Students took advantage of the Graduate School Fair, which took place throughout the week of Sept. 29, to explore postgraduate opportunities.
The Grad School Fair at Keene State College utilized a new format this semester. The fair used to be one day every fall semester where students could learn about what different schools had to offer, but this year the fair lasted throughout the week.
“The purpose of the Grad Fair is to expose students to grad school programs so they have an idea of what’s out there,” Coordinator of the Graduate School Fair Beverly Behrmann said. Behrmann is a career advisor in the Academic and Career Advising [ACA] Center, who sponsored the event.
The fair began on Monday Sept. 29 with the application process. Behrmann gave a talk on how to write a personal statement, research and choose a graduate school based on what a student was looking for. The week continued when graduate schools with more programs in the Arts and Humanities area came to the KSC Lloyd P. Young Student Center to discuss with students about the programs they offer. Following the fair, Jeff Strelzin, a prosecutor in N.H., talked with students about law school.
On Thursday Oct. 2, the graduate fair week ended with schools pertaining to sciences and medical and health sciences gathering in the student center to talk to students about programs they would be interested in.
According to Behrmann, five schools were not able to fit into the graduate fair because there was not enough space in the student center. The five schools will be coming to KSC in November.
The University of New Hampshire, Western New England University [WENU] and Keene State College were among the 40 schools to attended the fourth annual Graduate Fair.
Director of Graduate Admissions at WNEU, Matt Fox, said he wanted to raise awareness of graduate programs. “I think it’s a matter of really building upon their bachelor’s degree,” Fox said, “It’s [grad school] becoming more and more of a necessity.”
According to Fox, each program has its own set of admission requirements and the financial aid a student receives depends on the program as well.
However, the school does offer assistantships, which, according to Fox, allow a student to go to school and receive aid to pay his or her tuition. The assistantship has to be in the department the student is going to school for.
Another school offering assistantships is UNH. The school offers about 100 graduate-level programs, excluding medical school, according to UNH Academic Counselor Dovev Levine.
Levine said each program has different requirements, but while looking over an application, a student who has a bachelor’s degree and shows good work ethic is looked at favorably.
“When students are thinking about grad school they need to know what job they want to go into,” Levine said.
According to Behrmann, the ACA looks at what schools would appeal to KSC students while looking for schools to invite.
“A lot of it has to do with the fit—how do the programs fit with the programs here [at KSC] and how does the school fit with Keene State students,” Behrmann said.
The ACA looks at the programs at KSC and the programs graduate schools have to offer to choose a school to invite to the graduate fair.
Behrmann said another factor in choosing a graduate school is geographic location. According to Behrmann, a school with familiar surroundings is something they look for, but schools from New York and California have been included in previous years of the graduate fair.
According to Amanda Torrellas, a senior at KSC majoring in elementary education and psychology, the graduate fair has given her a lot to think about.
Being at the graduate fair “Makes me think about whether I’m ready to move right to grad school,” Torrellas said.
Though she might wait a year or two before going to grad school, Torrellas said she doesn’t want to wait too long. “I really want to complete my masters program before I’m out of school-mode,” Torrellas said.
Senior Richard Cooper has known what his career path is even before he started at KSC almost four years ago.
Cooper has chosen Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. to pursue a medical degree to become a trauma doctor. He currently studies nursing at KSC. Cooper said he chose Dartmouth College because of the school’s Ivy League medical program.
“I think they have a very challenging curriculum and I look forward to what they have to offer,” Cooper said, “I’m not going to be a half-assed doctor.”
According to Cooper, graduate school is not for everyone. “Grad school is only for the people who have interest in a position that requires them to go to grad school,” Cooper said.
However Levine said graduate school is increasing in the job market requirements. “A lot of careers do require a grad program,” Levine said.
Behrmann said the ACA’s next step is to debrief about the week and decide if the new week-long structure will stay for next year.
Fox reassured students to keep thinking about graduate school and the benefits it has. “It’s easy this time of the year to be caught up in the moment,” Fox said, “Sometimes it’s hard to stay on track and think about grad school.”
Rebecca Marsh can be contacted at email@example.com