ACT-W is a nationwide conference for students and industry professionals to come together and talk about women in STEM. The conference offers a mix of learning workshops, one on one interviews, panel discussions, and key note speakers of all different backgrounds. Proceeds from the event go towards helping ChickTech - a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting girls and women in STEM.
BRING FRIENDS - Friends might make it more comfortable in a professional environment; they can help encourage you to ask questions during speaking sessions and introduce yourself to a company executive or even practice what your going to say with he/she beforehand. There will also be multiple workshops and conferences going on at once in different spaces. If you have a few friends along, you can divide and conquer, then talk with each other about interesting things you learned in each session.
ASK QUESTIONS - We were one of the only high school students in the whole conference, so it felt intimidating to speak up in the beginning. Eventually, we realized that asking questions was actually easier because people were understanding of us when we stumbled on words or paused between sentences; they were just happy to students taking initiative.
CHANGEMAKER SCHOLARSHIP - Tickets for employed adult are $75 but tickets for students/the unemployed are only $35. If that’s out of your budget, apply for the Changemaker scholarship for a free ticket. They give you a 50% discount code even if you don’t win the scholarship.
ARRIVE EARLY - It’s much quieter early in the morning, so if you are easily overwhelmed by crowds, the smaller group might help you get used to the environment beforehand. They also offered 20% discount cards to InSpa and bath salts to the first 100 people.
ITINERARY - There will be about four to five small events going on at the same time which change every hour. Pick one event in each hour that sounds most interesting so you don’t waste time deciding which to go to when they start.
LINKEDIN - LinkedIn makes it easier to network professionally and it’s more convenient than email.
CAREER COACHING- Even if you are a student, one-on-one career coaching sessions can help you gain insight on the employers perspective on college and help you understand what you should consider with higher education.
THE INSIDE SCOOP