Professional conventions are an integral part of the graduate school experience. APA Convention is one of the largest and brings together a diverse group of psychology students, academics, professionals, community organizations, and clinicians from across the US (and the world!).
If you’re on the fence about attending the APA Annual Convention, here are just a few (of the many) reasons why it’s worth the trip:
- Network! We’ve all heard that as students it’s important for us to network (numerous times). Well, that’s because it’s true! Meeting people is a great way to develop professional and research connections for the future. Convention provides the opportunity to chat with and meet prominent psychologists, professionals, and other researchers and students working on similar issues. You never know when one of these could turn into a helpful lead on a new project, internship or job! And don’t forget, be sure to extend a helping hand or make an introduction whenever you can.
- Gain new insight! Related to networking – Convention is a great place to learn from and chat with so many different professionals and scholars. Having the chance to attend talks that you’re interested in (rather than being buried in your own research topic!) will expose you to new ideas and might provide unexpected inspiration. The conversations you’ll have with other students and people farther along in their careers are invaluable. Convention is a great place to get feedback on your work and learn from talking to other graduate students, psychologists, and innovators.
- Internship prep! If you’ll be looking for an internship in the near future, APAGS offers lots of programming geared to help you get there – including an internship workshop, an up-close-and-personal conversation hour with the APPIC chair, and the ever popular meet and greet with internship training directors!
- Explore Washington, DC! In addition to all the studious activities that Convention has to offer, it also provides a chance to do some sightseeing. After taking in some talks, remember to take a break and explore some of the national landmarks and great museums in DC
- Fantastic APAGS programs! Chances are, if you’ve found your way to this blog, you are already familiar with APAGS – the grad student division of APA. Well, the APAGS Convention Committee has planned a wonderful slate of programs specifically of interest to students. This year, APAGS has programs for the research crowd (Introduction to R Statistics, Procuring Federal Funding), the not-so-research crowd (Stats Phobia), and students from a variety of diverse identities and backgrounds (Systemic & Individual Responses to Microaggressions, Future Directions of LGBTQ+ Public Policy). Plus, many opportunities for the above-mentioned networking with the APAGS Social and Food For Thought breakfasts each morning with different eminent psychologists. For the full APAGS Convention schedule, stay tuned for future Convention-related posts or visit the APAGS website.
See you in August!
Editor’s Note: Check out more Convention 2017 posts on the gradPSYCH Blog: