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Grad school opportunities come to campus

Whether set on Harvard Law or simply contemplating the possibility of graduate school, a slew of events offered this week at John Brown University will help inform and connect students.

Chris Confer, director of the Career Development Center, recommended sophomores and juniors especially take advantage of the Graduate School Fair and workshops offered, although the events are open to anyone.

Confer said that it is important for students to have a list of their top schools at the ready when they start applying to graduate schools in the fall semester of their senior year.

Last year, 18 percent of the senior class entered immediately into graduate school after finishing their undergraduate degrees. However, some students chose to wait a few years while others determined graduate school was not the right option for them.

Confer agreed that graduate school is not for everyone. Yes, it can be a distinguishing factor, and is required by some professions. However, it can also make a candidate seem overqualified for lower-entry level positions.

“If you do not have a solid answer for the ‘why’ question, you are advised to take some time off before you pursue that graduate degree,” Confer advised. “If that question is not yet answered in your mind, it is a great idea to get some work experience or take advantage of a gap year experience.”

Wherever a student lands on the spectrum of post-graduate opportunities, programming offered by the University this week aims to meet their individual needs.

On Monday, the Graduate School Fair allowed interested students to meet with recruiters from schools such as Oral Roberts University, the University of Tulsa, the University of Arkansas, Evangel, Harding, Dallas Theological, Asbury Seminary, Denver Seminary, Southern Seminary and JBU.

Students could ask questions and fill out applications in one stop. Also on Monday, a representative from the TU Graduate Program was available with details on the graduate school financial aid process and how to stand out as a candidate.

Tuesday afternoon Trisha Posey, director of the Honors Scholars program, offered advice to students contemplating a gap year, or two, between graduation and applying for graduate school. Afterwards, a panel of current faculty, graduate students and other alumni gave their own firsthand accounts and wisdom.

Today, a workshop will be held on resume and cover letter writing from 12:00-1:00pm in the Honors/Leader’s Scholar’s Institute classroom.

For more information on graduate school and other post-graduation opportunities, visit the Career Development’s website at www.jbu.edu/cdc.