Alberto Ledesma discusses grad school preparation at SSU

On Nov. 9, UC Berkeley’s own Alberto Ledesma visited Sonoma State University to speak to students about the preparation process of applying to graduate school. 

Ledesma, who is the graduate diversity director for the Arts and Humanities Division of UC Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science, discussed the logistics of applying, selecting schools, and maintaining an acceptable GPA. 

Ledesma said it is crucial for students to apply to roughly 5-10 schools, which helps to increase a student’s chance of being accepted. He added that the application process takes time and students should approach it like it’s a job.

“Master’s [degrees] seem to be more preferred,” Ledesma said. “It makes you a lot more competitive.”

Some students in attendance were confused about whether they should take a gap year. 

“A gap year is very smart, but it definitely depends on what you do with your time during the gap,” Ledesma said.

One of the first steps in applying for graduate school is the general preparation of finding which university fits best, according to Ledesma. 

He said it’s always important to search for good colleges and not just a good program. 

Ledesma said students will need to make applications with a well-crafted statement of purpose and personal statement. 

According to Ledesma, it is important to begin applying as soon as possible. He added that the statement of purpose will possibly be the most important document students will write in their lives. 

To contact Ledesma for more information, send him an email at aledesma@berkeley.edu.