UTM students lined up in the RAWC to get into the annual Graduate and Professional Schools Fair held by the UTM Career Centre last Wednesday.
The fair included 103 graduate schools from all over Canada, the United States, the UK, Australia, and the Caribbean. This year the fair was organized by area and divided into business, health care, law, education, graduate programs, and graduate diploma sections.
Approximately 50% of programs belonged to the sciences, 30% to the arts, and 20% to commerce. This breakdown reflects the composition of UTM’s student body and the feedback from previous fairs. Every year, approximately 200 feedback forms are collected by the Career Centre and evaluated to aid in structuring the next year’s fair.
Claire Westgate of the Career Centre had been organizing the fair since April and hoped the fair would “expose students to all the opportunities and help them understand the process [of graduate school application]”.
“The fair is supposed to help students understand what makes a good graduate school candidate and take away a concrete understanding of matters like deadlines and requirements to help them get into grad school,” said Westgate.
This year, approximately 1,000 students attended—down from last year’s fair, which saw 1,121 students attend. This fair is the most popular event the Career Centre puts on. Where does its popularity come from? Westgate postulates, “It’s hard to get into U of T, and the students want more education.”
“We also help with the nitty-gritty stuff, like MBA, medical school, and teaching interview prep,” said Rebecca Markey, a career counsellor at UTM.
“We want to educate people about grad school and further education before we help you apply,” said Markey. The Career Centre has information on post-diploma programs and graduate diplomas for the cases where graduate school would hinder a student’s career.
“We help students make informed decisions, not scared decisions,” said Markey, referring to the tendency of graduating students to apply to graduate school simply because they’re graduating and have not explored their options.
“Grad schools want this as well; they want students who are focussed,” added Markey.
The Career Centre also helps students find a supervisor, which is sometimes required for degrees that require a thesis.
“You need to know a network of people or it can be very difficult,” Markey explained.
After the fair, a law and MBA panel was held upstairs in Davis Building for students interested in the “inside scoop”.
The next event is the JET Program information session on October 5. Throughout the year, the Career Center holds individual workshops on medical, law, and education schools. Students can sign up for these workshops at the Career Centre’s website, www.utm.utoronto.ca/career.