Although August is still several months away, it is not too early to begin planning for APA's Annual Convention in New Orleans. Attending convention provides students with many opportunities that can supplement the knowledge and experiences they gain from school. The APAGS Convention Committee has been hard at work for the past few months to ensure that this year's convention will be one that you won't soon forget.
At our December meeting, the Convention Committee chose a collection of high-quality programs that will also appeal to the diverse interests of APAGS members, from using Yoga as a stress management tool to learning about internships. Whatever your interests may be, there will be numerous opportunities to enhance both your personal and professional development.
The opportunity to interact and network with thousands of people who share your interest in psychology provides another incentive to attend convention. The APAGS Food for Thought Breakfasts offer students the chance to interact with eminent psychologists in an intimate setting. Networking can also be conducted during more formal presentations. By attending a particular session, you are surrounded by others who may share your interest in the topic. Don't feel bashful about introducing yourself to other program attendees. If the poster or presentation of a particular presenter interests you, you might want to ask for their card so that you can request an electronic copy of the presentation.
In a similar vein, convention may also provide an opportunity to find mentors. Being a graduate student can be difficult at times, and having a mentor can assist you during the process of earning your degree. While it may sometimes be difficult to find a mentor locally, Convention provides an opportune time to search for one. The APAGS Women Supporting Women program will be offered once again at this year's convention. The program creates an environment that allows students to gain from the wisdom and insight of professional psychologists.
Convention also provides a unique opportunity to meet and socialize with your peers both formally and informally. One way to meet other students at convention is by volunteering to be an APAGS ambassador. Carrying their signature bags, ambassadors are easily recognized at convention, which is important because they play a key role in facilitating other student's ability to make the most out of convention. They aid in publicizing APAGS programming and events as well as providing guidance and direction to convention attendees.
After a long day of attending workshops, presentations and symposia, it is important to unwind. APAGS will be hosting several events to help students kick back and relax. The APAGS social hour will continue to present students with the opportunity to mix and mingle. Additionally, the APAGS Convention Committee is in the process of planning several social events that will highlight the culture of New Orleans through its music and food.
There are a host of reasons to attend convention, these are just a few. I encourage you to come to New Orleans and discover for yourself what a great experience it is. See you in August!
In the sidebar to the article "Making the most of your model" (January gradPSYCH), the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs, the Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs, and the Consortium of Combined-Integrated Doctoral Programs in Psychology were inadvertently omitted from a the listing of umbrella organizations of doctoral programs in professional psychology, most of whose member programs endorse the scientist-practitioner model.