Getting accepted to graduate school is a daunting task according to Rachel Westerlund, a senior from Australia majoring in English literature. Luckily, Brigham Young University’s Master of Public Administration and Law programs visit BYU–Hawaii often and host mock interviews with students to improve their chances of getting into their master's programs.
“I learned as students we should be actively engaged in our future pursuits. Opportunities for progression are provided to us, and so we should seize them with all our might. We are the authors of our lives, and we determine how far and how much we accomplish,” said Westerlund.
She said she hopes to study law and maybe complete a masters and Ph.D. in English but still does see some limit to her educational goals.
“My family & children are my highest priority, therefore, attending & completing my formal education will happen around the needs of my family. President McKay said, ‘No other success can compensate for failure in the home.’”
Even though Westerlund admitted she has not entirely solidified a plan for furthering her education, she said meeting with representatives from master programs is a great way to seek inspiration for which path to take.
Heather Chewning from BYU’s MPA program interviewed BYUH students on Oct. 18 who had interest in joining the MPA graduate program. She said she understands the pressure of getting into master programs because she did not get in when she first applied. Since she is a BYUH alumna, Chewning expressed she is honored to help BYUH students because degrees have power.
“A masters degree changes your brain. It is amazing, you think differently. It gives you this confidence that you can do hard things. It gave me the confidence that no matter what hard things came into my life, it didn’t matter because I did the MPA.” She also emphasized not letting rejection be a barrier to one’s success.
“I applied to the MPA program, and I didn’t get in. Now I manage the program. It is fine if you don’t get in the first time. If someone tells you no, find out why so you can keep improving.”
In addition to the interviews hosted by BYU MPA’s program, there were interviews on Oct. 19 with Stacie Stewart, dean of admission at BYU Law School. Any potential law school student could sign up for an interview.
According to Karl Agustin Santiago, a junior from the Philippines majoring in political science and accounting, these mock interviews are a great way to prepare for admission to any law school. Santiago explained this was his second year interviewing with Dean Stewart, and she can provide a perspective on what admission officers are looking for in a prospective law school applicant.
“I learned how I have to make sure I am constantly improving, secular or spiritual, to be successful.”
Sakiusa Tukana, a freshman from Fiji majoring in political science, interviewed with both the BYU Law and MPA programs.
“I went to both interviews in high hopes of expanding my alternatives, that if one does not work out, there's always something else to fall back on. I was also looking to see which one would I be better interested in and would capture my heart, law or public administration.”
In the interview with the MPA program, Tukana said he learned there is a program where students can earn an MPA degree and a law degree in five years instead of six. He said he was thrilled to hear about the excelled program since he has many aspirations.