The Agricultural and Biological Engineering Graduate Student Association (ABE-GSA) is dedicated to providing our graduate students with opportunities to grow personally and professionally. An integral objective is to create and foster experiences relevant to developing and refining skills pertinent in the future careers of graduate students. Given that many of these skills may necessitate knowledge acquired outside of the classroom and lab, we work to encourage and facilitate professional growth in our graduate students.
The goals of the professional development committee are to:
- encourage leadership, mentorship, and general collaboration among students in planning, organizing, and executing the events,
- promoting networking and career opportunities with a diverse group of professionals,
- allow direct feedback in improving oral communication skills, and
- enhancing graduate student understanding of professional responsibility and expectations.
In this regard, the professional development committee works to achieve these goals through seminars featuring distinguished alumni and Purdue faculty alike, and an in-house research symposium with oral presentations by students and industry guests, as well as a poster session and networking activities.
Professional Development Seminars
The association will sponsor different seminars tailored to fit the interests of ABE students and to address professional and technical issues related to the agricultural and biological engineering discipline. An example includes a seminar on proposal writing and opportunities available to the ABE field including specific sources of funding like government grants (NSF, Homeland Security, EPA, DOE, USDA, etc.). Other ideas include seminars on entrepreneurship and consulting for agricultural and biological engineers as well as poster and website design.
ABE Graduate Student Poster Session
At the end of the academic year, graduate students will have the opportunity to present their research at a departmental poster session. An invited panel of professionals will judge the posters. This activity has many different advantages: (1) promote academic excellence within the department; (2) provide graduate students with a new networking opportunity; (3) allow graduate students to gather feedback on their work and interact with different professional backgrounds; and (4) provide graduate students with a new opportunity to improve their presentation skills.
Various industries, such as Caterpillar and Tate and Lyle, of specific interest to ABE students are located in Indiana. Visits to those industries will introduce graduate students to the new developments and technologies used in their fields as well as create a networking environment that may lead to career opportunities. This activity is proposed to take place in coordination with companies of common interest to ABE graduate students.