The University of Michigan welcomed more than 50 native students from across the country July 9-12 for the 10th biennial Graduate Horizons conference.

The four-day workshop provided mentorship and advice to American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and First Nation’s students on the graduate admissions process, professional/career development, and the various fields of study and research programs available at the graduate level.

For many of the students attending the conference, this was also their first interaction with the University of Michigan and its graduate programs.

Grad-Horizons-Feature“I heard from numerous students how welcome they felt,” said Beth Soboleski, associate director of student and academic services for the Ford School of Public Policy. “I hope what students took away from the conference is that the University of Michigan is a place that seeks to welcome students from all backgrounds and provides them with the resources they need to be successful students.”

In addition to mentorship opportunities, the workshop offered 72 hours of classroom assistance, including information on how to complete a personal statement, test-taking strategies, understanding the financial aid process, scholarship/fellowship opportunities, and resume guidance. Students, faculty and staff also had an opportunity to connect with one another through a series of professional networking sessions.

“I was personally able to connect two aspiring graduate students with faculty and staff from professional schools here on campus,” said Dilip Das, assistant vice provost for Equity, Inclusion and Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan. “I met other presenters on campus, like Jay Rosner, who provided in-depth and strategic advice about preparing for graduate school entrance exams. It was a focused and effective conference, and I hope we can host it again.”

Grad-Horizon-ArticleWhile many of the conference participants will explore programs from across the country, Graduate Horizons provided an in-depth look into the graduate student experience at the University of Michigan.

“Many of the students and faculty who participated in the conference were able to speak with and learn from a broad cross section of the graduate programs here on campus, helping them to see new and greater potential graduate school interests,” said Beth Soboleski. “They will also take back to their communities a more informed view of the resources here, and hopefully, the support and encouragement they felt from the people they met on campus.”

The 2016 Graduate Horizons conference was sponsored by the University of Michigan Ford School and Office of the Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion & Academic Affairs. The Rackham Graduate SchoolSchool of Social Work, and Ross School of Business served on the coordinating committee. Additional support was provided by the School of Public HealthLaw SchoolSchool of Natural Resources and Environment, and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.