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A Quick Question about Graduate School Applications


thedig13
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Does having worked a part-time job as a tutor/counselor look good on a graduate school application (I'm planning to eventually pursue a PhD in History)

I'm asking this because I was recently offered a part-time job by my university to work as a tutor/counselor for undergraduate peers who are struggling with their schoolwork.

If it *does* look good, exactly *how good* does it look? I'm assuming it won't look as good as having had an article published in an academic journal. But would you trade, say, a 3.9 GPA for a 3.7 GPA plus having that job on your CV/resume?

Exactly where does it rank in terms of appeal to graduate programs?

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Does having worked a part-time job as a tutor/counselor look good on a graduate school application (I'm planning to eventually pursue a PhD in History)

I'm asking this because I was recently offered a part-time job by my university to work as a tutor/counselor for undergraduate peers who are struggling with their schoolwork.

If it *does* look good, exactly *how good* does it look? I'm assuming it won't look as good as having had an article published in an academic journal. But would you trade, say, a 3.9 GPA for a 3.7 GPA plus having that job on your CV/resume?

Exactly where does it rank in terms of appeal to graduate programs?

Others who have more experience with Ad Coms might have a more exact answer, but I would say that it looks good, although to compare it to a 3.9 vs a 3.7 would seem to be somewhat a misnomer. Both of those GPAs are quite good and would be strongly competitive in any application process. I think tutoring would be a plus, but I would weigh it against other things like: 1. are you getting (well) paid for it? and 2. is it something you would enjoy doing in general? I would think you could string it into a narrative of sorts for a SOP and have it as a bonus on your CV, but I think any money you made for work (as opposed to possibly working in another job that pays more) and the enjoyment you get (or don't) out of tutoring might be far more important in your decision there. Just how I would approach it...

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Others who have more experience with Ad Coms might have a more exact answer, but I would say that it looks good, although to compare it to a 3.9 vs a 3.7 would seem to be somewhat a misnomer. Both of those GPAs are quite good and would be strongly competitive in any application process. I think tutoring would be a plus, but I would weigh it against other things like: 1. are you getting (well) paid for it? and 2. is it something you would enjoy doing in general? I would think you could string it into a narrative of sorts for a SOP and have it as a bonus on your CV, but I think any money you made for work (as opposed to possibly working in another job that pays more) and the enjoyment you get (or don't) out of tutoring might be far more important in your decision there. Just how I would approach it...

In terms of the job, I've only had opportunities to attend to certain responsibilities (job training, attending extra lectures to be familiar with the material my mentees are studying, talking to professors in order to coordinate and identify students who are struggling). But so far, I really enjoy it and I anticipate that it will be very fulfilling for me. Money-wise, it pays about $12.50 an hour, but, frankly, I could care less. I come from a very well-off family, and we've never struggled economically in any way whatsoever. My main concern at this point in my life is giving myself a strong opportunity to pursue a degree at the graduate level, and that was my primary reason for going through the application process for this position.

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Honestly? I doubt programs will care all that much. Either about a tutoring position, or about the difference between a 3.7 and 3.9 GPA. It's nice to have another line for the CV, though, on a personal psychological level. But I'm a little concerned that you seem to be expecting your own schoolwork to suffer as a result of you taking the job. Generally, those of us who also work but were/are planning on making education our priority, prioritize our own educations. (...or is this another example of me living on another planet? :unsure: ) It's a conscious effort, not the result of simply not having anything else to do. :lol: (ETA: or I could just totally be misreading you and you're just trying to get a sense of tutoring's value, not explaining the impact you expect it to have on your life. In which case, my bad.)

I enjoy tutoring and highly recommend it--it doesn't help you develop quite the exact skill set you need for teaching, but it's in the general realm.

Edited by Sparky
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they will not care about your job as a tutor/counselor.

if you're doing the job because you find it fun, rewarding, and like the pocket money, then by all means do it and enjoy it. but if you're doing it to beef up your CV for grad applications, don't bother.

programs care about your potential as a researcher. tutoring tells them nothing about that. for what an adcom is looking for, your time would be better spent working on a primary-source-based research paper, presenting at conferences (regional ones or undergraduate/graduate ones if you don't want to dive into the big conferences yet), or working as a research assistant for a history professor. if one of your professors suggests that a research paper you've written would be potentially publishable, you should devote your energy to working on that and submitting it for publication.

all of this is, again, if your primary goal is to pursue activities that will look good to an adcom. but if you like tutoring and want to do it, do it. just know it won't make a lick of difference on any of your grad applications.

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