Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Graduate Student and Postdoc Reception a great opportunity to network

Joe Z. Sostaric - Program Manager, ACS Office of Graduate Education

Having enjoyed an hour of laughs and reality with Jorge Cham, an estimated 700 graduate students and postdocs turned out for the ACS Graduate Student and Postdoc Reception held just prior to SciMix.

Now, if you were fortunate enough to attend the Jorge Cham lecture, you might be of the impression that any event that involves food and drink would be expected to draw a crowd of graduate students. However, from the surveys that we took of reception attendees at the spring national meeting in San Francisco earlier this year, 70% of attendees came to network with their peers and with representatives from the 20 cosponsoring ACS technical divisions.

Think about this for a moment. Why are you going to graduate school or doing a postdoc? Presumably it’s so you can have a career in chemistry that will be rewarding in all aspects of your life. So how do you get that career started? HINT: Don’t spend too much of your time searching through the classifieds! Networking people, it’s what you have to do. What better way to spend your time then to introduce yourself to the very people in your research field that could one day be on the search committee for the position for which you apply?

The ACS graduate student and postdoc reception is held every Monday evening, just prior to SciMix, at every ACS national meeting. If you attend the national meetings, take advantage of this time to meet with division representatives and with your peers, because you never know. And what the hay! Enjoy some good food and drink too!

Joe Z. Sostaric is program manager in the Office of Graduate Education at ACS. He obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

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