Career Networking Initiative

Institution: Michigan Technological University
Funders (8)
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Why This Project Is Important 

"Huskies at the Conference" project is a collaborative initiative between the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Government to foster, encourage and recognize graduate husky research. Professional and scholarly conferences are key avenues for presenting one’s research out to the larger community. In addition to the sharing knowledge and learning more about the work done by fellow researchers, such conferences also play a key role in graduate students’ professional development. Presentation, the ability to communicate technical information in a manner which is understandable by a broader audience are key skills required by all, be it industry, R&D labs or academia. Furthermore, conferences also provide networking opportunities for students - another very critical aspect of grad life given Michigan Tech’s geographical location. Their learnings from presenting in conferences shall give graduate students the confidence to apply the same in other various aspects of not just their professional careers but also their daily lives. It goes without saying that Michigan Technological University also benefits from the visibility provided by the students’ research presentations. The "Huskies at the Conference" shall help enrolled graduate students offset some of the costs associated with presenting at conferences.

Project Description 

The Graduate Student Government will embark on a campaign to create greater awareness of the importance of networking during their time at Michigan Tech. This will involve reorienting its Travel Grant Awards Program so that recipients are encouraged to make contacts with professionals in their fields at the conferences they attend. We all know that “having a line on our vita” for a conference talk is not enough. It’s the people we meet and maintain meaningful connections with over time that help support our work and, when we go on the market, point us in helpful directions. It is not uncommon for graduate students to think of their career as something they begin after graduation. The Career Networking Initiative aims to change that line of thought. The teaching, designing, lab work, and research activities they engage in at Michigan Tech are more than just prerequisites to a later career in the so-called real world. That real world is here and now – and graduate students began their careers the moment they entered their graduate programs.


Past Graduate School Government travel grants recipients have stated the following:

  • “For the past three years, I have attended and presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) conference. Since travel funds are not provided by my research sponsor, I depended entirely on GSG travel grants to cover costs. I’m sincerely grateful for this excellent financial support.”—Srinivasa Rao Sripathi, Ph.D Candidate, Biological Sciences
  • “GSG travel grants have enabled me to represent Michigan Tech nationally and present work from the Chemical Engineering department to industrial leaders and other academic institutions. They have allowed me to chair sessions and become deeply involved with professional societies. Travel grants have been a key to drastically expanding my professional network and professional development while studying at Michigan Tech.” – Howard Haselhuhn, PhD Candidate, Chemical Engineering
  • “GSG travel grants have provided supplementary financial support essential to attending conferences where I’ve been able to present papers, fulfill my commitments as a committee chair, network with colleagues, and reconnect with former classmates.”—Andrew Baker, PhD Candidate, Materials Science & Engineering

Your support of the Graduate School and the GSG Travel Grants Awards Program will give Tech’s graduate students the opportunity to create meaningful networks with other professionals in their fields and thereby give them a competitive edge.

Meet the Researcher

Prasad Soman

PhD Student, Materials Science and Engineering
Public Relations Chair, Graduate School Government, 2018-2019

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of $8,000 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $359
days left
Funding is Closed

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Cover conference registration fees
  • Purchase airline tickets
  • Provide lodging and meals
  • Cover poster or presentation costs

$1 3 Funders

Receipt acknowledging tax-deductible status of your donation.

$100 0 Funders

The above, plus a Graduate School thermal porcelain cup with silicone lid

$250 5 Funders

All of the above, plus a thank you note with conference details from the student you supported

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Gifts to projects listed on SUPERIORIDEAS.ORG are received and processed by Michigan Tech Fund. Michigan Tech Fund is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code acting on behalf of Michigan Technological University. It is the policy of Michigan Tech Fund that a portion of the gifts and/or income therefrom may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering the funds.