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Monday, Oct 25, 2021

Graduate fair school selections leave CLA students few options

For the past week I, like many of you, have had my inbox bombarded with emails from career services urging me to make time and go check out the graduate school fair.
Well, last Friday I happened to stop by the U.C. at the ten o’clock hour with a few friends and found myself highly disappointed not only at the food court being closed and not being able to get my customary after class Chick Fil A biscuit, but at the utter lack of schools present for students who were not pursuing a degree in the medical or law fields.
Where were the options for the College of Liberal Arts students?
Now, I am not ignorant of the fact that the prime majors at Mercer are in the medical and engineering fields, but there are other majors out there, which is made evident by the general education requirements causing students to branch out of their individual fields.
Not only were CLA options lacking at the fair, even some students in the medical fields had reservations about the schools represented, complaining about the lack of school choices and the lack of programs available for those pursuing non-traditional aspects of the medical field.
I am a senior this year with a major in journalism with minors in theater arts and photography in an economy that is stalled for the time being.
Yes, that means that I am at that all too referenced crossroads in life of trying to figure out my next step, but luckily I have decided on one thing: I want to go to graduate school out of state.
The problem is that I do not have the time or the money to travel across the country to check out schools while taking 18 hours worth of classes, filling out graduate school applications, tracking down letters of recommendation, composing personal statements and finding the time to take the GRE.
The emails advertised that over 80 different programs would be represented at the fair, yet I only found one school that offered a program with my major, the University of Georgia.
I have nothing against UGA, but the representative could not even tell me about the journalism program besides a basic generic description and to look online for more information, while offering me university swag.
There were only a few other schools that had programs in some loosely related aspects of the field like the Savannah School of Art and Design and the Cochran College of Art and Design, but those programs do not mesh well with what I want to pursue.
I am not now nor have I ever been one of those people that complain without action. I know that many of the offices on campus express that students just complain and never give feedback on how to improve their experiences.
I actually attend and comment on events that career services and other offices host.
This fair could have helped me come one step closer to navigating the graduate school process, but the graduate school fair turned out to be a waste of my time.
I am just asking that there be more options available in future graduate fairs that can help meet the needs of the majority of the student body.

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