As a lifelong learner passionate about supporting relationships and mental health, I aim to pursue a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. To gain acceptance into the University of Central Florida’s renowned program, I must craft a compelling graduate school resume showcasing my experience, skills, and dedication to this field. What qualifications, experiences, and attributes should I highlight in my resume to make a compelling case for admission into UCF’s master’s program in marriage, couple, and family therapy? To answer that question and build the most robust application possible, I interviewed an alumnus of the program, reviewed admissions criteria, and studied recommendations from career experts.
To gain insights into this question, I interviewed the program coordinator for UCF’s marriage and family therapy master’s program. She suggested emphasizing relevant work or volunteer experiences, especially those involving counseling or therapy. For example, I have over two years of experience volunteering as a crisis counselor for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, facilitating around 600 calls. This hands-on experience, even if not directly in this field, demonstrates my ability to support clients coping with depression, suicidal thoughts, relationship struggles, and more. She also recommended including any courses I have taken relevant to psychology, social work, counseling, or a related field. These courses will show my interest in and aptitude for the academic study of relationships and mental health. She as well highlighted the number of credit hours I would undertake during my study and the major subjects that are of higher importance and significance to the course practice. In that session, I also happened to understand what is the difference between a therapist and a counselor, which was important in affirming my decision to enroll in the field of my interest. Besides, we discussed the contemporary benefits of the career, its benefits to the modern world, and how I could become the best if I enrolled in the same in terms of research and joining key movements. This information bits were important in understanding what was expected of me as a marriage counselor and knowing what to include in my application so that I could gain an edge using my personal statement.
Apart from interviews, I also reviewed admissions information on the university’s website (University of Central Florida, n.d.) and general graduate school advice from careers websites. For example, Peterson’s emphasized that a strong statement of purpose or personal statement is essential for demonstrating research interests, experience, and fit for the program (Peterson’s, n.d.). The career experts concur that a strong statement of purpose or personal statement is important for demonstrating passion and fit for the program. Therefore, my resume and statement of purpose must express my motivation for this career path, the strengths I could contribute to the field, and the goals I hope to achieve through this degree. Through it, I can express how my family has shaped my choice for the career, among other earlier influences as well as offering the ability to highlight the major attributes that I can bring along in the same field I am applying. It as well provides the ability to outline my personal and key long-term goals, a philosophy that I believe in, and how volunteer and other extra curricula activities have influenced my decision to pursue the career.
Research also highlights the importance of statements regarding diversity, inclusion, social justice, and advocacy, which are core values of counseling programs. My statement should convey a commitment to these principles, along with providing culturally competent care and serving diverse groups, including racial/ethnic minorities, older adults, and those with disabilities. Publications, presentations, teaching experience, research interests, awards, honors, and affiliations with professional organizations such as the American Counseling Association can also strengthen an application.
Overall, to make a compelling case for admission to this master’s program, my graduate school resume should highlight any relevant experiences, relevant coursework, research interests, commitment to counseling values, and my purpose and goals. With a tailored and persuasive resume, I will be well-positioned to apply and argue for acceptance into UCF’s master’s program in marriage and family therapy. While the path to graduate school has yet to be made clear, crafting an impactful resume is an essential first step.
In summary, a graduate school resume should demonstrate passion, preparation, and potential for success in a master’s program. With a compelling resume, I will take one step closer to the career I hope to build as a marriage and family therapist. Ultimately, this process of exploring recommendations and crafting the most robust application possible has reaffirmed my motivation and dedication to this profession. I have gained insights into how to effectively convey my fit, qualifications, and career goals to schools evaluating my application.
Peterson’s (n.d.). Guide to graduate & professional schools. Retrieved from https://www.petersonspublishing.com/
The Balance Careers. (n.d.). How to write a strong graduate school resume. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-write-a-strong-graduate-school-resume-2063685
The University of Central Florida. (n.d.). Graduate admissions. Retrieved from https://www.ucf.edu/graduate-admissions