun when you’re out supporting your school.Spending more time on campus is something really basic, but something that you can’t do forever. Take your friends, possibly those from freshmen year, and have a cup of coffee while reminiscing. You won’t get to wander the beautiful OSU campus for much longer so it’s best to take advantage now! Check out Career Services before you graduate and are left wondering what to do. They can be helpful and you probably won’t get such great advice once you leave. Finally, it’s never too late to get involved. Join a club or be a tutor. You’ve been here a long time and you have advice to spread around. It’s never too late to make connections!


KatyKaty: As I get ready to graduate I have realized everything that I have done at OSU and everything that is still left to do! I absolutely recommend going to as many local restaurants as possible. Happy hour at places like Block 15, McMenamins, and Flat Tail Brewing is a great way to try the food and drink. Take a trip to Newport, Lincoln City or Cannon Beach; although these may be cliché places to visit, the shops, beach scenery, and quaint bakeries are enough to make you go back multiple times. Newport also holds a murder mystery party that everyone can take part in that proves for a day of laughs and sleuthing! For those of you over 21, I also suggest going wine, beer, and cider tasting all around the valley. Most tastings are under $15 and you get some wonderful samples of what Oregon has to offer. In addition, add a trip to the Whiteside Theater to your list, catch a movie at the Darkside Cinema, walk around the farmer’s market, hike around Bald Hill (not alone), and get tickets to a Eugene Ballet Company show like The Nutcracker when they perform in Corvallis.


KateKate:Oregon State University has been an amazing place to call home for the past few years, and with graduation on the very near horizon, it is important to experience the last few bits of charm the university and Corvallis have to offer.  I want to take more advantage of Dixon Rec Center and the fitness classes that get heart rates going.  Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offer an amazing opportunity called the Mind Spa, and the purpose is to soothe the mind, body, and spirit through massaging chairs, meditation, and relaxing scenery.  It’s the perfect place to unwind once the term picks up, and I have yet to experience it!  Also, I have been dying to attend an OSU fashion show before I graduate and experience the creativity of student designers.  As for Corvallis, there are innumerable ways to get involved with the quaint community.  There are hiking trails on Mary’s Peak and Bald Hill for you adventurous folk with views of Oregon that stretch as far as the eye can see.  Downtown Corvallis is home to quaint little shops full of homemade handicrafts and the friendliest store owners, and if you haven’t had the chance to walk around on a weekend afternoon with a friend or two, I definitely recommend it.  Whether you are graduating this spring or in two years, remember that undergrad only happens once, so make the best and most of it!


AlisonAlison: I am still in shock (also appropriately referred to as denial) about the fact that I’m going to be graduating from the Beaver Nation this coming June. While the past three years have been a roller coaster of amazing memories and worthwhile learning experiences, I feel as though I can’t possibly accomplish all that I want to in my last 6 months in Corvallis. When it comes to campus, I will admit I have still have yet to play a game of bowling at the MU Bowling Alley, eat a calzini from Bing’s Cafe or attend a myriad of cultural events hosted by student groups or the cultural centers. While I’ve participated in a lot of workout classes on campus (through either Fit Classes at Dixon Recreation or PAC classes), I still haven’t even SEEN the bowling alley that’s on our very own campus. Also, generally speaking, I’m a foodie. I appreciate delicious food, enjoy cooking, and love trying new places. I’ve heard for years now that the calizinis (a large semi-circle of dough stuffed with cheese, meat, veggies etc. and baked to perfection) at Bing’s are incredible. Maybe I should go for a game at MU Billiards and head over to Bing’s for a snack sometime soon! Cultural events, I’m happy to say, are incredibly well attended at Oregon State. There’s typically great food (there I go with the food again!), cultural performances (i.e. dancing, speakers), and interesting people to get to know! I’ve been to quite a few of these events over the years, but am determined to fit as many in as possible over the next 6 months. My final recommendation is for you all to get involved in Corvallis outside of just the campus setting. I have loved each and every one of my trips the Corvallis Farmer’s Market and have even volunteered at several city events– both are fantastic ways to get a feel for the community that we all call home and meet some true Corvallians!

AlisonBy Alison Blazer

Greetings Beavers! I hope Winter term is off to a smooth start for everyone. The beginning of a new term is always a fantastic time to make new connections on campus and really boost your involvement. To inspire all of you to pursue what you’re passionate about on our campus, I’m going to tell you a bit about one of my involvement positions over the past few years and where it has gotten me.

Lambda Pi Eta (LPH) is a national communication honor society that is recognized by the National Communication Association (NCA) and has over 500 chapters across the country. Last year (2012-13) I was our chapter Vice-President and this year (2013-14), as a senior, I have been fortunate enough to hold the position of Chapter President.

The question I get so often is, ‘What does it mean to be an honor society?’ As an honor society, LPH’s goals include bridging the gap between faculty and students, inspiring discussion and scholarship in the communication discipline, and encouraging academic excellence. In other words, our organization has academic eligibility requirements (i.e. a minimum GPA), puts on various events for communication students at OSU, and allows members to graduate with honors when they receive their Bachelor’s Degree.

Although our chapter of LPH is now gaining members and starting new traditions with each coming term, it did not always exist on OSU’s campus. Over the past three years myself and other dedicated communication students have worked to transform Comm Club into a nationally recognized chapter of LPH, and I’m pleased to say that it has paid off.

This Fall, OSU’s chapter of LPH was named Rookie Chapter of the Year by the National Communication Association, and our chapter’s Faculty Advisor, Dr. Trischa Goodnow, was named Rookie Advisor of the Year. These awards signify that our chapter best demonstrated efforts to achieve the goals of LPH during our first year as an official chapter, and that Dr. Goodnow helped us in our endeavors. Not only was this award a spectacular recognition to have received as a chapter, but the past Chapter President, Megan Bauer, and myself, as current Chapter President, were able to attend the National Communication Association Annual Conference in November in Washington D.C. to accept the award.

LPH Rookie Award

From Comm Club member to LPH Chapter President, I could never have imagined that my involvement would provide me with the opportunity to attend a national conference across the country. The Annual NCA Conference is the largest conference in the communication discipline and a hub at which communication professors and scholars gather from all across the U.S. to exchange ideas, hear panel discussions, and receive awards. With more than 5,000 scholars in attendance, this conference was a rather sudden introduction into the world of professional conferences as an undergraduate student.

Once I adjusted to the sheer enormity of the weekend’s events, I was able to make connections with the five faculty members from our own Speech Communication Department at OSU whom were travelling with me, discuss graduate programs and my future plans with professors from all around the country, and develop an entirely new perspective from which to experience the study of communication.

Now, in my second to last term as a Beaver undergrad, I am more sure than ever before that I chose not only the right major, but also worthwhile involvement opportunities, in my time here at OSU. As soon as I started taking communication classes my freshman year I wanted to talk about communication inside and outside of the classroom and resurrected Comm Club for that very reason. Some of the greatest student-faculty relationships I’ve built, events I’ve attended, and lessons I’ve learned have stemmed from my passion for LPH and the work I’ve put into it.

If there’s something in this world that interests you, whether it’s an academic subject, an environmental cause, or a political stance, I encourage you to bring it to life on this campus! Get out there, spread the word, and I guarantee you’ll find others among the student body that share your views and interests? My journey toward the NCA Conference in D.C. started more than three years ago on a whim. Who says your passions can’t inspire you to do more and go farther? Go Beavs!