The Fall Postdoc Graduate Innovation mixer, held on October 12th at the Polsky Exchange, brought together students from many disciplines within the University of Chicago. ChiBus spoke with Mike Abrahamson, a 1st year at the Harris School of Public Policy, who said, “I came to this mixer because I’m interested in social entrepreneurship at the intersection of innovation and public policy.” Mike stated that he is interested in exploring possible collaborations with students from other programs and competing in SNVC. A number of students across the University from the Law School to the Medical School are interested in meeting and connecting with Booth students to build meaningful relationships and possible businesses through events like this.
The Postdoc Graduate mixer, offered each semester, serves as an excellent opportunity to lay the groundwork for meaningful conversation and potential partnerships. Sparking inter-disciplinary collaborations is a real benefit of being a part of the larger community at the University of Chicago. So often we get entrenched within our own programs that we take for granted the diversity of expertise and thought leadership happening in other programs. Touching on the reasons he came to the mixer, Abrahamson added, “The diversity of knowledge is beneficial for all fields and it’s good to meet other people who are doing something different and interesting in a social setting and see if there are ways you can work together.” Jonathan Coffey, a Booth 2nd year who is also a Co-chair of EVC, confirmed that sentiment, mentioning that Booth students should take advantage of the wealth of resources and students outside of the Booth community. “Sometimes we put our head down and get bogged down by business school and don’t interact as much across departments and I think it’s important to network throughout the University and venture out.” Kyle Mcandrews, a 1st year at Booth who also attended the event said he was excited to start working with a University of Chicago researcher he met while attending a Polsky Collaboration event last month. Mcandrews said, “It’s important to me to interact and make interesting connections across the University. I learn about a lot of cool opportunities that I may not have discovered if I didn’t attend events like this.”
The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs also hosted a mixer for graduate students and postdocs to connect and share their experiences across departments. OMSA mixer served as an opportunity to celebrate interdisciplinary diversity and allowed multicultural students to form relationships with other students who may be looking for support from the U of C community. OMSA, like the Polsky Exchange, hosts these interdisciplinary mixers throughout the year and organizers encourage students to get involved in the robust offerings.