The Emerson community thrives on its innovative ability to rise, empower, and change the world around them, which begins by embracing your creative passions as an Emersonian graduate student, right here on our Boston campus. The past five months have most certainly been trivial and nerve-wracking, as our campus family have been embracing lion pride far apart, and away from each other. But, despite the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to connect, collaborate, and generate ideas to fulfill our call to action in the ever-changing spaces around us. To maintain our close-knit community, we have put together a series that provides advice on all things Emerson, grad life, and adjusting to city-living in the historic town of Boston. From making friends to learning the MBTA system; from budgeting to managing a full course load; from landing internships to sharing our favorite hang-out spots, we’ve got you covered.
Advice to you, from us, these are the Zoom Diaries.
EPISODE TWO: WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO APPLY TO GRADUATE SCHOOL, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHY DID YOU CHOOSE EMERSON?
This week’s topic surrounds the important, and sometimes stressful question: why grad school? And more specifically, why Emerson? Our community thrives on it’s diverse community, as our students come from all corners of the world. Emerson College is internationally recognized as the nation’s premier institution of higher learning devoted to communication and the arts, and we have adapted our immersive learning experience into flexible, innovative formats, which enable our students to turn their passions into a thriving career. Check out what some of our current grad students had to say when we asked them about their decision-making process, and what drove them to apply to Emerson College.
Name: Rachel Juillerat
Program of Study: Publishing & Writing, MA
After receiving her undergraduate degree in Creative Writing, Rachel settled in Boston, working at a bank downtown. “I was already in Boston, and I had begun working at a bank, and customers kept talking about Emerson, and so it just came on my radar.” With more than one hundred colleges in the Boston area, Emerson most certainly has a reputation for its proficiency in communication and the arts, which is why it was the only school that Rachel applied to.
“Everything everyone was saying was incredibly positive. No-one had anything bad to say.” She also excitedly spoke about the alumni network of individuals that graduated from Emerson: “The culture that surrounds Emerson, even after you graduate and leave, the school is such an astounding culture, and that’s really the reason why I chose to come to Emerson.”
Rachel is absolutely right. Emerson is all about the people you meet, and the success you build. Our alumni networks are intricate and strongly knit; just because graduation has come and gone does not mean that the relationships you’ve built and connections you’ve made stop.
Once an Emersonian, always an Emersonian.
Name: Chrissy Reilly
Program of Study: MA Theatre Education | MFA Applied Theatre
When we asked Chrissy why she chose to pursue an academic career in higher education, she smiled with no hesitation: “I decided that I needed to go to grad school just because in the world of education- I really want to be a teacher- getting that MA, and even an MFA is such a huge stepping block… it’s a big hiring benefit to teachers.”
She continued discussing why Emerson was the perfect fit for her. “You know, I think that Emerson is just a really great combination of the small school environment while also being in a big city, and everyone is just so kind and caring.” This wasn’t the only thing that drew her to the college, however. “During my application process, I was reached out to the entire time.” Something that is crucial to Emerson’s environment is continuous communication between its students; current and prospective.
Chrissy also gives us the inside scoop on one of the programs social media platforms. “The Theatre Ed program in particular has a Facebook page called ‘Emerson Theatre Education Job Postings.’ So, all over the country, alumni and anyone that has ever been part of this program will post to that Facebook page.” Yes, that’s right. Emersonian’s have exclusive access to a lot of potential job offers and opportunities, nation-wide. It’s all a part of our tenacious community and how our students stay connected, even after college.
Name: Junbo Huang
Program of Study: MA in Strategic Marketing Communication
When we spoke to Strategic Marketing Communication student Junbo, he immediately stated that. “The reason why I chose grad school was because I found out that I wanted to further study the art of Marketing and Communication.” Emerson is ranked eighth in the nation for Communications, fifteenth for Marketing, and is sixth overall in the U.S. News & World Report’s regional rankings.
“Among the schools I applied to, Emerson has the best scholarship offerings [and] the best alumni networks.” He is absolutely right. Emerson College is well-known not only for our innovative learning experience, but for our massive global network of successful alumni. “[They] are really active and go out of their way to help each other.”
Similarly to Chrissy’s explanation of the Theatre Education Job Postings Facebook group, Emerson also has another page called The Emerson Mafia, which Junbo was drawn to. This page has over sixteen thousand members who are current or graduated Emersonians, faculty, and staff, and its platform has aided many individuals in our community to find job opportunities, housing, and share recent successes.
Near the end of our interview with Junbo, he smiled and spoke like a true Emerson grad. “I want to build connections [between] products and the people who use them,” which rings true to what our students strive to accomplish.
Build. Innovate. Connect.
Name: Alyssa Barzach
Program of Study: ’20 Communication Disorders MS
For recent MS Communication Disorders grad Alyssa, graduate school is a necessary step for all aspiring Speech Pathologists, and she raved about her wonderful application experience. “One of the biggest things that stood out was just how friendly and warm and communicative and outgoing everyone was throughout the whole application process. I was able to schedule phone calls with current students, go to the Accepted [Students] Day, schedule a campus visit, an meet with the Graduate Program Director.”
“Everyone [was] so welcoming and supportive, and this was a feeling that I carried with me throughout the entire decision making process, and I remember the final reason I ended up choosing Emerson was when I was at the Accepted Students Event. The way that everyone was interacting with one another and I just felt like this is the community I want[ed] to be a part of.”
Emerson’s community thrives on support and interaction with fellow students, which is one of the many reasons why we stand apart. Alyssa graduated earlier this year and is now starting her Clinical Fellowship, which is one year of supervised practice. It’s the final bridge to cross before obtaining your license, and we are confident that she will excel, Lion-style.
Name: Sofia Marlin
Program of Study: MFA Creative Writing
For Sofia, pursuing higher education was something that she wanted to try. “I wanted the opportunity to try teaching, and I also wanted to explore and experience my interest in a more professional and academic level.” She also raved about faculty accessibility the close bonds they have with students. “The faculty… they’re so amazing… seeing how accomplished they were, and how friendly and accessible they were was really important to me. I really wanted a smaller school [that had that] one-on-one professor student relationship, especially when you’re getting more serious with your program.”
Something else that was important to Sofia was location. “…The city of Boston was definitely a plus… because there’s so many different opportunities going on in the city which is great for young professionals, or someone pursuing grad studies because there’s so much you can do.” In Boston, there are plenty of internship and job opportunities, as well as experiencing different cultures and immersing oneself in art. Being an Emersonian has its perks; all art galleries and museums are either free or significantly discounted!
Sofia also raved about Emerson’s prestigious reputation. “Emerson is really well-known in this area and very respected, so I feel like a lot of internship opportunities were more accessible to me [and] easier to obtain because Emerson…and its students are so well respected.”
Near the end of our interview with Sofia, she smiled and claimed that what she was about to say was cheesy, but we felt that it was an accurate representation of what our community is about. “Being an Emerson student, and being accepted was like- doors opened for me before I even had to knock.”
Name: Shamime Shaw
Program of Study: ‘20 MFA Film & Media Art
Being born and raised on the West Coast of California, Shamime wanted to broaden her horizons when choosing a graduate school. “I picked Emerson because I really wanted an East Coast experience, and I also really liked when getting in contact with the professors, it [felt] really accessible… [and] that really helped my search when I was reaching out to a lot of programs.”
Another major component was the willingness of the college’s admissions departments to speak with prospective students. Shamime noted her prior experience with us. “Some programs were like, ‘no, wait until you get in and then we’ll talk to you,’ but Emerson was definitely [different]. The professors I reached out to, and the administration, the people in the Administration and Graduate Admissions [departments] were all very warm and welcoming and willing to talk to me long before I had even submitted my application.”
No matter if you are a current student or just curious about what our college has to offer, Emerson will always be there to greet you with enthusiasm and make you feel like a Lion through and through.
Have questions? Want to chat about starting your very own Emerson adventure? Make a virtual appointment with our Graduate Admission Student Ambassadors!
About the Author:
Hanna Shemke is a second year Publishing & Writing student at Emerson College. She works in the Graduate Admissions Department as the Marketing and Communications Assistant, and she is also the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Emerson’s graduate journal, Redivider. Currently, she is at home in Michigan, where she is working remotely on her thesis with her four-month-old kitten, Max.