MCS GSAC Meeting Minutes
February 7, 2002

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February 7, 2002

In Attendance:
Ed Horsey (Biological Sciences)
Ayse Celil (Biological Sciences)
Pushan Chowdhury (Chemistry)
Kathryn Trapp (Mathematical Sciences)
Abraham Flaxman (Mathematical Sciences)
Gregg Franklin (MCS Dean's Office)
Katya Malkin (MCS Dean's Office)

2000 GSAC Minutes Archive
2001 GSAC Minutes Archive

This year's minutes:

January 17, 2002

The Social Event/Poster Session on February 1 was a success! Seventy-five people attended and there were about twenty posters. The following suggestions were made for next year's event:
  • People didn't realize that the posters don't need to be particularly technical or detailed and the goal is really just to get people to socialize with students from other departments. Next year, we should make this clear when advertising the event.
  • The room was somewhat crowded. Next year we will try to get a different room in the UC (maybe Rangos).
  • There was some discussion over whether to hold the event earlier in the evening - for example starting at 5:00 or 6:00 rather than 6:30.
  • Next year's event will be held one week later in order to allow more time after the break for planning and advertising.
  • Someone should be designated as an MC.
  • A full bar set-up is available (mixed drinks in addition to wine and beer) for an additional cost. This would be nice for next year if it is in the budget.
  • Additional options for prizes would also be a good idea, i.e., allowing the winners to spend their money on non-academic purchases, but it is our understanding that this would be difficult due to tax ramifications.

Renee Starek joined the meeting to assist with planning next fall's career seminar. Pitt is very enthusiastic about making this a joint event. Renee provided an outline of what needs to be done to plan the event:
  1. The group decided that the event will be advertised as "PhD's in Industry: Graduate Student Career Networking Event".
  2. There will be a panel discussion in the Mellon Institute Auditorium from 2:30 - 4:00. The panel will consist of about five representatives from different companies and different types of careers. Topics for discussion will include:
    • What is a PhD's day-to-day life like in your industry?
    • Who are you, what do you do, and what is your background?
    • What type of responsibilities to do you have?
  3. The group will then move to the Social and Conference Rooms for a networking session from 4:00 -6:30, where refreshments will be provided. There will be about 16 - 20 tables with information and representatives from the companies (including the panelists).
  4. The following companies (categorized by department) will be invited to attend:
    All Departments
    McKinsey and Company
    Pittsburgh Technology Council
      Mathematical Sciences
    Federal Reserve
    Merrill Lynch
    Lehman Brothers
    National Security Agency
    Biology / Chemistry
    Bristol Meyers Squibb
    Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Institute
    US Patent Office
    MIT Lincoln Labs
    Lockheed Martin
    The companies will be asked to send representatives who are PhD level scientists, rather than Human Resources recruiters.

  5. The timeline for planning the event is as follows.
    • February/March:
      - Decide on Pitt's role in the event
      - Finalize event format
      - Finalize employer invitation list (by March)
    • April:
      - Design employer invitation
    • May:
      - Find contacts and send invitations out from the Career Center. Deadline to register will be July 31.
    • July:
      - Follow up with employers
      - Design student invitation and poster (this should include a note to students to bring their resumes)
    • August:
      - Decide on ordering catering, IT, and room set-ups
      - Put up posters and send out student invitations
    • September:
      - Send student invitations with registration information (students should register by one week prior to the event)
      - Purchase employer gifts (will include sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, etc. from Carnegie Mellon and Pitt)

Pushan will contact the treasurer of GSA to confirm, but it looks unlikely that we can get money from GSA for a Happy Hour unless graduate students form the entire university are invited. If this doesn't work out, members will ask their departments for money to fund the happy hour. It is estimated that $800 - $1000 will be needed.


Gregg will see if Rick McCullough can attend our next meeting (scheduled for February 28). The group would like to discuss general building/space/security issues with him. If you have additional items you would like to discuss with the Dean, please e-mail them to Gregg (gf0b) or Katya (kd24).

Renee will be invited to attend our last GSAC meeting of the semester (scheduled for April 11) in order to finalize plans for the career event.


Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 28, from 3:00 - 4:30 in DH 1322.