Over 1,200 students attended the Professional and Graduate Schools Fair held on Wednesday, October 6, in the RAWC. The fair was open to current students (with a valid TCard) as well as recent graduates from the past two years. Representatives from over 90 graduate and post-graduate schools were present, and represented a wide variety of programs, including law, teaching, health care, management, business, and various others.
With representatives from the schools on the site, the fair provided a quick and easy method for students to ask questions about admissions requirements, deadlines, and general information. Laura Gilks, a representative from the University of New Brunswick, has attended the fair before and feels it’s a good way to have a one-on-one with students to discuss requirements and give information about programs.
Even if students are unsure of their career path, the fair is a good opportunity to “go and start asking questions”, according to Ravneet Dulai, a library assistant at the Career Centre.
Instead of emailing representatives and waiting for replies, Amani Akhtar, a fourth-year student, says that the fair is a good way to contact representatives and get a quick response on the spot.
According to Claire Westgate, Coordinator and Events Planner at the Career Centre, 90% of students last year felt that the fair was “useful to attend” and 96% would recommend the fair to a friend. While the Professional and Graduate Schools Fair is one of the most popular fairs that the Career Centre hosts, Akhtar felt that she found it more useful because of previous research she had done on relevant programs prior to attending the fair. By knowing which programs to target and what questions to ask, Akhtar felt she made better use of the fair.
Over the years, student response influences which schools are invited. UTM is a campus that focusses on arts, science, and business, so the Career Centre in turn emphasises these programs and others.
There is also an attempt to include schools from all over Canada, and some international schools.
Since the schools represented are everywhere from Mississauga to New Zealand, Shirin Saleh, a fourth-year student interested in teaching programs, said she was glad she attended. In fact she wasn’t aware that international schools were included, and had assumed that it was just limited to Ontario.
While Farzana Ali found the fair to be “pretty useful”, she felt that most of the information available from the representatives was information that could have been found online. Having done most of her research before, Ali felt the information to be redundant considering what could be quickly found online.
For more information and for those who were unable to attend, pamphlets and handouts from the different schools are available in the relevant program binders at the Career Centre.