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Career Services Hosts Graduate School Fair

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Villanova University visits Mayser Gymnasium next week in a highly anticipated event that is sure to draw a crowd. No, the Wildcat basketball team is not traveling to campus to play Franklin & Marshall—although that would be quite an event.

More precisely, Villanova's School of Law will be one of more than 80 graduate, medical, law and business schools represented at the 2009 Graduate & Professional School Fair hosted by the Career Services Office. The event will be held Oct. 28 from noon until 2 p.m. in Mayser, where students and alumni will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one to school representatives, have access to a variety of programs offered and gain valuable information from schools of their interest.

A complete list of participating institutions is available online. Students should register at FandMConnect.com by clicking on "Register for Events" under the quick links.

"We've already seen an increase in student interest in the grad fair," says Johanna Kobularik, office administrator of career services. "I get a sense that the difficult job market is getting more students to think about attending graduate school."

More than 180 students attended last year's grad fair, and Kobularik expects that number to increase this year. "It's never too early for students to start thinking about graduate school, which is why this event is open to all class years," she says. "Students come to the Grad Fair with a variety of questions. Some want to find out about the application process, and others have questions about specific programs offered by the school of their interest."

Many professional fields require advanced degrees in today's competitive job market. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that people with a master's degree can expect to make almost $200,000 more in their lifetime than those with a bachelor's degree. For those with a Ph.D., the difference can be more than $700,000.

But should students enroll in graduate school immediately after completing their Franklin & Marshall degrees? Starting right away allows students to maintain academic momentum, and to finish their programs earlier, Kobularik says. She also notes that some students need time away from academia. Others want work experience to help them determine what type of degree to pursue, while some need time to develop a focused and persuasive application.

F&M students and alumni who attend the fair will receive a light lunch, courtesy of career services.