Several people contacted me with questions about how a credential with the University of London International Program can position them for future opportunities. Questions include if the degree will help with admission to graduate schools or careers and how to manage self-directed learning. This seems like a natural extension of last week’s conversation, so pardon me for still harping on goals. There are as many goals associated with study as there are students pursuing a credential with the International Program. I asked many of the same questions when choosing this program; now I organize my work to create opportunities and achieve my goals.
Using questions like these to clarify and manage goals is really useful. In ‘Expect to Win’ Carla Harris suggests some very helpful strategies for answering these questions, managing goals and generating long-term success. Carla’s ‘pearls’ include seeking specific advice to help establish and reach goals. For example when choosing this program I contacted English departments at several universities to ask about graduate school admissions; I also asked what skills are required for success in advanced study. In addition to enquiring about advanced English credentials I talked with students and faculty at law schools and graduate schools of management and policy. Several English studies professors were very generous with their time and comments; they helped me to understand what I can accomplish in my English degree and self-directed study.
One thing I want to accomplish is earning a classified honors degree; I learned graduate schools want candidates who hold First Class or Upper Second degrees. I also learned many academics, professionals and organizations collaborate with University of London faculty and are well-informed about standards associated with University of London International Program degrees. I learned American graduate schools of law, medicine and business accept more students who hold English degrees than any other candidates. The high graduate school acceptance rate for English students is based on the research and analysis skills developed in their degree study. Asking these questions and evaluating the information I gathered helped me to choose English studies and the University of London; it also helps me manage course selections, study schedules, writing plans and learning goals.
Course selection, study and writing plans are important tools for managing goals. As the Student Handbook notes, each unit is concerned with different material and aims. This flexibility, along with the interdisciplinary nature of English studies, lets me focus on areas of particular interest to me whether it is content or skills. The skills I want to develop include writing academic research papers with specific style guidelines, persuasive writing and argument, and the ability to write about theory competently.
I feel confident about skills, goals and strategies because I achieved a long-term goal this summer; I began writing professionally and now have several clients and a remarkable writing partner. Writing professionally gives me a new perspective about skills required in this program. The success these skills helped me achieve mean I will be harping on goals for some time.