Attending grad school mid-career

Post Reply
ttf_kwbryson
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:59 am

Attending grad school mid-career

Post by ttf_kwbryson » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:29 pm

I got my undergraduate degree in music back in 2008, and am only now looking at graduate school.  I'm guessing I'm in the minority looking into grad school almost 10 years after doing my undergraduate but I'm sure people have done it before.  Does anyone have tips, insight, or experience for returning to grad-school mid career?

ttf_LowrBrass
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:59 am

Attending grad school mid-career

Post by ttf_LowrBrass » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:29 pm

What kind of tips are you looking for? How to get in? How to hold down a full-time job while also being a student (I'm pretty sure the answer is "time management")? How to fund it?

Grad school for what? Performance? Education?

I know it's not uncommon for people to earn MBAs well into their careers. This seems similar, right?
ttf_Burgerbob
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:59 am

Attending grad school mid-career

Post by ttf_Burgerbob » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:35 pm

I am not that person, so my advice may not be applicable.

However, my teacher gave me some insight last year at brass area auditions. What he looks for is a person that is still "plastic." He doesn't want someone that is set in their ways and unteachable. That isn't to say they couldn't learn, but maybe some habits would be concrete.
ttf_Exzaclee
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:53 am

Attending grad school mid-career

Post by ttf_Exzaclee » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:41 pm

I left school in '98 to go earn my dough playing. I went back to school in '09 to finish my bachelors degree and stayed on to do a masters.

School is easier the 2nd time around. I was more focused, not as interested in partying. I'd also had 11 years to digest all the stuff I'd learned. I was a much better student and I eventually parlayed my experiences from 11 years of sailing (and a little touring) into some lucrative writing work and eventually a teaching gig at my alma mater.

I tell my students to get out and gig while you have the energy and desire to hustle, sleep in cramped quarters and live off of crappy food. School will always be there.

When you're ready to come off of the road and hit the books, I think you get more from the experience. Most young students are just trying to complete credits for a useless piece of paper. Older students see the value in learning for the sake of learning.

Enjoy it. If nothing else, you'll have access to an awesome library.
ttf_kwbryson
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:59 am

Attending grad school mid-career

Post by ttf_kwbryson » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:49 pm

Quote from: LowrBrass on Feb 01, 2017, 07:29PMWhat kind of tips are you looking for? How to get in? How to hold down a full-time job while also being a student (I'm pretty sure the answer is "time management")? How to fund it?

Grad school for what? Performance? Education?

I know it's not uncommon for people to earn MBAs well into their careers. This seems similar, right?

Admittedly, an open ended question!  I am not actually that worried about funding, I've been able to put a lot aside in the last ten years.  I think I was mostly looking to get help on preparing for the audition process and collecting recommendations.  I'll be looking to do a masters in jazz performance.  Aside from that it is nice to hear from the few who have gone back to school later in life... your words are encouraging!
ttf_Emisaumell
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:37 pm

Attending grad school mid-career

Post by ttf_Emisaumell » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:25 pm

I know someone who got their bachelors and did 8 years as bass trombone in the jazz ambassadors then got his masters. I guess as long you truly have the desire to learn and get your masters, it truly opens more doors as an educator
ttf_anonymous
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:09 pm

Attending grad school mid-career

Post by ttf_anonymous » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:51 pm

I did my BM and MM back-to-back.  I then worked for 9 years before starting my DMA.  When I went back for my DMA, I continued doing everything I was doing at the time (teaching a private studio of 15-20 students, 2 adjunct college jobs, playing in a regional orchestra, and free-lancing); I just added school to the mix. Fun!  Time management is key.  I had to actually take a lot of notes and study a lot during my DMA, whereas in the first 2 degrees, I was able to absorb much more in class.  My working brain was busier and had more responsibilities to wrangle than in my younger days.

If you plan to continue to work while in school, try to ensure you only do what is required for the degree and avoid doing extra things unless they will help you later.  Your goal should be to get through the degree as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Be hyper-organized.

Good luck!
ttf_Bjroosevelt
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:01 pm

Attending grad school mid-career

Post by ttf_Bjroosevelt » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:46 am

I've been to grad school a couple of times...once directly after undergrad, and the second time 8 years later.  I have also been an Alumni interviewer for the University of Pennsylvania and a Hiring Manager at two Fortune 500 companies.  Here are my learnings.

1) Going to grad school directly out of undergrad is nearly (but not quite totally) a waste of time.  That piece of paper (degree) is really helpful in looking for a job.....but as a freshly minted undergrad, I wasn't too focused in life.  My first Master's only gave me more education but it didn't help me get more focused because at 21, I knew DIDDLY SQUAT about the world. . 

2). If you are not going to use your degree to change jobs in some significant way, don't waste your time with school.

3). If you don't have something specific you are trying to achieve with a new graduate degree, don't bother.....unless you are in the process of retiring.  I have been a hiring manager and I am confident that after 10 years of working, employers care about your work experience and commitment to going the extra mile, not your education.  That is why a graduate degree mostly only helps an experienced person if they are planning to change what they do.  It is a great way to start a new career and most grad schools have strong job placement offices.

4). After 10 years of experience, you will be in a better position that 95% of the other students at whatever school you pick because you have wisdom.  I learned so much more waiting 8 years for my MBA that I did during my first graduate degree.  I always advise students to work for at least 5 years prior to going to grad school....most students ignore my advice because they are afraid of the work world.

5). Last few things of advice about being accepted to a school.  A). Research schools on the internet. B). Interview alumni of the schools and see if you like them.  Fit is very important. The students on campus are going to be just like the alumni you interview....trust me.  Are the alumni the type of people you want to be like?  C). Contact professors at the school.  Compliment them.  Set up informational interviews - phone calls are fine if you are not local...Make sure the professors are your style of human beings.  Find out what type of music they specializate in.   Make sure that what you want to do matches the interests of at least one professor on staff.  (Otherwise they will try to change you). D). Be proud of your story.  Don't try to cover stuff up. Even your failures are good to discuss if you learned something from them. E). Contact the admissions office.  F). Be polite to absolutely everyone one. 

I want to emphasize 5F above.   It wasn't until I graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania that I found out that every receptionist and assistant is asked to identify every person who calls in and is not polite.  Those students are 'deempasized' in the admissions process.

Good luck
ttf_Rockymountaintrombone
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:00 pm

Attending grad school mid-career

Post by ttf_Rockymountaintrombone » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:47 pm

One of my colleagues got his Masters at IU over a few summers. He didn't have to take time off from the job (except maybe a final concert once or twice). I think he also took one summer off from the degree, to give himself a break 4 summers over 5 years, or something like that. Not sure if anyplace else offers that schedule.

Jim Scott
ttf_Rockymountaintrombone
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:00 pm

Attending grad school mid-career

Post by ttf_Rockymountaintrombone » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:47 pm

One of my colleagues got his Masters at IU over a few summers. He didn't have to take time off from the job (except maybe a final concert once or twice). I think he also took one summer off from the degree, to give himself a break 4 summers over 5 years, or something like that. Not sure if anyplace else offers that schedule.

Jim Scott
Post Reply

Return to “Schools, Colleges, and Conservatories”