Students consider advanced degrees at Concordia's largest grad school fair
The Concordia Courier
By Madison Zuniga | 10/27/2023
On Wed., Oct. 18, the Center for Career and Vocation hosted over 30 graduate schools from across the nation to provide information, options and support for Concordia students considering advanced degrees.
By allowing students to network with school representatives and develop a deeper understanding of what graduate school entails, the Career Center can equip them for the decision and application process. “This graduate school fair was the largest graduate school fair we have hosted,” said Mariah Lucas, Director of Career Development and Vocation. “We had a record number of students in attendance.”
“I think it’s wonderful that Concordia has provided us the opportunity to browse through different grad schools,” said Cassandra Cate, senior. "Even for those who aren’t certain about whether or not they are attending grad school, because that way they have a better idea about the options they have available, and different resources they can use, and talk to people who have more experience in that field.”
“It’s more attainable than a lot of students realize,” said John Moore, who represented Claremont Graduate University at the fair. “There’s a lot that goes into getting into graduate school, but if students really want it, if students are really willing to engage with us, I think they’ll find that as long as they plan things out and stay engaged, we’ll be able to get them where they want to go."
“The grad fair is very helpful for me as a senior,” said upperclassman Xyrille Mendez. “Having the grad fair helps me to see what in higher education is available to me, and what kinds of different paths I could take with my major, as well as how I can branch out of my major.”
“I am interested in grad school because I think it will give me a further leg up and I have loved my studies in my bachelor program at Concordia,” said Rebekah Michel, sophomore. “Because it’s been such a positive experience, I just want to expand my education even further and get my masters, which would also allow me to go into a field that I’m not currently studying in.”
Pastor Tom Schlund represented the Concordia Seminary in St. Louis at the graduate school fair and spoke to the concept of vocation as it relates to higher education. “As Christians we should always be looking for the ways God has before us to serve the church and the world,” he said. “There are lots of different ways to do that, and part of it is just considering what skills and talents God has given to you, and looking at the educational pathways forward.”
Lucas recommends that students considering graduate school start planning the spring semester of their junior year. She also outlined three key pieces of advice for the planning
process: Working with Your Academic Advisor & Career Counselor, Researching and Choosing the Right Program and Preparing a Strong Application Package.
“You want to plan ahead to make sure you are meeting all of the prerequisite requirements and requesting letters of recommendation a few weeks prior to the deadline,” Lucas said. “Look into factors like faculty expertise, curriculum, location and reputation. Craft a compelling application that includes a well-written personal statement, letters of recommendation from relevant sources and a well-organized resume.”
She also emphasized the free resources here at Concordia. “By utilizing the Center for Career & Vocation, students can gain valuable insights, skills and connections that enhance their career prospects and increase their chances of securing meaningful employment or acceptance to their graduate school of choice after graduation.”
For more information about graduate school and other career-related opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment. Students can also visit https:// www.cui.edu/studentlife/career-services/apply-to-grad-school.
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