March 7, 2019

Navigating Change as a NYU SPS Graduate Student

By Edwin Raagas, Associate Director NYU SPS Wasserman Center for Career Development

Pursuing graduate studies is a big decision -- for many NYU School of Professional Studies students, it is one that involves having to consider implications on family, location, finances, schedule, and more. Having to make tough decisions continues throughout the student experience, particularly around professional goals and career aspirations. It is not always easy to tackle the personal and professional changes that come with being a graduate student; however, partnering with campus resources like the NYU SPS Wasserman Center can help students lean into the discomfort of the unknown by developing strategies to navigate career-related transitions and to build strong, supportive networks.

The stories below are from two graduate students navigating change throughout their time at the NYU School of Professional Studies.

Palak Garg, Master of Science, Integrated Marketing

Palak Garg

“I joined NYU to pursue my Masters in Integrated Marketing concentrating in Brand Management. However, after I began my course, I decided to change my concentration to Analytics. This was primarily because I realized my interest was something different than what I believed. My advisors, career coaches, and professors were key in helping me realize this. My professors through their course material challenged my potential and gave me projects that made me realize my actual interest. As well as the career coaches at the Wasserman Center at SPS were crucial in helping me acknowledge my underlying skills which I didn’t believe I possessed.  As an international student, it was difficult to adjust to the new city along with the complexities of graduate studies, but I soon realized that surrounding myself with the right people made this easier. Throughout my time at NYU, I am grateful for a number of things including being selected as a NYU SPS Dean’s Scholar to mentor high school students as well as to be selected as the Vice President of the NYU SPS Integrated Marketing Association. I have made some wonderful connections within and outside the school which I will cherish for a really long time. Throughout this journey, the one thing that I have learned and believe in is, to show up every day no matter how difficult things get and keep pursuing things that spark a desire in you and eventually everything will fall into place.”

Angelica Rivas, Master of Science, Human Resource Management and Development

Angelica Rivas

“During my master’s program, my professors introduced me to new and innovative paths within HR. Discovering that my chosen career is changing rapidly impacted all my future plans and this became overwhelming. Although I was excited about the new possibilities, I felt inexperienced and feared that I would never find a job. This fear dissipated once I spoke to a Career Coach at the NYU SPS Wasserman Center. They explained my feelings were common and there are steps that I can take that will help me in the future. I began to connect with professionals in my industry and asked them their career development stories. I was able to relate to many career professionals on the fear of failure or change and how they transformed that fear into success. I am proud of my development as an individual throughout my time in NYU SPS. Something that has helped me the most is to develop resiliency by identifying my unique professional brand.”

These are just two stories of many that capture the journey of navigating change as a NYU SPS graduate student. Palak and Angelica both touched on how resources like career coaching and leaning on a supportive network helped them through personal and professional anxieties that often come with starting a new journey.

Here are some additional articles with great insight and recommendations that address this topic through strategies including self-care, positive psychology, and asking for help.

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