In-person grad school fair enables students to make connections

Students+browse+and+interact+with+different+schools+that+were+a+part+of+the+Universitys+Career+Center+Graduate+and+Professional+School+Fair+on+Wednesday.+

Sydney Laput

Students browse and interact with different schools that were a part of the University’s Career Center Graduate and Professional School Fair on Wednesday.

By Layli Nazarova, Contributing Writer

On Wednesday, the University’s Career Center organized the first in-person Graduate and Professional School Fair since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since 2020, all fairs have been conducted online which has affected the communication between recruiters and students. The Graduate and Professional School Fair made a real change for both recruiters and University students by giving them the opportunity to meet each other in person. 

“It’s been really nice to see students face-to-face and be able to have longer conversations with students since it’s in-person,” said Hillary Werner, admissions counselor at RUSH Medical College.

According to Grace O’Toole, graduate student studying integrative biology, since medical schools are difficult to get into, it’s important to network. 

“Being able to actually see the admissions people face-to-face and have them get to know you before you apply and also being able to get all of the information about the program and be on their email list, I think is really important,” O’Toole said. 

The event gathered over 100 programs all over the nation in the Illini Union for University students to get information about career opportunities after graduation. Top national and global schools were among the universities presented. 

According to the Career Center, during the first hour, more than 200 students attended the event. Students had an opportunity to make connections with graduate admissions officers as well as merch from their dream schools.

“The biggest importance is access,” said Vanessa Alexander, admissions and financial aid counselor at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. “A lot of students don’t know what they don’t know until they come to something like this and ask a question or see a school they never heard of before that can be their perfect match. I think that’s the beauty of fairs like this because there are so many options.

 

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