Several graduate schools and nonprofit organizations will gather in the Reardon Auditorium lobby on Thursday, March 8, between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. for the Nonprofit and Graduate School Fair hosted by the Center for Career and Calling.
Katie Mitchell, director of the Center for Career and Calling, boasts about the opportunities made available to students who choose to attend the fair.
“It is a great opportunity for everyone, regardless of whether or not you know what you want to do after graduation, to start exploring the different options available,” she says.
Mitchell says that “anyone who is interested in graduate school should be attending.”
She explains that graduate schools coming to the fair send recruiters who can answer questions about their school’s programs and the ways in which their students benefit from those programs. Those recruiters also bring information about the variety of programs their institution has to offer and, occasionally, current students who can answer questions about student life.
Mitchell says that the fair is an opportunity for underclassmen who plan on attending graduate school to make sure they will have taken the prerequisites required for admission. The fair will also be a resource to assist students in the submission process for applications, essays and letters of recommendation.
“For the underclassmen, this is the time to go talk to those graduate programs and start figuring out which ones they really do want to apply to,” she says.
Mitchell also encourages seniors who have already been admitted to consider attending in order to network with recruiters from their school.
She says it’s important to remember that “graduate school isn’t for everyone” and that “it depends on the field and the student.” She recommends students speak with their faculty advisors to determine whether or not they should consider graduate school.
Most of the nonprofits attending the event will be churches, summer camps and social work organizations, according to Mitchell.
She says that summer camps are often looking for students interested in a position as a camp counsellor or a camp nurse, and that being a camp nurse is an excellent opportunity for nursing majors to gain experience.
Social work organizations attending include Lifeline Youth and Family Services, an organization focused on assisting teens and families in crisis, and Tangram, an organization in Indianapolis that serves people with disabilities.
Mitchell says that getting involved in a nonprofit can refine the “professional development and career development skills” necessary to succeed in the workforce.
“Anything helps on your resume, for any job you want to pursue in the future, regardless of whether it is in a nonprofit or a for-profit entity,” she says. “Any of these positions will help further your own experience now.”
Mitchell also says that being involved in a nonprofit can be a “chance to serve” for students who value “religion and spirituality” or “counseling and helping.”
“If you get behind an organization you believe in, maybe it won’t be your full-time job once you graduate, but you might develop a fondness when it’s somewhere you want to serve in your free time when you are older,” she explains.
For students interested in attending the fair, Mitchell recommends dressing “business casual,” at the very least.
“No shorts, no hoodies, no ball caps, no leggings as pants, please God,” she says.
“It’s all about your first impression and how you want to set the tone for your own future regardless of whether it’s for a part-time, summer job or a graduate program you hope to get into one day,” says Mitchell.
She encourages freshmen to attend so they can explore career possibilities, discover new opportunities and network with professionals.
“You can try out a number of organizations and see where your passions and interests really align,” Mitchell says. “Maybe it’s not even what you thought you were going to major in and you end up changing your discipline. The experience is really the valuable part of going to a career fair, and it’s important to network to get that experience.”