Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Students Can Get the Most Out of Grace Hopper 2009

If you are an undergraduate or graduate student in computing, the Grace Hopper Celebration is a great place to come for inspiration, learning, professional networking, and job opportunities. With a little preparation, you will gain the most from this experience.

Before the Conference

Some activities at Grace Hopper require preregistration. Don’t worry if you did not sign up for these when you registered. Just log back into the registration system and you can add them. Here are a few that students in particular should sign up for:
  • If you’re looking for work:
    1. upload your resume into the GHC Resume Database and
    2. schedule an appointment in the Resume Clinic in the registration system.
  • To make the most of your professional networking at Grace Hopper sign up now in the registration system for the CONNECT project:
    • Set networking goals, exchange contact information electronically, and receive daily reports on your networking progress.
    • After the conference, you'll receive a summary of all your CONNECTions' contact info – no business cards required!
  • If you are a GHC Scholarship recipient (past or present) you’re invited to attend the GHC Scholarship Reunion Lunch on Friday. Other networking lunches include ResearcHers, Women of Color, and LGBT on Thursday and Latinas in Computing, ACM and Systers on Friday. Pre-register for all lunches in the registration system to ensure you get a seat.
  • There are more ways to connect online with other conference participants before, during and after Grace Hopper:
    • Join our groups on LinkedIn or Facebook (a great place to look for a GHC roommate!).
    • Follow us on Twitter.
    • Share GHC photos, videos, notes and blog posts.
    For these and other opportunities to connect online, check out our GHC Online Communities.
  • Last but not least: If this will be your first Grace Hopper Celebration, read Tips for Newbies by recent graduate Erin Donahue for more planning tips.

Great Sessions for Students

Before the conference, check out the program online and plan the sessions you want to attend. There is an overview on the Conference Program page. Look for the CRA-W Career Mentoring panels for undergraduate and graduate students, highlighted in brown, on Wednesday afternoon and the Student Track sessions, highlighted in red-orange, on Thursday and Friday. You will also find a brief description of each session in the more detailed Program Schedule.

Here are a few sessions that might be of particular interest to you as a student:
  • The CRA-W Career Mentoring panels begin after lunch on Wednesday:
    • For undergraduates, start with CSE is for You: Innovation, Flexibility, and Exciting Opportunities followed by The Road to Graduate School and The Graduate School Experience.
    • For graduate students, start with Graduate School Survival Skills, then Networking and Professional Development and Publishing your Research.
  • If this is your first Grace Hopper Celebration, or if it has been awhile since you’ve attended, don’t miss our For the Newcomer session from 5:30PM -7:00PM (before the Opening Reception).
  • On Thursday and Friday you’ll choose from Student Track sessions – like Mastering the Art of the Technical Interview and The best way: research by undergraduates – and sessions from other tracks in Industry, Academia, Technology and more. Some of our Birds of a Feather sessions will be presented by and for students, e.g., Building A WISE Support Group From Scratch and Baby Loading, Please Wait: Pregnancy, Graduate School, & Computing.
  • Between sessions stop and visit our GHC sponsors at their tables, especially if you are looking for a job. Even if you didn't get an interview from submitting your resume to the database, you might get one by stopping and talking to their recruiters. Don't miss this opportunity!

After the Conference

The magic words when you get back home are “follow up!” Share any remaining conference notes, photos, videos, etc. that you didn’t upload to the GHC communities during the conference. Go through the business cards you collected and contact information emailed to you from CONNECT, then send those connections Facebook friend requests, LinkedIn invitations, or emails. They’ll be grateful if you assume they met as many people as you did at the conference: Provide hints about how you two connected or subjects you discussed. And remember to watch the Anita Borg Institute e-newsletter for news about Grace Hopper 2010!

What additional suggestions do you have for students attending Grace Hopper?

No comments:

GHC Bloggers Latest Updates