Once I decided on Environmental Policy, I needed to find out more about the programs I was interested in. I sent out inquiries to several schools. One of them, which I’ll just call University R for now, stood out in how it responded. For the other schools, I had to write several times and in some cases, to multiple people to get any response at all. R emailed me back within 2 hours. By the end of the day, I had an appointment to talk to the prof who coordinates graduate enrollment. It was a great conversation I started realizing how much of my background would fit with my new goal.
I spoke with several other faculty members about their research and the program. They were all great – very approachable and open with me. I made arrangements to make a campus visit, which I did earlier this week. They were just as nice and open in person as they were on the phone. It’s a good program and they’ll let me tailor it to my needs, since some of the things they teach are things I’ve already done and they don’t want me to waste my time. It’s a young program, though, and not well known. There’s a lot to consider.
I eliminated a few schools for various reasons, but University D it still on my list. They’re much more formal. I wasn’t encouraged to talk to faculty before a campus visit. I’ll be meeting with them tomorrow. It’s a bit intimidating – the chair of the department won a Nobel Peace Prize. Yikes. What the hell am I going to say that would interest a Nobel Laureate? And do I have to genuflect when I meet him?