Why You Should Join the APAGS Convention Committee


The 2016 APAGS Convention Committee at this year’s APA Convention in Denver.

If you have ever been to the APA convention, you know how thrilling it is: the famous psychologists, the innovative research ideas, and the free pens (just to name a few exciting things)! I was completely enamored after my first convention and wanted to contribute. Some of you may be thinking the same exact thing now, and with another convention over, it is time to start considering being a part of the APAGS programming and fervor that is convention.

Here are some reasons why you may be a good fit for the APAGS convention committee:

  • You live for the excitement of convention– You look forward to the convention every year and are energized by the exchange of ideas. You commonly think, “I’ve finally found my place” or “why can’t this be offered more than once a year?”.
  • You are interested in graduate students’ professional development– Many of the APAGS programs that we guide or create relate to professional development issues such as finishing your dissertation or setting goals and saying no. If you like to pay it forward with the knowledge you have learned in your journey, look no further.
  • You like to be “involved”– The APAGS Convention Committee is in the center of it all and you work throughout the year on planning this massive 4-day event. You will likely be in monthly communication with the convention committee and the APAGS staff.
  • You are organized and detail oriented, and want to use those skills for good– Planning and executing the APAGS programming at convention is no easy feat, so most of the committee members need to be prepared. Get the excel spreadsheets ready!
  • You enjoy connecting with other students– One of the goals of the convention committee is to empower graduate students to be part of the psychology community through convention. As a convention committee member you will interact with graduate students not only at convention, but in the planning stages as well.
  • You seek a way to meet and interact with prominent psychologists– Many advanced psychologists donate their time to APAGS and commit to presenting programs for us. Our most popular is the APAGS Food for Thought, and the past few years have included psychologists such as Dr. Anneliese Singh, Dr. Nadine Kaslow, and Dr. Robert Sternberg. The convention committee organizes this program (along with many others) and seeks connections to these psychologists.
  • You want to experience convention without the cost– while the convention committee’s demands are intense; it also has its benefits. Travel, lodging, and meals are paid for the convention committee since it is a requirement you attend convention. More money for souvenirs?
  • You crave more leadership opportunities– the convention committee is not only a great line on your CV, but also a chance for you to make a lasting impact as a graduate student leader. It may also be a stepping-stone to engage in other leadership opportunities.

Hopefully by this point, I have you convinced. So now that you have decided to apply, here is some basic information as well as some helpful tips in applying.

  • The deadline for applications is September 7 at noon Eastern Standard Time. Be sure to notice the time zone as this may factor into your application process, especially if you are the type of person to work up until the last minute.
  • Eligibility requirements include being a current graduate student in good standing, having at least one year remaining in your graduate program at the time of application, being able to commit to a two-year term, and being available to travel to Washington DC for our winter meeting in December or January.
  • Get more specific information about the application process.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. I applied for the APAGS convention committee my second year of graduate school with high hopes… and was turned down. And was turned down again the next year. I was fortunate to gain other leadership experiences and was selected for the committee after my third attempt. If you are passionate about it, keep trying!
  • In your candidate statement, address how you are a good fit for the committee in terms of personal characteristics AND past experience. We want to know that you are excited, committed, and able to do the task at hand.

I hope to see you all at next year’s convention in Washington, DC and, who knows, maybe I will see you there as a fellow convention committee member!