Marc Garneau’s annual Post-Secondary Fair took place on 12 October 2016 in the school cafeteria. With almost twenty universities and colleges present and a fairly large student turnout, the event was considered a great success. Despite the absence of keynote speakers and most of the school’s staff, many attendees proclaimed it was a great initiative taken by the school.
Many students attended MGCI’s small-scale university fair instead of the Ontario University Fair (OUF), because it was more convenient. The OUF took place from 22-24 September at an location many MGCI students found inconvenient. The TTC subway lines were also under repairs on the weekend of the OUF, which meant a lot of students opted to stay home. Many were looking to the MGCI Fair as a replacement, and it did not disappoint. Over 100 students, the majority in Grade 11 or 12, attended. Some came searching for more information about their top university choices, while others came to find one that suited them the best.
The Marc Garneau Post-Secondary Fair did not have an obvious highlight, but the University of Toronto booth seemed to be the main attraction. Its tables were overwhelmed with hopeful applicants the entire night and many students did not get a chance to speak to the university’s student officers due to its popularity. Other favourites were the University of Waterloo’s Engineering Sciences, McMaster University’s Medical Sciences, University of Ontario’s Computer Sciences and IT, and York University’s Schulich School of Business. Brock University, Ryerson University and Queen’s University also attracted a substantial audience. The booths of the colleges had a smaller audience by comparison.
When asked about the fair, SAC’s Media and Communications Coordinator, Firaz Alvarez said, “This is a very good project the school does every year. Most MGCI students, with exception to TOPS, are not well aware of the universities and education fairs that take place since they come from very busy families.” Firaz also added that many students who are still undecided rely on the fair in choosing which universities to apply to. He said that he hopes SAC will advertise events like the MGCI Post-Secondary Fair in the future.
Grade 11 student, Asma Karovalia, said she used the Fair to choose her university, and not the program. She said she wants to go into Kineseology, but was unsure where to attend. When asked about her daughter and the fair, Asma’s father Mr. Karovalia replied, “I want the best education for my daughter… I thank the authority with all my heart for arranging such amazing events. I was unable to take her to the OUF because I was very busy but this somewhat made up for that. This shows that the school cares about the future off all these children. I will surely come here again next year.”
The only criticism for the MGCI Post-Secondary Fair was its short duration. It was held between 6:00 to 7:30 PM. Many students were very impressed with the number of universities but could not check them all out due to time constraints. The only visible staff member present was the Grade 12 counsellor, Mr. Phambri, who spent the night answering questions from parents.
The officers from the different universities and colleges declined an interview for this article. However, they were impressed by MGCI students, saying they heard a lot of unique questions that evening about the campuses and extra-curricular activities, not just about courses. They also noted that students were interested in a wide range of subjects, such as Global Politics or Astronomy, rather than solely traditional courses.
For more information on universities, future fairs or open houses, Grade 12 students can visit Mr. Phambri in the guidance office and visit university websites.