Emily Montano | The Poly Post

The Graduate & Professional School Fair returns to CPP

By Emily Montano, Oct. 18, 2022

On Oct. 11 the Career Center held its first in-person Graduate & Professional School fair at Cal Poly Pomona since COVID with nearly 70 universities in attendance.

This event offered the chance for students to speak with recruiters from a range of graduate and professional schools to hear about admissions requirements, curricula and educational possibilities.

“I hope all students whether freshman or senior, take away that there is a possibility of graduate school after you graduate and get your undergrad, there’s so many options out there,” said LaKisha Torrence, employer relations and events coordinator for CPP Career Center.

Due to previous COVID-19 on in-person events, graduate schools were excited to come to CPP with its high diversity and strong applicant pool.

“Since the pandemic everyone is eager to get back in-person, see students in person, have face to face interaction, so we’ve been getting a lot more registrants than usual,” said Torrence.

Alongside being back on campus, interacting with admissions in-person is more significant than researching information online.

David Craig, College of Letters, Arts and Social Services career specialist, has participated in numerous graduate fairs and said there is a benefit for students attending.

“There is a sense of welcome and the ability to interact with an interested person that can increase student’s confidence and optimism, which can often be a daunting process,” said Craig. “Also, students can make a connection with a representative who they can contact in the future as they continue in the application process.”

Philosophy student, Jake Sherratt, came to the fair in search of a law school and appreciated all the information and resources that he was able to find at the grad fair.

“I’m glad they do this, because I don’t know a lot about getting into grad schools or law schools,” said Sherratt. “It’s nice being able to talk to people and get information about things that are unique to this event and something I can’t just get online.”

According to Craig, if a student is currently in a field that might need graduate school, it’s important that they start preparing for graduate school early in their undergraduate studies.

“While students in some majors are more likely to enter their career directly from their undergraduate degree, engineering, accounting, etc. many majors provide an educational foundation which is given a career focus upon the completion of a graduate degree or credential,” said Craig, “Students in psychology, sociology, biology, political science and other majors often find the most rewarding career prospects when they complete a graduate degree or credential which qualifies them for specific positions.”

Emily Montano | The Poly Post

For students and graduate programs who couldn’t make the trip to CPP, the Career Center also held a virtual component on Oct. 13. Students were able to sign up and meet with graduate school programs through the Handshake website.

“We just want to make sure that we are intentional about making sure students that are on campus and off campus can meet with graduate schools and find out the important information that they need,” said Torrence.

Adrianna Rascon, a recruiter at the University of Redlands was available online in the virtual component.

“I think it is helpful for students when they engage with recruiters at this event,” said Rascon.  “It is a good space and time for them to come with questions, learn new topics and ideas, and explore what possibilities exist in different places.”

According to Rascon, entering a graduate program can open multiple opportunities for students’ academic future .

“Students often find that it is worth their while to dedicate plenty of time to explore, ask questions, and learn about what graduate programs speak to their passions and calling in this world,” said Rascon. “The socioeconomic benefits to pursuing a graduate degree can also be a driving factor for students to pursue their post-bachelor studies.”

Computer science student, Youstina Gerges, attended both in-person and the virtual grad fair and was pleased with the resources she was given.

“I found what I was looking for and more, of course I still have to do more research because now I have more questions,” said Gerges. “The fair was very useful in directing me on where to look and see where I can search to find information on the programs that are offered.”

Feature image by Emily Montano

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