Career Center helps with grad school applications

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Graduate school application deadlines are becoming stress inducers for seniors but the Career Development Center offers a variety of services to help students with the process.

According to  the Associate Director of the Career Development Center June Dressler, it is important for students to research and be aware of the wide range of application deadlines. Some applications are not due until the spring, but some deadlines have already passed.

As for when students should meet with a CDC staff member, “the sooner the better,” said Dressler. “Although it is never too late.”

The CDC has been busy helping students research their options and make a list of their top choices, which should include at least six schools.

They can also help students with all parts of the application process and are there to answer any questions.

CDC staff members can help students manage and organize samples that reflect a their best work, write an effective personal statement, secure transcripts, prepare for testing and receive good letters of recommendation.

After students send in their applications, they should begin practicing for the interviewing process. The CDC staff stages mock interviews for students so they can practice answering questions, gain confidence and display their most valuable qualities.

According to Dressler, Pacific students are usually competitive in the pool of applicants, but what sets applicants apart is their past internships, relevant job experience and community involvement. In addition, Dressler said the experience students receive from working on their senior capstone projects, which is not a requirement at all universities, is invaluable.

Some students decide to take a year off before graduate school because they don’t have enough time to complete the necessary application requirements or because they are unsure about which profession they want to pursue. If students decide to take a year off, Dressler said it’s important they stay engaged in their area of interest. Some students taking a year off do so to gain experience that will make them more competitive when applying.

Dressler wants to make it clear to students with aspirations of graduate school that if students don’t get in the first time, take steps to improve qualifications and try again. Ask the school what part of the application was lacking and work to improve it. The CDC offers lifetime services and support for all alumni of Pacific University.

The center is located in Chapman Hall on College Way and has resources for all students to use, including exam study guides and books detailing career options by discipline.

To make an appointment, email with a list of possible meeting times. Although the center is busy, students can most often meet with a staff member within a week of sending the email.

“[The center is] well utilized, but there is always room for growth,” said Dressler.


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