Graduate School Fair – November 12- UNC-Chapel Hill

November 7, 2011 Grad Fair
Saturday, November 12: Free and open to the public!
UNC-Chapel Hill (Chapel-Hill, NC)
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

The Idealist Graduate Degree Fairs connect prospective students with graduate schools in fields such as public administration, international affairs, education, public policy, public interest law, social work, nonprofit management, global and public health, theology, environmental science, and socially responsible business.

Each fair also features workshops on the application process, financial aid, and transitioning back to school. The fairs are free and open to the public.

At the Idealist Grad Fair, you can:
• discover how to further your social impact career through graduate school
• speak with admissions representatives from local, national, and international schools
• determine admissions requirements and application deadlines
• attend a Q&A session to listen to a panel of experts talk about how to make yourself a stronger candidate

READY TO RSVP? Make sure you’re logged in, then click “Attend fair” on the right side of this page. This fair is generously hosted by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Social Work.

For school seekers:
List of Exhibitors and Graduate Schools

For questions or more information, please email

Fall 2011 Career, Internship & Graduate School Expo

October 17, 2011

Fall 2011 Career, Internship & Graduate School Expo
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
12:00 – 3:30 pm
Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, 77 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC
*Open to students and alumni of The College of Charleston

The day is finally approaching. After four (or five) years, you are now ready to go into the world of professional employment or continue on to graduate school. But where will you find that wonderful new career or right school for you? One choice is at the Fall 2011 Career, Internship & Graduate School Expo. There will be over 65 different employers lined up to talk to you about possible futures with them.

You can go to the Career Center’s website to find more information about the Career Fair, like who is attending and what they are seeking. One thing to remember about the Career Fair is to visit as many employers and graduate schools as possible. Maybe you feel pretty confident that you want to work with or go to _______ but have you also thought about _______? Never pigeon hole yourself into one school, job or place to work without looking at all the different options.

Here a few suggestions to follow when preparing for and coming to the Expo:

1. Do your research. Look at the different companies/school coming to the Career Fair on our website and investigate them. What do they do? Where are they located? Are you interested in them?

2. Prepare your resume and bring at least 15-20 copies. By now you should have a well written resume that highlights your experience and achievements. If you do not—write one! Please bring it by the Career Center for the Career Advisor to look at. We love looking at resumes and will enjoy helping you make yours perfect.

*Note: We have Drop-In Hours every weekday afternoon from 1:00-4:00pm. No appointment is required, and this is the perfect opportunity to come by the Career Center for a 15-20 minute appointment with an Advisor to look over your resume and provide you with feedback.

3. Dress the Part. Come to the Career Fair in professional dress. You are selling yourself to the different employers and they need to be able to picture you working in their company. See our website for more tips on professional dress.

4. Don’t be shy. The Career Fair is not a time to be humble or show your shyness. Be bold and approach the different employers because they are not going to just grab you out the crowd. Go say hi, talk about their company and talk about yourself.

These were just a few tips to get your started. Also, remember to check out the list of companies and schools already slated to come to the Expo on the Career Center homepage. Come to the Fall Expo and get started on that wonderful new career that is waiting for you.

For more information on how to prepare for the Fall 2011 Expo please click here.

Interested in learning more about the upcoming Expo and how to prepare for it? Then come by the Preparing for the Career Fair workshop this Thursday, October 20th at 5:30 in the Career Center. For more information, contact the Career Center at 953-5692 /

Upcoming Workshop: Is Graduate School Right For Me?

September 19, 2011

Is Graduate School Right For Me?: Preparing for Admission
September 22nd – 5:30 – 6:30pm
Career Center – Lightsey Building, Room 216
Facilitator: Eric Anderson, Career Advisor
Panelists: Denny Ciganovic, Career Center Director & Susan Hallat, Assistant Director for Graduate Admissions, The Graduate School at the College of Charleston

Contemplating graduate school down the road? This session will discuss the many different resources available on campus to assist you with the decision making, preparation, application and selection process for graduate school. Come listen to a representative from our Graduate School talk about the application process, what the school looks for in applicants, and realistic expectations students can expect during the process. Then hear the Director of the Career Center talk about some helpful tips in helping make the decision if graduate school is right for you; and if so, resources for the application process.

To attend for the event, please register for it under the Events Calendar in your CISTERNonline account. For questions about the workshop, please contact Eric Anderson, Career Center Advisor, at 843-953-5692 /

Cougar Career Workshop Series – Fall 2011

September 5, 2011

Due to the popularity we saw in the Spring semester, the Career Center will be bringing back it’s Thursday night Cougar Career Workshop Series. In an effort to try and reach out to students and alumni that may not be able to access the Career Center during the day, the Career Center will be hosting workshops that focus on a different topic each week, including new topics not offered during the Spring.

Below is a list of the Fall 2011 workshops along with a flyer with more information on each. All workshops will be held in the Career Center (Lightsey Building, Room 216) from 5:30 – 6:30pm. For those workshops requiring registration, you can sign up for them by viewing the Events Calendar in CISTERNonline, and if you should have any questions about them, please contact Eric Anderson, Career Center Advisor, at 953-5693 / or Katie Smith, Internship Coordinator at 953-5694 /

Flyer: Fall 2011 Cougar Career Workshop Series

Fall Schedule

September 8th – Resume and Cover Letter 101

September 15th – Experience Matters – Internships

September 22nd – Is Graduate School Right for Me?: Preparing for Admission*

September 29th – Workplace Etiquette and Professional Image*

October 6th – What Employers are Saying about your Resume *

October 13th – How to Land a Great Job*

October 20th – Preparing for the Career Fair

October 27th – Recruiters Tell All – Panel*

November 3rd – Linked In: What Is it & How To Utilize it for Career Networking

November 10th – Tips for Sealing the Deal in a Big Interview

November 17th – Taking a Year off between School and Work: Pros & Cons

December 1st – Working for a Nonprofit: Dispelling the Myths*
In conjunction with the College of Charleston Center for Civic Engagement

*Workshop space is limited and requires pre-registration.

How to Ask for Referrals or Letters of Recommendation

November 15, 2010

From Tracey’s Angle,

Letters of recommendation and referrals can be crucial components of any sort of application. This is why asking the right person to write it, and asking them properly is extremely important. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your recommender…

First, ask , who knows you well?

  • Professor
  • Mentor
  • Supervisor/Manager
  • Close friend

Next, consider which of these people would be willing to write your letter. After you’ve decided who you want to write your letter of recommendation or referral, it’s time to ask him or her to write it. Consider the following before you ask for this favor.

  • Don’t ask, “Can you write a letter?” instead ask “Do you feel like you could be able to write a letter of recommendation for my…”
  • Give him or her ample amount of time to complete the letter or referral by its due date. When it comes to a task like this, rushing to get it done can be detrimental to the quality.
  • Make sure to let the recommender know who they are addressing the letter to, and what opportunity you are seeking.
  • Be sure to give him or her basic information about you. You wouldn’t want them to write something in your letter that isn’t true.
  • It is okay to take no for an answer. If he or she does not want to write your letter, they don’t have to. Remember, they’re doing you a favor.

A good recommendation letter or referral all depends on the relationship between you and whom you choose to write it. Be careful with your decision, and it should turn out well!

Personal Statements: Going Back to the Basics

February 4, 2008

Writing a personal statement for Graduate School, Medical School or Law School is an important step in the acceptance process. Your personal statement allows the review boards to understand who you are: your goals, your personality, and why you want enter a post-secondary program. But a trend among some students when they are writing their personal statements is they have forgotten how to write! So when writing the first draft of your personal statement you need to go back to the basics. Think middle school/high school basics of writing.

First, think about what you want to say in your personal statement. Do you want to focus on why you want to be a doctor, what contributions you will make to the world of anthropology, how your liberal arts degree translates to medical know-how, or many other possibilities. Pick a focus then stay on it.

Second, make an outline of your topic. For the purposes of the first draft of your personal statement keep it to a five paragraph essay outline. Then as you revise your draft you can add and delete paragraphs and sentences. The five paragraphs will help you stay on topic and not get too long. Your personal statement does not have to be a book but long enough to make a statement about who you are. Check the length the graduate school wants.

Third, while the personal statement focuses on you, you do not want to start every sentence with ‘I’. If you do this then the writing becomes monotonous and boring. Keep the readers interest by varying sentence structure, word usage, and sentence length. Limiting yourself to two “I” sentences per paragraph is a good rule to observe when writing.

Fourth, (and a very important basic) in all the writing stages of your personal statement review it for spelling and grammar. A simple mistake can make a review board cringe. Who wants a doctor that cannot spell physician or a doctorate candidate who keeps writing run on sentences? As future doctors, MBAs, and PhDs you are the best and brightest, make sure the review board thinks that as well.

These were just a few tips to help you get started on your personal statement. Remember to start writing it months in advance before you have to submit it. This will allow you to have several drafts behind you and to have several people review it as well. For more great tips check out this website: Ten Do’s and Don’ts for Your Statement of Purpose

Testing Your Way to Graduate School

January 18, 2008

When preparing for Graduate, Law, or Medical school you have several different steps you have to complete before you can begin your degree. Among those steps is taking the appropriate test for admittance. There are a variety of tests you could possibly take, but you need to choose the right one. To discover this contact the graduate or professional school of your choice, each has their own preferred tests and they will tell you which ones they accept. Below you find a brief description of some of the different tests. The majority of them cover general topics including math and written knowledge.

General Records Exam (GRE)—one of the most commonly accepted graduate exams. It tests your knowledge in math, reading comprehension and other general knowledge you have learned over the course of your studies.

Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT)—tests your knowledge of different subject matter through analogies. ex.  Shoe is to foot as tire is to wheel.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)—measures basic verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that you have developed over a long period of time in your education and work.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)—tests your reading and verbal reasoning skills.

Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)—tests your written, mathematical, and knowledge of science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine

To find out more about the various exams you can take come by the Career Center. The Center for Student Learning also offers study sessions to help you prepare for your graduate school exam, click here for more information. Also check out these websites for information about scheduling your exam date:

  • (MBA)
  • (click on GRE)
  • (test prep and taking)

You have 6 Months Until Graduation, Now what?

January 7, 2008

Among the college population there are several thousand of you entering into your final semester at the College of Charleston, but do you have any idea what you are going to be doing after May? If not, the Career Center can help you with determining your post graduation plans. Below I have listed several options available for the new or about to be new graduate.

1. Full-Time Employment

This is the most common option new graduates seek after graduation (also the option most parents like). The Career Center offers several resources to help you find full-time employment. First, check out CISTERNonline our job search database. Second, FutureQuest which is the Spring Career Fair (Feb 20) with nearly a hundred companies on-campus to recruit students. And last one of our best resources is the staff of the Career Center. We can sit down with you and help you with the job search process.

2. A Gap Year Experience

If you want to wait a while before entering into the ‘real’ world, but want to have a meaningful experience then a gap year may be what you need. Travel the world, teach in a foreign country, work for a non-profit or other meaningful experiences. Check out our gap year page for more ideas and information, click here.

3. Graduate/Medical/Law School

This is another option many students choose after graduation. I will note that many application deadlines for graduate schools have passed by this point. If you are interested in graduate school, Click Here for more information about finding programs, admission tests, and more.


Can you think of other options for the post-graduation experience? Share them!

Selecting a Graduate School

November 12, 2007

Graduate school is a big step in the development of your career aspirations. For some of you, you realized from the beginning of your undergraduate years that you were destined to seek post-secondary education in the form of a graduate degree or at a professional school. Others of you discovered this later in your undergraduate years while others decide after they have been in the ‘real’ world a few years or more. Whenever you decided to take the route of graduate or professional school it is a big step in your development. And a step that takes careful consideration into all of its aspects.

There are several factors you should keep in mind about graduate/professional school.

First, do you need to attend graduate/professional school in order to reach your career goals. Are you just going to put off going into the ‘real’ work world a few more years or does your goal of becoming a dentist or college professor require you to gain more education? Determining the answer to that question determines whether you need to go to graduate school.

The second factor you should keep in mind when deciding about graduate school has several components: quality of education received, requirements needed to enter and complete the program, and if the program is accredited.

  • The quality of education is clear and straightforward. Does the program provide you with the needed information to be a success in your chosen career field? Each program at each school is going to be a little different and may stress different areas. If the area you want to focus on is not a focused area at the school you choose the quality may not be what you need.
  • The Requirements. When trying to gain entrance into a school you need to be aware of all the entrance requirements including personal statements, test scores, GPA, etc. These are essential for gaining acceptance into your top choice. Also look at the requirements to complete the program. Some programs will require exit exams while others will require you to write a thesis. Still others will require extended internships or other similar experiences. Research the programs you are interested in to determine the various requirements.
  • Accreditation. This in part is related to the quality. If a school or program is accredited by the governing body of that profession then you can be assured that you will receive a quality education.

On the Career Center’s website we offer a lot of different links to help you in your search for the right graduate program for you. Click here for more information.


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