What to look out for at postgraduate fairsChen Wan Lim
Postgraduate fairs are great to find out more about universities and courses in a short space of time. Every year, a number of postgraduate fairs are held throughout Malaysia attracting tens of thousands of potential candidates seeking information on universities, courses, funding options and career opportunities that come with a postgraduate degree. However, there are probably hundreds of university setting up booths and promoting their courses and that there will surely not be sufficient time to visit all booths and to speak with all the representatives. In addition, some universities will send representatives from its marketing division as opposed to course directors for the particular area of studies. As such, here are some great tips to make the most out of your visiting a postgraduate fair:
Tip 1: Prior research
It is always good to do your own research prior to the actual day of the fair. Get a rough idea of the course you want to pursue and narrow down a few universities you might be interested in – all of this information will be on their fair websites. Also, get the list of universities that will be participating in the fair and see if your choices will be there. Chances are, you might not be able to visit all the booths and will only have time for a select few.
Tip 2: Register yourself
When you arrive at the exhibition centre, register yourself and get a floor plan with the list of exhibitors – as a bonus you might get a free door gift or be in the running for a larger gift if you register. The list of exhibitors and floor plan will allow you to look for your targeted universities without having to waste time walking around looking for them. Also, by registering yourself, you will most likely be on the mailing list for future fairs, promotions and new information.
Tip 3: Be open
Be open to new ideas and try to visit all the relevant booths although some of the universities might not have been under your radar before this. You could be pleasantly surprised that some of the universities which you do not plan to look at offer much better courses and fits many of your criteria. Also speak to those universities and hear them out – you might be convinced to explore other courses which you have previously not stumbled upon.
Tip 4: Properly state your intentions
When you meet the course director or the marketing executive at the booth, do introduce yourself and state your background i.e. undergraduate course, working experience and the course you are interested in. With this information, the university representatives will be in a better position to assist you and to either direct you to a more suitable representative or to a course that might suit you better. Ask as many questions as you can and also convey your aspirations of pursuing a postgraduate course.
Tip 5: Drop your contact information
Sometimes, you might not be able to meet the person-in-charge ie. Course Director. As such, be sure to bring along your name cards and leave it with the university representative. Leave a note requesting the course directors to contact you, or vice versa to learn more about a particular course they offer. Alternatively, get the name of the person whom you think will be able to help you and contact them after the fair – this will save you time as you will bypass the university directory list trying to locate a certain professor in charge.
Tip 6: Get to know more beyond the course prospectus
Take the initiative to ask things are that not stated in the course prospectus such as the demographic of candidates pursuing the course, internship placements by the university, learnings flexibilities for working adults and where past graduates have moved on to.
Tip 7: Professional postgraduate advisers
If you are undecided on what course to pursue, which university to attend or have queries on how to fund your postgraduate degree, you could always get in touch with professional postgraduate degree advisers, STUDYMASTERS.MY for the best professional advice to get you to a masters’ degree of your choice.