Alma College’s Office of Career and Personal Development with the help of Career Peers organized a Grad school and Gap year Career Fair on Oct. 18, 2023 in the Hamilton Commons.
This event was for upperclassmen who are looking into post-graduate opportunities. There were 22 tables set up ranging from grad schools that offer programs from nursing and law to opportunities for students who wish to take a gap year. This event also exposed the second-years and first-years to look at their possible post-graduation opportunities.
The event took place during lunch hours which helped to gain the attention of many students and motivated them to go around each table and get a chance to look at the diverse options that they have.
As today’s generation is entering a world that is very different from what it was earlier, students are urged to look at all their options before graduating to make the right choices for themselves.
“Any student who is going to grad school as the automatic next step, just because it is what you are expected to do next, might be able to benefit from taking a gap year because it gives you a chance to really understand the ‘why’ for going to grad school… In my own case, I would not have completed my graduate degree if I didn’t know the answer to that why,” said Dr. Laura E. von Wallmenish, Associate Professor of English and the Associate Provost.
Grad schools can be a transformative journey where one can delve deep into their passion and emerge with expertise. The fair had post-grad colleges like the University of Michigan- Flint, University of Detroit Mercy, Huntington University and even Alma College with its newer post-grad programs.
A gap year isn’t a delay, but rather an opportunity for students to grow, explore and find their true path. For a student who is graduating from undergraduate school and wishes to take a gap year, there are many options to choose their next steps from. “One can directly go into the workforce, volunteer with organizations like Peace Corps and even look for research opportunities,” said Paige Lamoreaux (24’), a Career Peer.
Moreover, finding the right job to work during the gap year can “further strengthen their graduate school application, pinpoint their preferred career path or gain experiences as they work to land their ideal post-college role” said Danielle Rossman, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. After all, in a gap year, one may not earn a degree but can acquire priceless experiences that shape one’s future.
“The students were eager to talk to employers and schools,” says Danielle Rossman. The event was considered an overall success where students had the platform to gather information, compare their options and make a more informed decision about their future.