A Little Lost....

<p>Hello everyone, i am new to this forum and was hoping some of you may be able to provide a little guidance. I am 26 years old and completed my undergrad at a fairly selective State University in New York. I majored in Sociology and minored in environmental studies, did not take any filler courses and graduated with a 3.93 GPA. I was named an outstanding graduate in my department, which the top 2-3 students in the department receives, and felt pretty optimistic going forward. I took the revised GRE this September and scored in the 77th percentile verbal, 74th in quant, and 50th in analytical. I am an admittedly terrible standardized test taker, and even worse writing under timed conditions. I worked full-time throughout school which left me little time for any type of experience related to my major or other resume boosters. I am looking to apply to graduate programs in environmental policy or related fields and was wondering what type of colleges i can shoot for? My letters of recommendations will be coming from highly regarded professors, but they can really only attest to my classroom performance. I am a pretty good writer so my letter of intent will be decent enough. Is shooting for Oregon State University too high? I typically meet all minimum requirements for programs, but i would imagine most applicants do. I have pretty low self esteem when it comes to this stuff and really have no idea the types of schools i should go for. Any opinions advice, or other input would be greatly appreciated!</p>

<p>For practical programs such as environmental policy, your outside work experience is going to be quite important. If you have not explored the career opportunities available in environmental policy, how do you know that you want to spend two years getting a master's degree in that field?</p>

<p>I would recommend that you take a year off and pursue internships and jobs related to environmental issues. To get any job in that field after graduation, you're going to need a lot more than a credential anyway, so you should get started now.</p>

<p>Thanks for the reply. I have been looking although it is quite a bit more difficult once you are no longer a matriculated student. Whole process is a bit overwhelming. I have been trying to get something started so that i can at the very least include in my letter that i am currently employed/volunteering in the field.</p>

<p>Have you spoken to any of your professors to see if they have any projects you can join in on? Just because you graduated doesn't mean you can't help them to write a paper for publication or do some research to assist in a current project. I see it often enough at my school. I graduated last year and I'm still writing an article right now with a prof. I know a sociology professor who helped his student by having her collect data for a book he was writing, so she will get some credit there as well. </p>

<p>Are you looking at a PhD or a masters? When are the deadlines? Your GPA may make up for your GRE scores. It is when they're both bad that you have to worry a little about cut-offs. </p>

<p>How good is your fit with Oregan State faculty? Are there at least one or two faculty members who are studying precisely what you want to study? Have you contacted them at all to see what new directions they might be heading in since their last publications?</p>

<p>My post came a little late, seems like a masters degree. Then I would still talk to your former professors - perhaps they have ideas of where you can look for work that you haven't considered?</p>