What’s Happening Outside of the Lab?
exchange business cards and send a thank you e-mail. Consider the fact that your new ACS National Meeting contacts
have their own networks too, and if your conversations go
well, they might know just the right person with whom to
Try attending the following events in Boston in order to
make the most of prospective connections:
Sunday, August 19
ACS Diversity Reception
(Sheraton Boston Hotel, Back Bay B)
Monday, August 20
7:00–8: 30 PM
Grad Student and Postdoc Reception, Featuring Jorge Cham
(BCEC, Ballroom West)
(BCEC, Exhibit Hall B2/C)
Tuesday, August 21
5:30–6: 30 PM
WCC Just Cocktails—Open Session and Book Launch
(Sheraton Boston Hotel, Liberty A/B)
5:30–7: 30 PM
ACS Presidential LGBTQ+ and Allies Reception
(Sheraton Boston Hotel, Back Bay B)
Preparing Yourself To Be the Best Professional
You Can Be
Establishing connections in your field is significant to any
student and professional seeking success, but doing everything you can to develop your professional skills will be another huge factor in being a competitive option for a postdoc
position and in your career. You are a master of conducting
research, and you know how to obtain results in the lab; however, can you sell yourself on paper? Can you really impress
during an interview? Do you have the interpersonal skills that
are necessary for you to thrive in a team environment in the
workplace? These are all skills that you can practice and perfect, and possessing them will ensure a triumphant job search.
The ACS National Meeting offers ChemIDPTM workshops to
introduce you to career planning tools, as well as resumé and
interview workshops to help you get there.
As you have likely figured out, balancing the demands of research, time in the lab, teaching, grading, friends,
sleeping, and navigating your next steps in life can be difficult,
but ACS wants to help. With the ACS National Meeting fast
approaching, you have a chance to take advantage of the opportunities that such a large meeting presents. You will have
experiences that you can bring home in order to give you the
head start you need as you consider what you want the beginning of your career to look like.
You hear that you should be “networking” quite frequently,
but are you taking the suggestion, and are you doing it correctly? Because the word “networking” has become a somewhat misunderstood catch phrase, I will call it “getting connected” as a more accurate representation of the goal.
“Getting connected” means that you are recognizing that
everyone you encounter can be significant to your path forward. It also means that you should not expect to meet someone for the sole purpose of securing a job. Although a job is
the ultimate objective for many people, it is equally important
to understand how each person you meet within the chemistry context can become a valuable part of your network.
The ACS National Meeting, where there are roughly
13,000+ chemists roaming within a one-mile radius, is an
example of the perfect place to take advantage of connecting
with as many students and professionals as you can manage.
Having so many chemists accessible is a chance for you to
come prepared to introduce yourself, to ask questions, and to
learn about others’ journeys through chemistry. From these
interactions, you may be exposed to and intrigued by career
options you had never considered, unique journeys from student to professional, and, if you do it properly, you may leave
your new connection with a positive, lasting impression of
your interaction that could be beneficial to your future. That
said, everyone comes to the national meeting with a purpose,
and while many people will be happy to talk to you, they
might not have a lot of time to dedicate to a lengthy conversation. Do your best to read the situation, respect everyone’s
time, and have a casual but professional conversation.
Once you leave the meeting, follow up on the introductory interactions you have had with your new connections;
the face-to-face conversations you will have are just as integral
as the subsequent interactions that you will continue to have
beyond the meeting. Even if you do not immediately recognize how the connection might be helpful to you, be sure to