By Innes Herdan, Editor
On October 23rd, the University of Maine Farmington (UMF) will be hosting its annual Graduate School Fair along with the Internship Fair for the first time. UMF’s Center for Student Development, along with the Partnership for Civic Advancement, have come together to provide students with an opportunity to meet representatives from several local organizations, as well as fifteen graduate schools.
The Center for Student Development’s Career Services will be hosting the Graduate School Fair, while the Partnership for Civic Advancement will be hosting the Internship Fair. “The Partnership is a relatively new office on campus,” said Peter Osborne, a Career Counselor and Employment Specialist at UMF, “Essentially they coordinate internships, encourage volunteerism, and service learning.”
Career Services chooses the graduate schools for the fair wisely and tries to picks schools that will benefit UMF undergraduates when they decide to further their education.
“Our focus is regional. We send out a big announcement. These are people that have [often] come in the past,” said Bob Pederson, Director of the Center for Student Development. “These are the ones that the majority of our students attend.”
Both of these fair are open to all of the grade levels at UMF, and all our encouraged to take the opportunity to ask representatives questions and learn about their options after graduation. “We hope that all UMF students come to the fair, even if they aren’t considering graduate school right after undergrad, but that way they know what’s out there and the opportunities that graduate school brings. The kind of process that brings,” said Osborne, “The other things is a lot of undergraduates don’t go right off to grad, but its nice to know what the expectations are for grad school.”
These fairs hope to provide student with an array of options after undergraduate school, as well as options for internships during their time at UMF. “I am hoping that students get whatever they need for wherever they are in their process,” said Pederson, “I bet a third of any group we ask is interested in graduate school. About 15% of UMF graduates are immediately going to graduate school. I think a lot of people in teacher education do not immediately go to graduate school but eventually to it.”
As seniors are thinking about their plans after UMF, it is important that they think of the assets they were able to achieve from their undergraduate experience. “Strong academic foundations and a lot of experience; that can contribute to whatever they want to achieve,” said Osborne.
Hayley Smith-Rose, a senior who has taken advantage of the internship opportunities offered, will also be playing a role in the Internship Fair. “As an employee and former intern of Mountain Wireless Radio Group, I will be at their intern booth during the fair talking to students who may be interested in a future internship with our company,” said Smith Rose, “As the Outreach and Marketing Assistant for the Partnership for Civic Advancement, I am assisting in publicising and organizing the Internship fair, along with the Internship workshops that will be held in the Landing on October 16th and 30th from 12pm-1pm.”
While the graduate schools at the fair will be regional, the businesses offering the internships are near the Farmington area. “A lot of the internships are local, and some of them are paid or can be paid or can be for credit. They work very well individually with students,” said Pederson, “They try to tailor it with organizations needs and the students needs.”
Smith-Rose feels that the internships she has been involved with have prepared her with experience that will benefit her future. “ My first internship with Kiss 108 prepared me for the second internship I completed,” said Smith-Rose, “Now I am an employee with the company of that second internship, so I would say they prepared me with knowledge of how to work in the business, along with how to act in a professional environment.”
Both of the fairs will be occurring at 11:30 AM to 1 :30 PM on October 23rd; the Internship Fair will be occurring in North DIning Hall and the Graduate School Fair will be happening in both North Dining Hall B and C. Anyone who is interested in attending Graduate School can meet with Osborne or Stephen Davis and they can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com