Category Archives: Grad School Confidential

For your eyes only! Check out these posts by current and former grad students as they tell you all about their experiences pursuing higher education. These grad students can’t wait to share what their wisdom and advice with you. Are you a grad student and want to appear here? Email Eva Grouling Snider at and ask for more information!

Jared Lynch

At my core I’ll always be a creative writer first. In the future I plan to get an MFA in creative writing, and ultimately my goal is to teach creative writing at a collegiate level. I had a wonderful and inspirational experience in the English Department, and I learned a plethora of transferable communication skills that I will take with me everywhere. That being said, I’m happy to be exploring other fields.

I’m in the MA program for Emerging Media Design and Development (EMDD) in the Journalism Department here at Ball State. I was initially drawn to this program because we would be studying (among other things) transmedia storytelling, which naturally sounded intriguing to a creative writer. Now I’m studying and learning to create transmedia stories, which are stories that are told over multiple platforms—for a really cool example of this take a look at Lance Weiler’s Pandemic 1.0.

It’s exciting to be studying this fascinating facet of the future of storytelling.

In a class assignment for The Broken Plate, I had to give a presentation about the fAlley Tall (Cropped)uture of publishing, so I was already aware of self-publishing, ebooks, Issuu, and other opportunities. But the EMDD program has exposed me to a whole new horizon of storytelling that I was entirely unaware of before, and now I’m studying to become an Experience Designer and learning how to create effective transmedia experiences.

Graduate school has reinvigorated my passion for learning and creating, which was always a driving force in my pursuit of higher education. Towards the end of my undergrad I felt pretty burnt out with school. While I was excited to begin graduate school, I was also still wrapped up in a lingering hesitancy about going back to school so soon after graduating. Then the semester started, and I had to hit the ground running. I was thrown into this fast-paced chaos, but it has kick started my drive and inspired me. I am more productive now, both creatively and academically. The workload is daunting at times, but I am thriving.

My advice for creative writing students who are contemplating graduate school—you’re a storyteller in a changing media landscape, and there are great programs inside and outside of English that offer doorways into unique and interesting ways to tell stories. Explore them.

Morgan Aprill

Grad School Confidential is a new series featuring students who have made the transition from undergraduate to graduate school. Morgan Aprill, who studied literature as an undergrad, is now a graduate student in the Intensive English Institute here at Ball State University. 

When I first graduated in May of this year, I didn’t think I’d be coming back to school right away. I applied to jobs that seemed related to communications or editing or teaching. I had some interviews and even got close to a job offer. But over the summer I thought I’d ask the Ball State faculty about good programs to look into in the future for linguistics and teaching English to speakers of other languages. Little did I know I’d be running off later the same day I chatted with Dr. Seig to figure out how to take the GRE.

Fast forward and here I am back at Ball State pursuing a double masters in those very two programs I was interested in. Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 10.10.47 AMSome might say I’m putting off the real world. I say I’m pursuing what I actually want to do with my life. Though writing tweets for businesses or government offices pays the bills, I couldn’t see myself wanting to do that for the rest of my life. I knew I wanted to try this teaching idea I’ve had for a while now.

It’s only been a few weeks but so far I feel like I made the right decision. I am working as a graduate assistant at the Intensive English Institute here on campus. This department is a special one. Through it come international students working to improve their English skills in order to take classes in their chosen field here at Ball State. It’s a perfect place for someone who is thinking about teaching English to speakers of other languages to get practice. Last week I started my first class observation of a writing class in the institute. It made me even more excited to start teaching my own classes. Language is my passion, and I want to help others learn to use it and understand how powerful and interesting of a tool it is that we have as humans. I’m not teaching classes yet, but I might next semester. I’m so glad that I get to take this opportunity and that I will maybe, someday, be teaching English abroad. Continue reading