Getting the most out of the ACS national meeting: Networking Social with Graduate School Recruiters

There are hundreds of graduate chemistry programs in this country. How do you find the right one for you? Do you even know if you want to go?

At every national meeting, ACS hosts the Networking Social with Graduate School Recruiters to help you answer these questions. The next will one will be April 2, 2017, 1:00-5:00 pm, at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, CA, as part of the 253rd ACS National Meeting and Exposition.

Here’s everything you need to know about the event.

Who should go?

If you are planning on applying to grad school, thinking about applying to grad school, or wondering what grad school is all about, you should go. There will be lots of programs represented and all kinds of people to talk to (See “Who will be there?”). You are sure to find it informative.

Also, there will be free food, and a drawing for two $40 gift cards! The event is open for four hours. So, if you have a half-hour in your schedule, are interested in grad school, and need a snack, stop on by!

Who will be there?

Most participants are representatives from graduate programs, along with representatives of several other opportunities. (See a complete list of program participants here.) Some representatives are professional recruiters; others are program faculty or students.

What do you need to do?

It depends on what you want to accomplish. Here are some ideas.

To enter the drawing: When you arrive, pick up a networking card at the registration table. Collect stickers from at least 6 recruiters as you meet with them. Write your name and contact information on the card, and drop it off at the registration table before you leave. The drawing will take place after the event, and staff will contact you if you win.

To learn what grad school is all about: Look for tables where students are serving as representatives. Tell them who you are and why you are there. Ask questions such as:

  • What prompted you to go to grad school?
  • What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
  • How did you pick this program?
  • What sorts of things are program graduates doing?

If the answers to these questions pique your interest, you may want to learn more about graduate school. If not … well, at least you got a snack!

To find specific programs to pursue: This is not the time or place for an in-depth evaluation of any particular program. Professional recruiters will only have overviews of their programs; faculty and grad students will only be able to tell you about their own experiences. Instead, think of the event as an opportunity to ask such questions as:

  • What lines of research are faculty pursuing?
  • How large are the research groups?
  • How long are students taking to earn their degrees?
  • Are there opportunities to collaborate outside of the department, or even outside of academia?
  • What opportunities are available to develop non-technical skills, such as communication or safety?

These questions can help you identify potentially interesting programs. You can learn more specifics online.

You can also get more ideas at the two-part Graduate School Reality Check, April 2, 2017, at the national meeting. Part 1: Getting In (10:00-11:30 a.m.) will cover different types of graduate programs, why you might want to pursue them, and what to expect from the application process. Part 2: You’re In, Now What? (11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.) will give you a glimpse of what to expect from graduate school.

Whether you are planning your graduate career or simply doing some general fact-finding about grad school, the Networking Social with Graduate School Recruiters can help you get started. See you in San Francisco!

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