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Grad fair shines light on new futures

Education

Grad fair shines light on new futures

6th annual MacEwan event aims to connect students with grad school opportunities

Graduate Studies. The mere concept brings to mind images of both grandeur and immense suffering. For most students, the workload of an undergraduate degree is more than enough without thoughts of piling on more years of school.

Amidst the mounting debt and stress from an undergraduate degree, delving back into school may not seem like the most sensible of ideas. However, the advantages to having a supplemental degree or a masters to an undergraduate degree are increasingly important.

Dorothy Ritz is the manager of career development and experiential learning at MacEwan, and served as one of the main organizers behind the event.

“It depends on your degree and what you’re interested in. There is nothing wrong with getting a bachelor’s and joining the workforce for a few years then making a decision on a master’s,” she said.

While the prospects of the grad school fair can be intimidating for students only in their first or second year, the advisors and school liaisons are more than willing to give some insight.

“They’ll talk about their programs and what they offer, maybe giving you some ideas about what you want to do,” Ritz said. “My hope is that first and second year students, not only third and fourth years, would go there and explore a little bit so they can start that decision-making process.”

Despite the obvious benefits to those seriously considering graduate studies, most students who are on the fence may not realise how practical the fair can be.

Taylor Switzer, a second-year Bachelor of Arts student, was initially skeptical about the grad fair’s usefulness. In a time where most information and actual applications are handled online, speaking with advisors can almost seem unnecessary.

“At first, I honestly thought it was going to be useless because there is a ton of information online, but talking to all the law schools that were at this fair gave me a clearer idea of which law schools would fit me better based on classes they provided and specialized in,” Switzer said.

With so many options and specializations, it can be dizzying trying to figure out what schools and programs are a proper fit. But one common feature for students attending the fair is a sense of satisfaction at receiving clear and precise information.

Moreover, if the myriad information and advice about choosing programs isn’t enough of an incentive, the free swag is always an attention grabber.

In only the sixth year of having a graduate fair, the draw for both schools and students is getting greater. Students of all programs and years of study are encouraged to attend the grad fair as continuing education can only be a good thing.

Cover photo by Lubda Albadr / CC BY-ND 2.0