Students found several symposium sessions directed at the topics of professional development and university outreach at MS&T’10. ACerS President’s Council of Student Advisors (PCSA) organized a technical symposium entitled Student Career Development and K-12 Demo Exhibition.
The student career development symposium session featured a number of speakers who covered the important professional questions that invariably cross every student’s mind. Topics included:
-Planning for and applying to graduate school
-How to successfully apply for jobs
-What to expect as a young engineer, and how to advance one’s career
-What professors really do with their time, and what to expect if entering into academia
-Professional development through membership in technical and professional societies, extracurricular activities, and leadership roles
-How businesses and academia can work together
The speakers and topics were very well received. Many students took the opportunity to ask questions during the discussion period after each talk.
Furthermore, there was a student demonstration session that covered a number of different materials demonstrations. Five different universities were represented, with two presentations by faculty, and three by students. Over the course of the session, attendees moved about to get good views of the demonstrations being presented and freely discussed and shared ideas on different demonstrations and outreach methods in general.
In addition, PCSA delegates, Eric Patterson and Chris Dosch, delivered a presentation on trends in ceramic and materials education as seen by current undergraduate and graduate students. Using the survey results from over 100 students at 20 universities, their talk discussed student opinions on issues such as how prepared students felt for working in a technical job and where students wanted to work after graduation (i.e. in industry, in academia, or at a national lab). The presentation definitely engaged the attendees, as the 20-minute break scheduled to follow the talk was replaced by a discussion of the talk’s information.