Gannon University held its annual Grad Fair and Expo Tuesday, giving students a chance to meet and discuss graduate and professional school opportunities with representatives from a diverse group of schools and organizations.
The event, held in the Yehl Ballroom and Room 219 of the Waldron Campus Center, was hosted by Gannon’s office of Career Exploration and Development, a university-run organization that works with students to discover future options after completing an undergraduate degree.
This year’s event included representatives from 44 university and college programs in various fields and post-graduation options.
Jessica Dunckel, a representative from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, said the event turn out seemed to be kind of slow compared to similar events she has done at other schools, but that didn’t stop her from giving her best advice to students.
“One of the main things I like to say to students is that if you’re unsure about going to grad school, enter the professional world first,” Dunckel said.
Dunckel said that many companies will give their employers money to get a professional degree, with one of them being BNY Mellon in Pittsburgh. Dunckel said employees there can receive up to $10,000 per year toward advanced degrees.
In addition to professional schools represented at the event, event organizers said this is the first year that programs for service were showcased as well.
One of these organizations called Pulse is a Pittsburgh-based organization for service-based learning for students to complete in one year following graduation.
According to Kim Dmjanenko, a 2018 graduate of Gannon now working for the organization, Pulse aims to link students to a nonprofit organization that matches their interests, while living in a community-centered environment.
Dmjanenko said that she would encourage everyone that could to do a year of community service through an organization such as Pulse.
“You get to live in a house with your friends for a year and go to a job that doesn’t even seem like a job because it’s so fun,” she said. “I don’t see why more people don’t want to participate with organizations like this.”
Also new this year at the event was a separate space in Waldron Room 219 dedicated to Gannon’s graduate school programs. Students were able to meet and discuss programs with the head of different academic departments at Gannon and get a feel of what each program could offer, in addition to learning about a sizable discount offered to students who graduate from Gannon and pursue a graduate degree at the school.
Donoven Chase, a senior at Gannon, attended Tuesday’s event hoping to get information about different law school options. He called the event quaint, low-key and not busy.
“It could use a little more spirt with more involvement and participation from students,” Chase said. “People at this event seem bored. I’m not bored. I’m excited.”
For attending the event Gannon students were given a Gannon pen and a pizza lunch, provided by the Career Exploration and Development office.
Miranda Grom, a 2009 graduate of Gannon and representative from the Office of Career Exploration and Development, called the event a great success.
“Through these events, we hope to inspire students to take the leap to apply and pursue their dreams,” Grom said.