Graduate School: Winning Strategies for Getting In, by Dave G. Mumby, was originally published in 1997. At that time it was one of the few books on the market that offered advice about applying to graduate school. Fast forward 15 years and we have the second edition. The title has been edited, the role of modern technology in the application process has been addressed, a few key sections have been added, and the book now works in tandem with the websiteMyGraduateSchool.com
However, one important element has not changed with this edition -- the content of the book remains an asset to undergraduate college or University students who are either currently planning to apply to graduate school or professional school, or who have not yet made that decision but eventually will.
Information is only as valuable as its source. Much of the advice and insight throughout the book comes from professors and faculty members, interpretations of other books that offer similar advice, and of course, Dave G. Mumby himself. As a professor at Concordia University, and a supervisor to undergraduate honours and graduate students in psychology, Mumby has direct experience with assisting students that decide to pursue or have pursued postgraduate education. Moreover, he is keen on what selection committees look for when evaluating potential grad students, because he has personally served on such committees.
Experience aside, Mumby's words come across in a calm and direct tone; it's a good lecture spliced with an in-depth conversation during office hours. There is a sense that he genuinely wants to help potential grad students. Several books that offer grad school advice have a chapter near the beginning about, why you shouldn't go to grad school. Instead, this book includes a section entitled, Find out what grad school is all about. In fact, that sentiment was the motivation for the introduction to this review. It's not often that you hear (or read) the phrase, grad school is more rewarding than most people think. It's education, romanticize it if you choose, but the point is that Mumby is helpful, honest, and positive. The positive part is especially refreshing.
Don't get too giddy, the book is just as much realistic as it is positive. You don't want a letter of recommendation from just any professor, regardless of whether you hold he/she in high esteem, or vice versa. You're good grades don't guarantee you'll be successful in grad school. Do you even understand how the application process works? And how can you afford grad school? All of these topics are covered. For example, chapter 11 covers;financing your graduate studies, and the entire fourth chapter is dedicated to a discussion about grades -- two common misconceptions are that one must have outstanding grades to get into grad school, and that outstanding grades are all one needs.
More of this review can be found at the on the GradShare blog
"I have recommended this book to my students because it is simply the best recourse out there for students interested in grad school" --Dr. David R. Brodbeck, Department of Psychology, Algoma University