By MARLENA IDROBO ’16
Yesterday marked the sixth week that Wellesley’s Center for Work and Service (CWS) hosted Graduate School Tuesdays, a new program that aims to give students more access to information about graduate and pre-professional programs.
Each Tuesday from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m, representatives from up to two graduate schools host informational sessions on the second floor of the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center near the front entrance.
“Our hope is that students will make deeper connections with graduate schools,” Elizabeth O’Connell, director of graduate and professional school advising at the CWS, said.
O’Connell sits at an adjacent table during these sessions, offering 10-minute drop-in appointments. At these meetings, O’Connell introduces students to graduate school programs and to the CWS. O’Connell wraps up her sessions by recommending that students make 25-minute appointments through MyCWS, the center’s website.
So far, representatives from Lesley University, Mills College, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, the Mercer School of Law, the University of Connecticut School of Law, the Carroll School of Management and the MIT Technology and Policy Program have attended. The next Graduate School Tuesday will be held on Oct. 22, although only O’Connell will be present. On Oct. 23, an admissions officer from Columbia Law School will visit Wellesley. Harvard Law School will attend on Nov. 5.
The tabling approach employed by the CWS is becoming increasingly popular at other universities. Brandeis has a similar event on Tuesday afternoons, immediately following Wellesley’s Graduate School Tuesdays, which is convenient for admissions officers who want to visit both schools, according to O’Connell.
Graduate School Tuesdays will run throughout the duration of the fall semester, when graduate schools travel the most and students are filling out applications.
Representatives from graduate programs in the arts and sciences, as well as business and law, may sign up to visit Wellesley. Medical school advising falls under a separate programming umbrella and is run by Director of Medical Profession Advising Sheila Brachfeld-Child.
So far, O’Connell has found Graduate School Tuesdays to be successful in increasing opportunities for students to learn more about graduate schools and discuss their future plans.
“There is a lot of eye contact,” O’Connell said. “I think students know we’re here.”
Sofia McCulloch ’14, a health and society major, cited the table’s convenient location as the main reason she signed up for a drop-in advising session with a CWS counselor.
“I’ve wanted to go to the CWS for a while, and I saw the booth and thought this was a great opportunity,” she said.
To further increase students’ exposure to different graduate programs, the CWS plans to host graduate school and faculty panels and a virtual fair, as well as schedule more graduate school-oriented programming on Tuesdays. O’Connell hopes that the graduate school theme will provide focus for students. The CWS will also hold graduate school-related events on other days for students who are unavailable on Tuesdays.
On Nov. 5, Wellesley will host a virtual fair where current students and alumnae can ask questions to admissions officers from an array of graduate and professional schools. The virtual fair is co-sponsored by Bryn Mawr, Dartmouth, Haverford, MIT, Vassar and Yale. Students can register on MyCWS under “CWS Events.”
O’Connell recommends that students visit the CWS website and MyCWS, where they can explore various resources and guides, as well as check the event calendar. Students can also make appointments with specific counselors on MyCWS or stop by during drop-in hours on weekdays from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the CWS office in Green Hall 442.
Although O’Connell encourages students to connect with the CWS, she stresses that faculty advisors should serve as primary advisors because they are most familiar with students’ academic records and performance.
Josh Henry, the assistant director of graduate admissions at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management—the visiting school last Tuesday—offered additional advice to students who are applying to graduate school.
“Having a sound career plan and short term goals are helpful. Know the next steps of what you want to do,” he said.