Graduate school hopefuls get help

Graduate School Day was changed this year at the College to host only one day of panel sessions for students interested in graduate school, according to Ceceilia O’Callaghan, interim associate dean of Student Affairs and director of Career Services.

“We plan it based on what we feel the needs are and what is requested of us,” O’Callaghan said, referring to this year’s change in Graduate School Day.

In the past, the College hosted graduate and career fairs, typically two per semester. At the registration for these events, it was noticed that the number of students attending was dwindling. A panel was tried with various disciplines represented. The feedback from students who attended that panel illustrated their desire to have smaller, specialized panels that focused on one area of study. Accordingly, this year’s Graduate School Day, which occurred on Oct. 10, was altered to meet this request, O’Callaghan explained.

“A lot of student groups were involved,” O’Callaghan said. “Members from the Dean’s offices are introducing each of the programs . The deans’ offices have been very supportive.”

The panel sessions were dispersed over six and a half hours. The first started at 12:30 p.m. and the last ended by around 7 p.m. There were three sessions, with three panels occurring at the same time in different rooms in Forcina Hall. The panel topics were targeted toward popular areas of interest at the College, such as the Allied Health and Medical School Panel and the Law School Panel. The last one was a panel on writing a strong essay for graduate programs.

“We recommend that sophomores and juniors attend,” O’Callaghan said. She explained that advertising was altered this year to draw younger students. The date for the panel sessions was chosen with the fact that many seniors who are looking toward graduate school are currently in the application process, O’Callaghan said.

“I loved it. I thought it was perfect,” Asha Shah, senior biology major, said after attending one of the first sessions. “It’s very practical, because in terms of timing, a lot of students are working on their applications now.”

Arooj Akhtar, junior biology and art history major, agreed that the timing was perfect and the panels were helpful.

“There were a good number of students in the audience,” Shah said, “which is great because it shows that (College) students are interested in their futures.”