Current Grad Students
UC Berkeley is an excellent place to develop solid research skills, but there are other skills necessary for success in academia, industry, or wherever else someone with a PhD in physics might go. The typical graduate school program barely addresses these other skills, which include conveying information through teaching or giving talks, mentoring and supporting other people, fundraising and grant writing, and managing a large group of people towards achieving a common goal (just to name a few!). Running Compass involves all of these skills, and because Compass is almost entirely student-run, all of these aspects of professional development are part of the Compass grad student experience.
How can I get involved in Compass?
Take a look at the current opportunities in Compass and see if anything specific strikes your fancy. Either way, send us an email, then come to our weekly meeting (Mondays, 6-8PM in 396 LeConte) and start making cool things happen.
So how can YOU benefit from Compass?
- Explore innovative teaching methods and design your own curriculum by becoming a teacher for Compass’s summer program or Physics 98 courses.
- Mentor and support undergrads by becoming a mentor for one of our undergrads or an RA for our summer program.
- Learn tangible skills that relate to running an outreach program or non-profit by participating in Compass’s leadership structure. These skills include marketing, fundraising, web design, and program evaluation.
- If you have a great idea related to Compass’s mission that you’d like to try out, we’d love to hear about it and talk about the possibility of making it part of Compass.
- There are also smaller commitments that you could make if you want to contribute but only have limited time. You could be a tutor or lead lab tours for the summer program, hold office hours, or lead a research project for Physics 98 students.
Equally important as these more tangible benefits are the intangible rewards of being part of Compass. Compass grad students have formed a strong community of people who look out for each other and help one another get through the rough patches of grad school. Grad school is hard, and Compass is full of people sensitive to these challenges and who provide a safe, welcoming space for thinking and talking about them. As a group, Compass students strive to be aware of our futures, whether they involve a traditional academic path or other outside-the-box possibilities.
As a mostly volunteer organization, Compass also allows students who have a desire to serve their community and address issues of inequity within the physical sciences to do so in a very direct, worthwhile way. Improving the status quo in physics culture, from the local to the national level, is a constant topic of conversation for us, and Compass is developing a network of people around the country supportive of our work and excited for our success.