GECD Introduces Virtual Fairs!

Erin Scott, Prehealth Advising Counselor, Global Education & Career Development

Global Education and Career Development (GECD) collaborated with Harvard University, Wellesley College, and CareerEco, a virtual recruiting platform and online event company specializing in college fairs, to coordinate two Virtual Fairs this past fall and spring. GECD staff Amanda Peters and Erin Scott managed the Harvard-MIT Virtual Grad School Fair and the Virtual Health Fair respectively. These first annual Virtual Fairs allowed attendees to learn about graduate school programs through online materials, and participating schools saved time and money connecting with potential applicants through online chat sessions with admissions representatives.

28 graduate schools participated in the Virtual Grad School Fair, ranging from MIT’s System Design and Management program to Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute to Harvard Business School, and 26 health profession schools, including schools of medicine, dentistry, public health, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and nursing participated in the Virtual Health Fair. 480 students and alumni from both MIT and Harvard registered for the Virtual Grad School Fair, and there were over 2400 unique visits to the website, www.gradschools.careereco.net, during and leading up to the event. 314 students and alumni from Harvard, MIT, and Wellesley registered for the Virtual Health Fair, generating 1456 unique pageviews to the www.prehealth.careereco.net web site between January and March. The total number of online chats logged during the Virtual Grad School Fair was 596, and for the Virtual Health Fair the number of online chats was 731.

Overall, the feedback from participating schools, students, and alumni was positive. One student stated that “some of the participating schools would have been difficult or impossible to visit before applying, so I’m glad I had the opportunity to speak with admissions representatives directly,” and another commented “I gained useful insight that will help me pinpoint which schools to apply to.” A school representative pointed out that “Options such as loading pictures and videos makes [the Virtual Fair] more powerful than in person fairs,” and another remarked “It gives us the chance to reach students that we probably would not have a chance to reach otherwise.” GECD was very pleased with the events’ turnout and CareerEco’s service. We plan to host these events annually toward our mission of exposing students to wide range of opportunities.