Nerd Heaven: Day One of the Undergraduate Program at the ACS National Meeting in New Orleans

Welcome to nerd heaven! The first day of Undergraduate Programming at the 245th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans is here!

If at any point you need to relax and grab a snack during the day, the Undergraduate Hospitality Center will be in Section BC of Hall A, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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Check out the Undergraduate Program Guide

This first event is great to get some pointers on how to spend your time here:

Making the Most of Your First ACS National Meeting
Section C/Hall A
9:00 – 9:45 a.m.

Receive some tips on how to get the most out of an ACS national meeting. You will learn where you should go and different things to do from faculty and students who are pros at ACS national meetings.

Don’t you wish there was something like this for graduate school? OH WAIT! Check out this next event!

Graduate School Reality Check Step I: Getting in
Room 209/210
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Do you know what type of graduate degree or school is right for you? Learn about some options at this session in addition to what different places look for in their applications. There will be a panel of graduate students, graduate school faculty, graduate school recruiters, and industry representatives to help answer your questions about applying to graduate schools.

If you didn’t get your questions answered, why not go sit down and talk to a graduate school recruiter one on one?

Networking Social with Graduate School Recruiters
Room Hall A Section B
11:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.

This networking social is a great chance to learn about many different schools. This is a great time to get questions answered about different graduate programs and some schools you have never heard about. (After this event I kept in contact with a recruiter I met. Through her, I got connected to an admissions counselor who helped me through the application process: And I got in!)

Here are some tips:

Don’t sell yourself; instead, take this opportunity to learn about the school and programs available.

This is a great event to have business cards for and also to collect business cards. NETWORKING!

There are some things every chemist, at grad school or not, should learn. Get a head start by going to a technical symposium and some workshops.

Technical Symposium: Teaching is Fun – How to Become an Exemplary Teaching Assistant
Rivergate Ballroom
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Most graduate programs require at least two semester of a teaching assistantship. This technical symposium will help you learn what to do and what not to do in order to be the best teaching assistant possible.

Being in graduate school also requires research. What good is research if you cannot communicate the results with other scientists? These two workshops are here to help improve your skills on how scientists communicate.

Workshop Essential Skills for Success
Part I: Oral Presentation of Scientific Results
Part II: Write Like a Chemist
Room 206/207
Part I: 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Part II: 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

This workshop will provide you with helpful tools for successful oral presentations and paper writing, both important parts of graduate school. This is a great chance to learn something that will later impress those you are working for, because for once they won’t have to teach it to you. This is a great skill to learn even if you are not planning on attending graduate school.

If graduate school isn’t on your radar or your club’s demos need some help, you should check out my favorite event.

Chem Demo Exchange
Hall E2/E3
11:00 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

This is a wonderful event where you can learn demos from other undergraduate clubs. Bring something to collect all the papers in because you won’t be able to remember how to do all the demos. Many of the demos you even get to try out! More than half of the demos my club conducts we got from this event.

But what if you have great demos and you don’t feel like they reach the people you are doing the demos for?

Making Demos Matter Workshop
Rivergate Ballroom
4:00 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.

This workshop will help transform your demos from things your club members enjoy to play with to events your audiences will learn from and enjoy watching.

And since you have a few minutes before the ceremony, why not enjoy a mini-Mardi Gras at…

Opening Night Parade and New Member Networking Bingo
Expo Hall
6 pm

At 6pm just outside the Expo Hall doors you’ll find a brass band, a float, jesters and revelers, and the ACS Mole. Meet us there as we open the Expo Hall in a festive show of New Orleans flavor, in honor of the newest members of the American Chemical Society — YOU!

Follow the parade to the New Member Networking Bingo event behind the ACS Booth. Join fellow new members, ACS governance members, staff, and a few seasoned members as we play ACS bingo, network, and learn more about what the Society offers you.

Now take a little break and get ready for two of the best events:

Student Chapter Awards Ceremony + Undergraduate Social
Room Hall A/Section C
Ceremony: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.  Social: 8:30-11 p.m.

You worked hard all year so head to the ceremony to accept your award. There is no reason to miss out on this many nerds cheering.

Every great awards ceremony has an after-party! Continue your celebration at the undergraduate social.

Now it’s time to sleep, so you can attend even more fun events tomorrow! More helpful information about the meeting can be found in the Undergraduate Program Guide. Also, check back tomorrow for Monday’s event highlights!

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