Harold Crawford, Staff Writer

Last Tuesday on Sept. 11 in the Student Government Association Chambers, the University Program Board sponsored a helpful event for active students to attend. It was titled something almost every undergrad student asks themselves at one point in their academic career, “Is graduate school for me?”

Advertisement for the event flew around all of north campus. The University of Missouri–St. Louis SGA Senator Rachel Dawson, sophomore, international studies, hosted the event. The panel was responsible for providing students with life changing information. Some members of the panel were born in distant parts of the world and chose UMSL graduate school based on the respected credibility given by an anonymous mentor. Clara Jackson of Graduate Admissions was the opening speaker.  

Her message for students who want to join the workforce before continuing education in graduate school was no matter how long students wait to come back the applications for grad school will be the same.  

In other words, students are going to need letters of recommendation, but since it has been so long since their graduation the professors they could have gotten a letter from might not be available to do so.

Students might also put off applying for graduate school because of how expensive it can be. Veronique Davis from Financial Aid broke down the economical dynamics of loans and how much students might be qualified to receive in grants.  

Other members who sat on the panel at the event included Alexius Gandy, graduate, gender studies and Matteo Panza, graduate, chemistry. Panza had a great mentor while he was attending classes.

“You should also look into seeking good mentors as well for moral support, they help a lot,” said Panza.  

One thing people might consider when thinking about college is the commute and since UMSL is a commuter university it is a major aspect. The location of UMSL is in a convenient place for most St. Louis residents. A young, but incredibly wise Warren Ferguson, graduate, MED was not shy about keeping college close to home.

“Yep, [UMSL] was right down the street from the crib,” said Ferguson.  

For students who are from other St. Louis areas they can receive semester bus and MetroLink passes included in their tuition. UMSL offers these options to make commuting easier for students.  

The last speaker of the event was Emily Linan, graduate, social work MSW. She attended UMSL’s graduate school and made a self-discovery that symbolized personal growth and awareness of what a person will do and tolerate.

“I got to grad school and realized that I did not want to do research for the rest of my life,” said Linan.  

Graduate school made Linan realize what she was majoring in was not what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She eventually switched her major to better fit her needs and wants.  

In conclusion, grad school might be for you or it might not. However, it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. The world we live in as of now is exponentially approaching a new wave of challenges to job-seekers and employers as well. Looking to further your education is not a bad idea to entertain.