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APS-MRS career panel offers professional networking, fosters alumni relations

Students and alumni at the Career Panel
The second annual Graduate Student Career Panel held jointly by the graduate student association (GSA) at the department of applied physical sciences (APS) and the UNC Materials Research Society (MRS) united graduate students with alumni of Carolina’s STEM PhD programs. The event strengthened alumni relations and offered professional learning opportunities for students as they prepare for their careers.

“It was our goal to provide students with exposure to a wide variety of advanced degree career opportunities,” said John Migliore, president of MRS and third-year chemistry student in APS chair Theo Dingemans’ lab.

Current PhD students who attended identified the value of participation and learning from alumni.

Students and alumni at the Career Panel
“The Career Panel was an excellent opportunity to network with a diverse group of employers,” said Sarah Sutton, a Physical Chemistry PhD Candidate in Professor Jim Cahoon’s lab. “The panelists also gave helpful insight on how to best prepare for a job outside of academia.”

“This event was a great way to learn from the experiences of those working in a wide variety of fields after completing their PhDs,” added Matt Lanetti, a 5th year Materials Chemistry PhD candidate in Professor Scott Warren’s lab. “It was great to hear from someone who earned his PhD from the same lab as myself, and I enjoyed listening to the panelists’ unique stories of their career paths.” Panelists included professional alumni now working as National Lab Scientists, Scientific Consultants, and R&D Chemists, demonstrating the quality of scientists graduating from Carolina.

MRS and GSA, under the leadership of co-presidents Kameryn Hinton and Connor Slamowitz, plan to host similar programming in the future. Migliore says that the MRS hopes to continue this relationship to bolster relationships with alumni. “We are always seeking to provide opportunities to the UNC graduate student community through professional development workshops, networking events, and outreach,” he said.