In a first, BYU Graduate Studies held a graduate studies fair at BYU-Hawaii independent of the BYUH Career Services on Thursday, Feb. 15, according to Logan Gillette, admissions and recruitment administrator.
The event was planned to give students tips on how and where to start applications for grad school, what program to enroll in, and why post-graduation studies could be an important next step in students lives, focusing solely on the education aspect of life after college.
Tables were scattered across the entrance to the Aloha Center, filled with pamphlets and smiling instructors speaking to students who walked by. While there are 43 different graduate programs offered at BYU, only representatives from the schools of law, business, biology, education, and test prep were present and engaged with students. Students were able to ask questions, receive general tips and make new connections with what could be a future professor.
Gillette said, “With traditional recruiting we would target seniors. However, it is important for freshman to have a clear idea to know where you are going. We even did an outreach in a high school.”
As a BYUH graduate, Gillette explained how it is a way for him to give back. “I worked in law for 13 years but got burned out on it. I then entered this field and have since loved it.” Gillette connected the ancient Hawaiian culture of navigation to how students found their own way to attend school here. He added, “I love helping students navigate and want to help them understand where to go next.”
Angela Ahn, a director for Olympus Test Prep, a company that helps students prepare to take the GRE and GMAT tests, said she was glad to have the opportunity to inform BYUH students what tests they need to take in order to apply for graduate school. “In a lot of homes these students grew up in they may not have even known these options were available.
“They can catch a glimpse that they have a chance to do something more than their parents were able to do … This is the type of education we want to provide for BYUH students. We want to find students and help them prepare for what is next.”
Juan Arroyo and Paul Reynolds, assistant and associate professors from BYU’s Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology offered tips and to-dos for students who are seeking to apply for graduate school.
Reynolds said, “Whatever you do, start early. Prepare and do your due diligence. … Get good letters of recommendation. Think of professors early before deadlines are approaching and they become too busy to help you even though they would have loved to.”
Arroyo explained that for most programs a masters program would be an additional two years, while a PhD. would be about four to five years of additional schooling. “Students often don’t think about grad school as an option. They think of it more as like a jail term. However, the more training a person has, the more doors that open up.” The last piece of advice he offered was to “continue to do well in school but keep an open mind.”
Those seeking for more information, tips, or for those who missed the event entirely can go to gradstudies.byu.edu to learn more about graduate programs.