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SC20 Students@SC Virtual Program Takes Shape

students at sc

SC20 is proud to welcome 248 Students@SC participants and awardees to its unprecedented virtual conference. Along with 18 lead student volunteer and 102 students in the Virtual Student Cluster Competition, 128 students will participate in the SC Technical Program, a robust schedule of student-specific sessions organized for all student attendees. The Student Programming Committee, led by Dr. Sally Ellingson, assistant professor of Biomedical Informatics at University of Kentucky, has drafted a unique program for the students with topics aimed at advancing hard skills, such as communicating research, and soft skills, including overcoming hurdles in school. Several beginner-level technical sessions are also being organized. Opportunities for professional development and guidance to help students identify the possibilities within the HPC field also will be available.

Below is a sample of the exciting opportunities that will be available to students during SC20. The Students@SC Committee will reveal more of its plans in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Student Programming

For two weeks, Students@SC will host virtual professional presentations open to all students attending the conference. Over that period, 12 subjects will be discussed, each featuring professionals in a panel setting or singular presentation. Students will be able to interact and ask questions.

“I have programmed sessions on micro-aggressions, overcoming hurdles in your career pathway, effectively communicating your research and/or interests, a large-scale HPC (Summit) hands-on session, and a careers in HPC panel,” Ellingson explained.

She was excited to share that Sunita Chandrasekaran will present “Evolution of a Parallelization Project” during the Success Skills Workshop that will begin with examples of successfully navigating a new project. Chandrasekaran is an assistant professor with the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Delaware. Her research spans HPC, parallel programming, benchmarking and data science.

Another speaker that Ellingson is eager to present is Derek William Jones, who will share his experience dealing with a soft skills topic.

“He is a former student of mine and has participated in the Students@SC program before,” Ellingson said. “He got a staff job out of his masters at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is starting his Ph.D. program now. He will speak during the “Overcoming Struggles and Hurdles in your Career Pathway” session.”

Mentor–Protégé Matching

Students seeking personal guidance can choose to participate in Mentor–Protégé Matching. Students will be matched with a mentor who will provide personal insight into career trajectory and the world of HPC while establishing a lasting mentoring connection.

“Mentor–Protégé Matching itself will be starting early this year to help build relationships in the months leading up to the conference,” said Kristen Brown, a data scientist at Intuitive Surgical. “After matching pairs based on their interests, backgrounds, and/or career goals, they will meet virtually twice to get to know each other in September and October. The program will continue throughout the conference and provide suggested activities.”

Speed Mentoring

Students also can find mentors in the speed mentoring event.

“In this session, we will discuss strategies to build successful and long-lasting mentoring relationships,” she said. “The session will include a hands-on exercise in networking, where mentors and protégés will meet to introduce themselves and discuss topics such as career advice and technical interests. Students will have the opportunity to connect with a few mentors and establish new connections that can often continue to grow after the conference,” Brown added.

Elevator Speech Workshop

The Students@SC program also will host the workshop “Perfecting Your Elevator Speech and Growing Your Professional Network”, where students can learn to introduce themselves using elevator speeches to set the stage for a professional conversation—whether it is at a networking event, with a colleague, or at the beginning of an interview. Elevator speeches are short and concise, spanning the time it takes to ride an elevator from the ground floor to the next stop. For many, having an elevator speech has proven useful at conferences such as SC where many networking opportunities are available and, of course, for job interviews. Two elevator speech workshops will be held.

Pitch Workshop

This workshop will begin with a presentation and then participants will break into smaller groups for activities and to practice pitches. Finally, the group will reunite and students can volunteer to present their pitches to the larger group.

Résumé Workshop

Students@SC program will offer a résumé workshop open to all students attending the conference. Professional leaders from research labs, academic institutions, recruiting agencies, and private industry will virtually meet with students to provide individual feedback on résumés and elevator speeches.

The Resume Workshop will have parallel Zoom sessions based on categories. In each session, students will be greeted individually, after which they will be placed in a breakout session with a designated reviewer. Students may participate in different “categories” and repeat the experience as they prefer. To better target companies they are interested in, students will be provided with a list of reviewers per room.

Job Fair

The Job Fair is open to all students, post-docs, and professionals attending the conference

Participating employers include research labs, academic institutions, recruiting agencies, and private industry representatives who will be available to discuss graduate fellowships, internships, summer jobs, co-op opportunities, graduate student positions, and permanent employment.

As in the résumé workshop, the Job Fair will also feature parallel Zoom sessions based on categories. In each session, students will be greeted individually, after which they will be placed in a breakout session with a designated interviewer.

Job postings will be available soon at:
Job Fair

For students, post-docs, and professionals:
Upload your résumé

For recruiting organizations:
Create a job posting

Christine Baissac-Hayden
SC20 Students@SC Communications Liaison (Easy English 4 All)

Christine Baissac-Hayden created Easy English 4 All, which provides multilingual communication tools for clients from diverse backgrounds in the renewable energy, medical, defense, marine science, and film industries. Easy English 4 All provides English as a Second Language (ESL), French, Spanish and Japanese tutoring from certified native-speaking teachers and organizes international student exchanges with personalized objectives and goals.

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