Spring Professional Fair hosts record number of programs

Claire Fodell

More than 300 Grand Valley State University students attended last week’s Spring Professional Fair, which included representatives from a record number of professional programs. About 50 from across the country were available to talk with students about their fields of interest.

Several pre-professional clubs, the CLAS Academic Advising Center and the Office of the Vice Provost of Health sponsored the event.

Julie Amon, event coordinator and an academic adviser in CLAS, said the idea of the event is for students to explore all the options they have in the professional world.

“I’m hoping that students can find more information about programs that they can apply to after graduation,” Amon said.

There were a wide variety of programs including optometry, chiropractic, osteopathic medicine and nutrition. Medical schools, pharmacy schools and dental schools also had representatives at the fair.

“We try to bring in schools from all across the country so we have a really large representation of Michigan schools, but then also other schools around the country that students might not be able to visit,” Amon said.

A representative from the Illinois College of Optometry, Mark Colip, said he agrees with Amon that this event makes programs more accessible.

“Students don’t have to drive, don’t have to get on a plane to visit — it’s right here in their backyard,” Colip said.

Students in attendance had the same opinion. A pre-chiropractic major, Britta Cicansky has attended the fair before, but was amazed by the size and organization.

“We got a lot more schools this year and I just think it went really smoothly,” Cicansky said. “I liked the room it was in. I think it was a little less chaotic because when it was in Henry Hall, there were a lot of people walking by and representatives didn’t know who was actually interested in professional schools.”

The fair has previously been held in Henry Hall, but this year it was relocated to the Grand River Room in the Kirkhof Center due to the increased size.

Cicansky was also impressed by the variety of programs the event held.

“There are different types of chiropractic schools, and I have only talked to the mixed type of schools, but this gave me a chance to look at the other programs,” Cicansky said.

Colip said Cicansky’s experience is exactly why he attends events like this.

“I want students to learn and get a little bit more information about what they might want to do with regard to graduate school, whether it’s my program or another one,” he said.

Although a lot of the information that representatives provide might be on the Internet, Colip said the fair gives students a different experience.

“Anybody can surf the web and get information, but coming to this they get to meet somebody, talk to somebody that represents the school and ask any question they want in real time,” he said.

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