Adam A. Orr
Degree: M.A. Professional Writing
Hometown: Los Alamos, New Mexico
"I found that having a specific purpose for obtaining a higher degree made the experience more enjoyable, and each decision more meaningful."
From a Professional Writing graduate student perspective, one thing that sets UMD apart from similar graduate programs is the Teaching Fellowship opportunity. The fellowship not only offers clear financial benefits, it also allows students to gain special instruction skills that they would not receive through a standard TA position, and provides students with a student-community feeling that is often missed in a commuter school setting.
Come into the graduate program with a clear, professional goal in mind. The program at UMD is set up to help students reach professional goals and secure specific positions (this is notably done through the program's somewhat unorthodox thesis set-up). I found that having a specific purpose for obtaining a higher degree made the experience more enjoyable, and each decision more meaningful.
How to get to where I want to be. Through my thesis research, I was afforded the opportunity to focus an entire semester’s course on what I want to do with my professional degree, and the best way to get there. Through the thesis portfolio that is required of all graduate students, I was able to research legal writing and obtain a clear understanding of where I need to attend law school, and what professional tasks I need to accomplish in becoming a professional legal writer.