Humanities Department holds alumni panel for those considering graduate school

Victoria May

Juniors and seniors gathered Monday at the Humanities Alumni Panel to hear anecdotal accounts from current graduate students explaining how UT’s Humanities Program prepared them for postgraduate education.

About 15 undergraduate students convened before the panel, which covered life after graduation and the uncertainty that comes with it. Panelists currently enrolled in graduate school at UT discussed both the best and the worst parts of developing a thesis and looking for a career after completing their undergraduate studies.

“It is helpful to see others that have been in your position, especially when exploring which options are available to you after undergraduate school,” said Devon Hsiao, humanities senior and president of the Humanities Student Council. “There are so many different fields of study in the humanities, it can be hard to form a tight knit community. Meetings like this panel help me relay important information to other students in the Humanities Program through the Humanities Student Council.”

After reflecting on their time in school, panelists gave advice on how to deal with everyday stressors and tips for getting quality research for their thesis.

Panelists provided information about the transition to graduate school, emphasizing the importance of their undergraduate career, to help juniors and seniors who may be unsure of the path they may want to take. 

“The most valuable aspect of undergraduate school was writing my undergraduate thesis,” graduate student Keith Chew said during the panel. “The focus on critical thinking and analytical processes while you write your thesis demonstrate that you’re ready to transition from being a consumer of knowledge to a producer of knowledge — as you will become in graduate school.”

Linda Mayhew, senior academic program coordinator for the Humanities Program, plans events such as the Humanities Alumni Panel and advises students before graduate school.

“My goal is to help students by referring them to alumni that may have had similar experiences so they have the tools to build a network,” Mayhew said. “I also help connect students to the Liberal Arts Career Services should they decide graduate school is not for them.”

The Humanities Program hosts a variety of events for juniors and seniors who are interested in pursuing graduate school, including a series of workshops, as well as weekly meetings for seniors about building a thesis and conducting research. 


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