12-2 Graduate Panel (Abby Van Ess) (3 of 6).jpg
Panelist Allyn Bernkopf talks about different strategies when applying for graduate school on Dec. 2. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

Sixteen people gathered together in a small, cozy room to hear from a group of eight panelists in Elizabeth Hall the afternoon of Dec. 2. The Grad School Panel, comprised of a mixture of professors, adjuncts and grad students, was held to answer the questions that students had about preparing for grad school and what to expect from it.

“(This event) is really good for students who want to get a degree beyond their bachelor’s to have the information for grad school,” said the current president of Sigma Tau Delta, Shawn Atkinson. “It’s nice for us to be able to give people the information they need.”

The event covered topics about the importance of graduate school, whether or not to get a Ph.D., a Master of Arts or a Master of Fine Arts, what should go into a portfolio and the decision of whether or not students should take a break between graduating from their bachelor’s and pursuing their graduate degree.

John Schwebert, a professor at Weber State University, said, “I think that if it’s in your blood that you want and need to teach at the college level, you should go for it. Succeed or fail. So many people told me to do something practical.”

“Wherever you end up, the one thing I’d really encourage, whether your school is famous or obscure, large or small, well-known or unknown, one of the best things you can do is just to become involved in some kind of leadership position for which you are qualified as a graduate student,” Schwebert said during the event.

For employment advice, panelists recommended meeting with Amelia Williams, who specializes in assisting graduates in the College of Arts and Humanities with finding employment after graduation.

“I’d recommend going over there because she has great tests that you can take that identify your interests and talents,” said Schwebert. These tests are meant to help graduates find a career that suits their interests as well as their specialized fields.

“You want to pursue your passions,” Professor Michael Wutz suggested. “If you feel passionate about something, I’d at least recommend that. It’s okay to keep it practical and sort of keep the questions in line. You have to make a living eventually. There are ways to combine your convictions, your passion, with earning a reasonable paycheck. The right things will open up at the right moment.”

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