FAQ: Being a Grad Community Coordinator

The deadline for FY16 Graduate Community Coordinators is only a few days away — April 1st! We’re looking to fill three positions: Graduate Member Coordinator Elect (GMC-Elect), Regional Conference Coordinator (RCC), and Webinar Coordinator (WC). See my previous post for a brief description of each position as well as the application information here. I also wrote a post about why I got involved with the Grad Community, and why you should too here.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten several emails with a lot of the same questions, so I thought a FAQ post may help answer many of your questions about these positions. Even if you’re only slightly interested in these positions, I highly encourage you to apply! The application is super easy — only a few questions!

Question: What is the time commitment for the positions? What are the benefits of being a Coordinator?

Answer: For the time commitment. it really depends on you. As with many roles, organization and dedication go a long way in getting things done quickly and efficiently. The GMC-Elect position is primarily a support role, as you would be learning more about how the Grad Community works within the SWE big picture. You support the GMC on conference calls and in building our quarterly reports. With all that said, I would like to encourage the next GMC-elect to implement the ideas they have to make the Grad Community more awesome. So, the GMC-Elect role has, on average, an hour time commitment per week. However, you will transition into the GMC role after the first year, so this position is a 2-year commitment. The Regional Conference Coordinator (RCC) is more time intensive during the fall semester, when all region conferences are planning their sessions and have abstract deadlines. Over the past two years, though, we have created a detailed list of contacts and session topics, which will serve as an important resource for the next RCC. This position also has, on average, an hour time commitment per week with the fall semester being the most intense period. The Webinar Coordinator (WC) is heavy on email communication and involves reaching out to potential webinar speakers, and setting up the webinar with SWE. As with the other positions, the WC has, on average, an hour time commitment per week.

Yes, it is another commitment on top of your research and anything else you may have going on. But honestly, it’s well worth the (little) time. As a Grad Coordinator, you are introduced to SWE on a Society level. If you’ve only ever been involved in a collegiate or professional section, then this is a tremendous opportunity to see how SWE works, and how the various committees work together to achieve SWE’s mission. This is especially useful experience if you’re interested in other SWE leadership  positions. Additionally, you’re making a huge difference in the lives of your fellow grad students. The Grad Community, as many of you know, offers great networking and learning opportunities, as well as provides a community for all of us know we’re not alone. But, we can’t achieve all these great things without fantastic leaders like yourself.


Question: What requirements are there to be a Grad Coordinator?

Answer: You must be a SWE member in good standing. You can have either professional or collegiate membership. We prefer current, or recently graduated, graduate students to hold these roles, as they tend to have the best understanding of what graduate students need and want.


Question: Can I hold a Coordinator position if I’m going to be graduating soon?

Answer: YES! This seems to be a common misunderstanding. As I mentioned in the above response, we prefer that people have graduate school experience so they understand and are able to represent graduate student needs and wants. This does not mean, however, that you can be a Grad Coordinator only while you’re in grad school. E.g. I am graduating in May and transitioning to the workforce, so I’ll be serving as GMC after having graduated.


Question: Why are there two different applications?

Answer: The GMC-Elect role is a position which must follow SWE committee chair rules, so a separate application was necessary. In the past, the RCC and WC positions were not filled until early summer. This year, we thought it would be easier to ask people to apply for all three positions at the same time.


I’m sure I didn’t answer all of your questions, but I hope I hit the big ones. If you have additional or specific questions, please feel free to contact me (Katharine) at grad-coordinator-elect@swe.org and don’t forget to submit your applications by this Wednesday, April 1st!


One thought on “FAQ: Being a Grad Community Coordinator

  1. Pingback: SWE Graduate Leadership Team Opportunity | SWE Region F Blog

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