Seminar preps students for graduate school

Florida A&M University will kick-off its annual Honors Week with a Graduate School Preparation Seminar Monday in the Embassy Room from 11 a.m-1 p.m.

Throughout the week students who have achieved academic success will have the chance to participate in a variety of organized activities.

“Honors Week is an opportunity to acknowledge outstanding performance and pay tribute to students who have done well in school,” said Ivy Mitchell, director of the university honors program.

The Graduate School Preparation Seminar has been held for the past two years. The seminar allows students of all classifications to get advice and knowledge about graduate school.

Mitchell said that it is very important for students to understand what it takes to get accepted into a good graduate school and to start preparing early.

“There is a need for more minority students and students in general in graduate school,” Mitchell said. “College professors are retiring and students are needed to replace jobs and do research.”

Malik Littles, Student Government Association secretary of graduate affairs and current graduate student recommends the seminar to any student who is interested in applying to graduate school.

Littles, 26, an MBA student from West Palm Beach, said graduate school provides “great flexibility in job selection and an advantage in the work force.”

Littles supports the Graduate School Preparation Seminar because it is an easy way for students to gain information about grad school and discover the expectations that are required.

“The seminar provides a wide range of benefits,” Littles said.

Mitchell thinks the best way to prepare for graduate school is to take challenging courses and have good study habits.

Amanda Cevallos, 20, a sophomore music student from Fort Lauderdale has already started preparing to further her education after four years at FAMU.

“I want to perform,” Cevallos said.

Cevallos plans to receive a master’s degree in performance and has already started looking into prospective graduate programs. She is interested in schools such as Florida State University and Columbus State University.

Cevallos doesn’t know much about the details of graduate school and said she would definitely consider attending the Graduate School Preparation Seminar.

“Grad school is business and no play,” said Jaisen Tomin, 20, a sophomore business administration student from Tallahassee, when asked what he knew about graduate school.

Tomin is considering graduate school, but might try to get another degree other than business.

Although graduate school seems like a lot of work, Mitchell and Littles both agree that it pays off in the end.

“It increases your knowledge and makes you better qualified for work,” Mitchell said.

Littles added, “Graduate school looks better to employers.”

Once out of grad school, Littles plans to use his experience to pursue some entrepreneurial endeavors.

For students who are interested in graduate school and cannot attend the seminar on Monday, there will be more opportunities to obtain information from specific schools, said Linda Knight, director of fellowship programs and recruitment.

On Thursday, representatives from the University of Massachusetts will be on campus to speak to students about their graduate programs.

On March 27 representatives from Berkley will speak to students who are interested in receiving a master’s in optometry.

Contact Holly McCabe at