Educational, Career Opportunities the Focus of Fall Institute

October 29, 2012

Graduate and Professional School Fair 2012

Knox College students picked up pointers on how to enhance their undergraduate education and succeed in a wide range of post-graduate options -- including careers and further education -- during the 2012 Fall Institute.

Classes were canceled on Fall Institute Day, October 24, to enable all students to take part in a day-long series of workshops and discussions on campus led by members of the Knox faculty. The day was capped by Knox's annual Graduate & Professional School Fair (photo above), where students spoke one-on-one with representatives from a variety of graduate schools, law schools, and other post-graduate institutions.

Some of the Fall Institute workshops and discussion sessions included information on preparing for law school and medical school;  career paths in art and art history; post-Knox options for English majors; computer science opportunities; and presentations about study-abroad programs in France, Spain, Argentina, Germany, and Tanzania.

About 20 first-year Knox students attended a session on the Kemper Scholars Program, led by faculty member John Spittell, Professor of Business and Management and Executive-in-Residence at Knox, and Knox's four current Kemper Scholars: senior Hannah Basil, juniors Alyssa Gill and Max Potthoff, and sophomore Molly Loudon. (Photo below right: Molly Loudon, standing at left, speaks with another student about the Kemper Scholars Program. Photo below left: John Spittell leads the Fall Institute workshop on the Kemper program.)  The Kemper program prepares students for leadership and service -- especially in the fields of administration and business -- by providing scholarships, opportunities for career exploration, and practical experience.Fall Institute 2012: Kemper Workshop

Jason Deschamps, a first-year student from Plelo, France, said he attended the Kemper workshop because after reading a brief description about the Kemper program, he was eager to learn more during Fall Institute.

"I want to do this," he said. "The Kemper Scholarship Program can really help me a lot -- help me develop my ideas and find who I am. That freedom is just so beautiful. It allows you to do anything and everything you want."

Catlin Watts, a first-year student from Chicago, Illinois, said she was attracted to the Kemper workshop because she is seeking information about internships and potential careers. She also attended Fall Institute workshops on joining the Peace Corps and studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain.

"The Peace Corps is (a commitment of) two years. You immerse yourself in a different culture, a different community," Watts said. "I want to experience a lot of different things. It's the same thing with Barcelona. If I study abroad there, I'd be exposed to and immersed in a different culture, and I'd be able to help people."

More than 130 students attended the Graduate & Professional School Fair, organized by the Center for Career & Pre-Professional Development. Representatives from the schools said they were impressed by Knox students.

Fall Institute 2012: Kemper Workshop"They are articulate, conversant, motivated, informed," said Laurie Jones, associate dean for law admissions and a legal research and writing professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law. "They have come to this career fair very well prepared, asking really good questions, and willing to engage with all of us."

Cliff Scott-Rudnick '70, assistant professor of law and director of continuing legal education and professionalism at The John Marshall Law School, has attended the Knox fair several times on behalf of the law school.

"I come back here because I think it's a great place to grow lawyers. I think the Knox curriculum really lends itself, because of the broad exposure that students get here, to them being great lawyers," he said. "This has always been a place of social action and social justice, from the founding of the school, and I think it fits with why people become lawyers."

Dzifa Penty, a Knox senior from Accra, Ghana, who is double-majoring in French and economics, is considering attending law school, an MBA program, or a graduate program in international relations.

Talking with representatives at the fair, she said, is making all of those options "more realistic to me."

Rup Sarkar, a senior history major from New Orleans, Louisiana, said he attended "just to get a good general picture of what's going on in the graduate school and law school world." He is considering pursuing a law degree or a master's degree in history.

Sulihat Mudasiru, a senior from Lagos, Nigeria, who is double-majoring in biology and French, said she thought the event was helpful.

"You get first-hand knowledge by meeting personally with the people that work with the schools. I wanted to talk to someone, ask questions directly, not (just) go online," she said. "I got a lot from it."