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ADORA E. JONES: Choose to be Interested and Curious



California is a great place to start your higher education experience in the USA! I completed my undergraduate studies there and decided to stick around for my Master’s degree too. Pepperdine University, a private school, is located in Malibu, a place mostly known for its beaches and celebrities (bonuses, in my opinion.) It was an easy choice as it provided quality education but with smaller class sizes and unique elective courses.


As for graduate school, I decided to take a leap into the public school system. Luckily for me, the University of California system is in the top ranks. UCLA, in particular, offered me unlimited access to renowned professors and world-class research, highly important for specialized studies in a Master’s program.


Deciding which study program to pursue is usually the toughest part, but I believe most people have a sense of which major is best for them. Which news topics do you follow? What kind of reading keeps you interested? Are there certain types of tasks that come easily to you? Thinking about these and other questions can help you narrow down your academic interests and future career goals.


For applications, I recommend you choose wisely for your references. They should be reputable individuals who can vouch for your skills but also relate to your goals in your application essay. During your undergraduate years, make lasting connections with Professors who teach in your preferred topic. They will be key references for graduate school.


A general rule you might have heard is to apply to at least 5 schools that match your preferences, and I agree. You will get plenty of advice, some helpful and some a bit confusing, but it’s important that you make your study choices based on something that appeals to you. That interest and curiosity will be the foundation to keep you going and succeed in your studies. Good luck!



Adora Jones is a lecturer of Economics and Business and the Manager of the Executive MM (MBA) Program at Binus International University in Jakarta. She completed undergraduate studies at Pepperdine University and gradat UCLA with a focus on international policy and economic development. Her research focus is on the economic development of emerging countries and ethnic minorities within Southeast Asia and the Pacific through the use of private sector resources and effective public policies. She has worked in government in Washington DC and in business  in Indonesia.

January 21, 2015

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