At Grad School Expo, students consider future options

After graduating, many students decide to pursue further education, such as graduate school. Every year, Waynesburg University hosts recruiters from multiple graduate schools in a Grad School Expo for those who have decided to attend graduate school after graduation, or are considering it as a possibility. 

This year, the expo took place Oct. 9 at the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse. Tables were set up for recruiters from schools across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia. 

Rev. James Tinnemeyer, vice president for Student Services, said the main purpose of the event is to give undergraduates an opportunity to learn about the quality graduate programs available to them, both at Waynesburg and other schools. 

“By having face-to-face interactions with representatives of those schools,” Tinnemeyer said. “Our students will get a much better idea of what possibilities exist to further their education as well as what they can be doing to further that right now, and also what exactly is involved in those programs and, perhaps most importantly, have an opportunity to meet with the people who are there.” 

Although Waynesburg holds the expo every year, the event was different this year. 

In previous years, Waynesburg was part of a consortium with five other schools for the expo, according to Marie Coffman, director of Career Services and Placement. These five schools would each hold their own events in the course of a few days, and graduate school representatives would travel to each of them to speak to students. This year, the schools discontinued this, but Coffman said Waynesburg still wanted to hold the expo separately. 

Ben Brudnock, director of Graduate and Professional Enrollment, said the only difference for students is the possibility that recruiters from further schools might not come in the future. 

“It makes it a little more challenging from a recruiters’ standpoint, but individually the fair will still provide opportunities for both students and grad schools to connect with each other,” Brudnock said. 

Coffman believes the event is beneficial to students of all years, as they have the opportunity to talk to recruiters and figure out whether graduate school is an option for them. 

For upperclassmen who know they want to attend grad school, the event allows them to find out the expectations of the graduate schools so they can be efficiently prepared. 

“I think it’s good for students to get out and just start talking to the recruiters…and start networking,” Coffman said. “I think it’s important to make the one-on-one, face-to-face contact, and that helps these recruiters remember the student’s faces.” 

Brudnock encourages students considering graduate programs to speak to Career Services or the office of Graduate and Professional Enrollment. 

“We’re all here to help our students become successful alumni.” Brudnock said. “It’s never too early to gather information and to start planning for the future after graduation. It’s all part of that planning process of where your life is going to be headed.”