Attending My First Brown Bag Seminar at Michigan State University


April 1, 2019 - Author:

Highlights 39, Hephzibah Onyeje Obekpa, Attending My First Brown Bag Seminar at Michigan State University, March 2019.

As a visiting scholar at MSU, my first brown bag seminar was mind blowing. Brown bag seminars are organized and sponsored by the graduate students’ organization in the department of Agricultural Food and Resource Economics (AFRE) to help fellow students make inputs in their research work. There are three types of sessions held in the brown bag seminars which are held every Tuesday from 11:50 AM to 1PM. The first type is a job market session to prepare their graduate students for the job market. The second type is a normal session where one student is allowed to make a presentation for 30-40 minutes followed by a 15-20 minutes question session. The third type is a “lightning” session held at the end of every month were up to three presenters can be accommodated with a short question and answer session thereafter. The purpose of the lightning session is to allow for presentations of work in progress, ideas, issues with current research that needs feedback and short discussions on potential work.

My first brown bag seminar was on the 15th of January 2019 and it was a job market session presented by the AFRE Job Placement Committee on the topic “job market candidates”. The seminar was held in a cozy room with about 25 participants including students and faculty. It was fascinating to know that AFRE-MSU helps in looking for jobs for her masters and Ph.D students and also sends posting of available jobs to their emails. There are job markets for master students as well as doctoral students. This was striking to me as the employability of their graduates is of major concern to the department and the university as a whole. This makes them go the extra mile in preparing graduates who are fit and can compete favorably with their counterparts in the market place.




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