The Graduate School Prep Club is dedicated to helping prepare undergraduates in the AUC for graduate school and summer internships. The first meeting of this academic year was a Q&A panel about different careers from STEM programs featuring speakers from academia, industry, and government.
The session was entitled “Career Pathways Panel” and was held at Spelman College. The event introduced students from Spelman College, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University to speakers from traditional and nontraditional careers in biology and chemistry. As GSPC’s largest turnout since its inception, 62 Atlanta University Center (AUC) students pre-registered, with 30 in attendance. GSPC coordinated a panel consisting of 3 virtual and 3 onsite guest speakers. This was the first occurrence where virtual panelists were invited to participate.
Overall, the recurring themes among panelists included: Graduate school exposes students to career opportunities that they would not otherwise be familiar, Graduate school is a tool for obtaining and mastering skills for next steps in career development, Graduate school is a key component for developing networks required for career success.
Participants remained engaged, asked questions, and were generally interested in absorbing the advice offered by the panelists. This year, the leadership team was proud to organize a panel that reflected our target audience including women and underrepresented populations. However, the leadership team did not expect attendance of students from all areas of STEM. Thus, the technical background of panelists was not inclusive.
A long-term goal derived from this event is to adapt the virtual communication to enable students from minority-serving institutions across the country can participate in GSPC events regularly.
The graduate school leadership team thanks Dr. Janet Cowins (U.S. EPA), Dr. Stephan Mathis II (U.S. Treasury), Mindy Kaur (IDEXX), Dr. Kimberly Cortes (KSU), Dr. Laurisa London (L’Oreal) and Amanda Wollnick (Engineer) for volunteering their time and advice to supporting our purpose.
Also, thanks to Shanina for organizing student recruitment and facilities, LaDena for moderating impromptu in addition to connecting the three virtual panelists, and Lloyd for tirelessly working to setup the Vidyo connections.Thanks to Jessie for recruiting the three on-site panelists and creating the flyer, Robert for setting up the Qualtrics survey and ordering food and drinks, Helen for taking pictures, and Theo for engaging with students who stayed behind to make meaningful connections. And a special thanks to Shannon and Hyekyung for accepting the role as institutional leaders at Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology, respectively, and allowing the team to implement new ideas as an alternate route for meeting the goals for the program.