The Student Perspective on the 2015 APA Conference in Toronto
My name is Jaclyn, i am currently a 3rd year in the Ph.D. program from the San Francisco Campus and thought i would take a few minutes to talk about my experience at this years APA Conference. Overall, i thoroughly enjoyed my time at the conference, but there is one point i would like to first talk about. If you are a graduate student and plan to attend this conference in the future, please plan to attend the different APAGS events they have scheduled, and if you can only fit one in then you must attend the APA Internship Workshop they offer. Even if you are a 1st or 2nd year this workshop is a valuable experience. The workshop started at 8am and i was already dreading getting up to go, but i am glad i went. The internship match director, and a training director from a site in North Carolina spoke to everyone in the room about what to do and what not to do during the internship process and applications. I learned about what to write in the application essays, how to narrow down sites i want to apply to, and even learn about common errors people make on their applications and during the interview process. While i already, as a 3rd year, have anxiety about the application and match process this workshop was able to alleviate some of that anxiety and stress.
If you have more time then i suggest planning to go to more APAGS events, if you have a good idea of internship sites you would like to apply to then the Meet and Greet with internship training directors event would also be a good session to attend. There were over 20 different sites in attendance all ready to sit down with you and talk about their site, what they are looking for in applicants, and even about the area the site is located in. Even if the sites you want to apply to are not there it is still interesting to hear about what they expect from students at their sites. Also the training directors bring free goodies to their tables, so even if you don’t like the site as least you obtained some free goods to take home with you.
There are many sessions during the conference and it was very hard to pick just a few to see while i was there. There were even a few i wanted to attend during the same time i had to present my poster, but overall the APAGS events were the ones i most enjoyed, and felt i learned the most from. Try and plan your schedule a head to time using the conference app, it will go a long way while you are there because it is a packed conference with lots of people walking around trying to figure out where they should go. If you have the time as a CSPP student, faculty or alumni, plan to attend the Alumni and Friends mixer, it is a fun relaxing time away from the conference to chat with friends, faculty and alumni about the conference, about school, or just about your summer plans. It is free for all to attend, free food and drinks are provided, so i highly recommend you take advantage of that!
One last tip i want to leave you with is to take advantage of all the free things people hand out, or have at their exhibit tables. Pick up journals, pick up reusable bags, even pens. We are all grad students paying for grad school and every little thing helps! I hope you have found this helpful and plan to attend this conference. I have attended many great conferences in the past, and i found this one to be the most rewarding at this stage in my career. I hope to attend again in the future. Good luck to all of you who are thinking of applying in this years round of applications, i hope you get the chance to attend!