Pre-Grad Events Fall 2023

Pre-Grad Week Fall 2023

It is that time of the year again! With many graduate school application deadlines approaching at the end of fall, we have put together a series of virtual events to help you with the process. Even if you are not prepared to apply this cycle, consider registering for and attending some of the events below to gather information and think about next steps. You can register for each of these events on Handshake.

Overview of the Graduate School Application Process (Virtual Brown Bag Event)

Monday October 2, 2023

12:30 pm-1:30 pm EST

Register here:

Advisors from the pre-grad team will provide an overview of the graduate school application process for MBA, STEM, Humanities/Social Sciences, and Law programs. We will go over the steps you need to take, the documents to gather, and how to prepare for the application cycle. Bring your questions or just come to learn about the graduate school application process.

Journey through Graduate Admission (A Panel Discussion)

Tuesday October 3, 2023

3:30 pm-5:00 pm EST

Register here:

During this panel discussion, you will have the opportunity to hear directly from current graduate school students at Penn and beyond as they take you through their path and progress through graduate school. Our panelists are in graduate programs studying Counseling Psychology, Education, Engineering, Linguistics and Biomedical Sciences. They will talk about their unique journeys to their current programs as well as give tips on how to become a successful grad applicant in general. Three of our panelists are also international students. Do not miss this opportunity to network with these amazing individuals.

Mitali Temurnikar (she, her)

Mitali is a current doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Boston University (BU). She earned an M.Phil.Ed. in Professional Counseling and an M.S.Ed. in Counseling and Mental Health Services from the University of Pennsylvania. Her professional background spans various sectors in India and the US, including hospitals, non-profits, and recruiting firms. During her time at the University of Pennsylvania, Mitali was involved in areas such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Psychological Safety, Trauma-Informed Counseling, and Career Counseling. She was recognized with the Excellence in Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion award in May 2023. Mitali’s current Ph.D. research at BU focuses on technology-driven global career counseling modules, increasing mental health awareness in underserved communities, while also alongside getting trained to be a Licensed Psychologist. 

Siling Guo (she, her)

Siling is a second-year Ph.D. student in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine specializing in the area of Human Development in Context. Siling’s primary focus is on understanding how early interventions designed to improve children’s skills or environment will make persistent changes in their learning and developmental outcomes. Siling’s passion for early education and development led her to earn a master’s in Human Development from Penn Graduate School of Education. Past experiences with various educational interventions exposed Siling to the links between school-based interventions, child development, and education policy, especially for underserved children. Furthermore, Siling’s academic work is built upon her undergraduate pursuits in early childhood education and psychology, during which she gained classroom experience and background as a teacher, researched teacher-child interaction, and designed early education curricula.

Lakshay Sharma (he, him)

Lakshay is a current third year Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, specializing in autonomous high speed robot navigation. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2021 with a BSE in Computer Engineering and Physics, an MS in Physics and Astronomy and an MSE in Robotics. Penn was the perfect place for him to explore his varied interests in observational astrophysics, high power rocketry, sleep research, human machine interfaces, and autonomous robotics. While the expansive range of research, class and club projects helped narrow down his interests, Penn’s Graduate and Professional Advising resources helped consolidate his application to grad school. His current projects focus on perception-aware motion planning for social robot navigation and off-road ground robot navigation.

Sarah Payne (she, they)

Sarah is a second-year Ph.D. student in Linguistics at Stony Brook University, where they hold the Institute for Advanced Computational Science Graduate Research Fellowship and an NSF GRFP fellowship. Sarah graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2022. At Penn, Sarah majored in Linguistics and CIS with a minor in Cognitive Science. They were heavily involved in research as an undergrad, participating in the PURM program and presenting their work at several conferences. Sarah also enjoys teaching and worked as a peer tutor at the Marks Family Writing Centre, a TA for several CIS courses, and a TA trainer in SEAS. Outside of academics, Sarah was heavily involved in activism at Penn: she was the Chair of Penn’s Abuse and Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP) group and held a seat on the University Council, through which they advocated for policy reform around issues of sexual and interpersonal violence.

Roseanne Davila-Rivera (she, her)

Roseanne graduated in 2018 with a BS in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla Campus. During college, she did research for two years thanks to Puerto Rico Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PR-LSAMP). She was involved in several outreach initiatives and community service through her participation in different associations including American Chemical Society (ACS), National Biological Honor Society-βββ Zeta-Lambda Chapter, Medicine, Education and Development for Low-Income Families Everywhere (MEDLIFE), American Red Cross and Childhood Cancer Association (CCA). Roseanne started to develop a passion for teaching and mentoring, which she had the opportunity to put in practice by volunteering in the ACS Schools Visits Committee and in #PrettyIncredible: “Inspiring girls to change the world through STEM” social action committee. During summer 2017, she completed a summer internship with Short Term Research Experience for Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP) funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Baylor College of Medicine and participated in Texas Children’s Hospital Summer Volunteer Program. When she graduated, Roseanne joined the NIH Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program in the University of Georgia where she worked for one year. Then, she applied to graduate school and started her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. She works in the laboratory of Dr. Michael S. Marks in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. As a graduate student, she is committed to increase Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in science. Therefore, she has been involved in initiatives such as Project SHORT (Students for Higher-Ed Opportunities and Representation in Training) and Road2Research (R2R). In addition, she has developed teaching and mentoring skills through programs such as Polygence and UPenn Biomedical Research Academy. Finally, Roseanne had the opportunity to participate in the Career Exploration Fellowship (CEF) program in 2023, where she was mentored by Dr. Ariana Alexander at UPenn Career Services to explore a career in academic advising. This led her to apply to the Ph.D. Professionalism Fellow position to lead the CEF program 2023-2024, which she is currently assuming.

Crafting a STEM CV for Graduate School Application

Wednesday October 3, 2023

3:30 pm-4:30 pm EST

Register here:

Did you know that you often need an academic curriculum vitae (CV) for your graduate school application? Although similar in content to a resume, a CV, especially one intended for graduate admission, has a slightly different focus. Join us for a workshop on how to develop an academic curriculum vitae for graduate school application in STEM programs. We will review the general format, dos and don’ts and provide resources on how to make your experiences speak for you. Feel free to refer to the STEM CV resource on our website to format your own CV and schedule an appointment on Handshake to get it reviewed.

Writing a Statement of Purpose for Graduate School

Thursday October 4, 2023

3:30 pm-4:30 pm EST

Register here for Humanities and Social Sciences SoP:

Register here for STEM SoP:

The statement of purpose is one of the most important components of your graduate school application. Join us to learn about how to craft an effective and impressive statement of purpose for your graduate school application. We will talk about the goal and structure of the essay as well as provide tips and tricks on how to stand out among other applicants in the pool. Once you are ready with a draft, feel free to schedule an appointment on Handshake to get it reviewed.

We hope to see you there! Good luck!

Images in the article are from

By Doris Tabassum
Doris Tabassum Associate Director, Graduate School Advising