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Have a question about NASCC:The Steel Conference or the Students Connecting with Industry Sessions (SCIS)? Read on to see if it fits one of our frequently asked questions. Click on the question from the list below to view each corresponding answer.
The North American Steel Construction Conference, or NASCC: The Steel Conference, is AISC’s annual premier event for engineers, fabricators, detailers, general contractors, erectors, educators and students to learn about structural steel design and construction, to interact with their peers, and to see the latest products for steel buildings and bridges. Students are encouraged to attend! The Steel Conference offers more than 100 technical sessions, an extensive tradeshow with more than 200 exhibitors (featuring products ranging from structural software to machinery for cutting steel beams) and plenty of networking opportunities for professionals and students, alike!
The conference features 3 days packed-full of technical sessions, including the Students Connecting with Industry Sessions, or SCIS, which is offered on Thursday of conference week, from 9am – 2:30pm.
There are many other sessions that may be of interest to students! Check out the full preliminary schedule online by visiting aisc.org/nascc and click on “Advance Program.” Or, you can download the 2017 NASCC Mobile App by visiting https://crowd.cc/nascc2017.
In addition to the technical sessions, there are plenty of networking opportunities during the conference. From the Welcome Reception on Wednesday evening, to the SCIS Direct Connect networking session on Thursday, to the Thursday night conference dinner, you’ll be able to connect with engineers and other industry professionals and conference attendees to start to develop relationships that will last throughout your career.
Texas bound! The 2017 Steel Conference will be held March 22 through March 24 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. The SCIS events will take place on Thursday, March 23, from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm.
Times and locations of the other sessions and events are posted in the Advance Program at www.aisc.org/advanceprogram, and are available through the NASCC Conference App, which you can download at https://crowd.cc/nascc2017.
As a student member of AISC, you can attend The Steel Conference and SCIS for no charge. Simply visit www.aisc.org/nascc and register for both The Steel Conference and SCIS.
If you are not yet a student member of AISC – that’s okay; you’ll need to complete your student membership application as soon as possible, and you can register for The Steel Conference once your membership is confirmed. Visit www.aisc.org/join to download the student membership application; (please note: you’ll need to submit a copy of your class schedule and your student ID with your completed application.)
Direct Connect is no ordinary networking session! While you may attend job fairs or networking sessions on campus, the companies in attendance may be limited by geography. Often, these events are attended by HR personnel, with few actual engineers.
Direct Connect features engineering firms from around the country, from a variety of industries. The people you will meet at Direct Connect are almost exclusively engineers, and many are leaders at their respective firms. The engineers that participate in Direct Connect may also be some of the speakers that you’ll see as part of The Steel Conference.
Companies participating in Direct Connect in prior years include Weidlinger Associates, Walter P. Moore, AECOM, TY Lin International, and Parsons, just to name a few. A complete list of companies that will be participating in Direct Connect will be posted to the SCIS webpage a few weeks prior to The Steel Conference
SCIS will include the following on its schedule;
Come early to our "Morning Meetup" where students can join us starting at 9:00 am to enjoy coffee and pastries while socializing with other students.
During the Morning Session, students will have the opportunity to hear career insights and important lessons learned from two distinguished construction industry and design professionals. This two-part session will provide upcoming graduates with unique perspectives on the professional world they will soon enter. Those that attend the morning session can enjoy a complimentary boxed lunch and have more time to talk with other students attending the conference.
Starting at 1:00 pm, you will be given the opportunity to participate in a networking session called "Direct Connect," which will give you direct access to industry experts and key leaders from companies around North America.
After the SCIS program has finished, you will have a chance to attend some great technical sessions in the afternoon. Then, join us at the conference dinner, "Passport to Texas!" This is expected to be a great event and will be a chance to meet with more leaders in the steel industry!
As a student member of AISC, you can attend The Steel Conference and SCIS for no charge. In fact, to make things even easier for you, AISC is providing up to $175 in travel assistance, as well as free admission to the conference dinner to student members who attend the SCIS program.
AISC student members who attend the SCIS program will be eligible to receive up to $175 in travel reimbursement from AISC following the Conference. At the end of SCIS, you will receive a reimbursement form to be completed following your stay in San Antonio. Simply complete the form with your expense information, and submit the form with copies of all of your receipts. Remember, receipts are required for reimbursement! Approximately, 4-6 weeks following the conference, upon approval by AISC, you will receive up to $175 in the form of a check.
The first thing you’ll want to do is register to attend The Steel Conference and SCIS. Next, you’ll need to make your travel plans. When pricing airfare, keep in mind that Southwest does fly in to San Antonio, and they usually have the best flexibility with changing flights or using previous travel tickets for upcoming travel. Southwest will often not show up as part of a search in combination with airlines, and you often have to visit their site directly at www.Southwest.com.
Information about conference hotels is available through the conference website – simply visit www.aisc.org/nascc and click on Hotel & Travel to view information on AISC hotel blocks. If hotel rooms are not available through our block(s), you may be asked to signed up for a waitlist. We do recommend that you pair up with other student attendees and share the cost of the room, and keep in mind this cost can also be shared as part of the student travel reimbursement. (See Q6.)
Conference hotels do fill up quickly; for that reason, we recommend that you reserve your room as soon as possible. If you are having trouble finding rooms through the conference website, you can try contacting Wyndham Jade directly by phone (800.830.5812), and you can also check back on the website; additional blocks of rooms are sometimes released, and if other people cancel their rooms, they can become available online immediately.
Once you have signed up for The Steel Conference and SCIS, you may have questions about what you’ll need to bring with you for the Direct Connect session, as well as other conference networking events. While you will probably want to have copies of your resume available for the Direct Connect session, there are three additional actions that we feel are important.
First, if you don’t already have one, we recommend that you create a LinkedIn profile, which will serve as a virtual resume that you can share with the companies you meet at the conference. Once someone connects with you on LinkedIn, they can come back to your profile at any point in the future to see where you’re at in your career as a structural engineer.
Second, we suggest that you create a set of business cards. Business cards are great for Direct Connect, and also for the other networking opportunities that you’ll have during the conference. People may not always be able to take a hard copy of a resume, but they can always take a business card. Business cards can be created and printed from your own computer (Avery creates business card paper that can be purchased at Staples or any office supply store), or you can also look into services such as uprinting.com, which allow you to design your own business card, and have those printed and shipped to you.
Our third additional action involves the student questionnaire that is sent to all SCIS registrants ahead of the conference. This questionnaire allows you to specify information about your educational background, and whether or not you are seeking a job or internship. In addition, the LinkedIn profile that you created above can be included, and with your permission, this information is made available to all of the companies participating in Direct Connect.
A final recommendation in preparing for the conference is to make sure to review the final program, to see which sessions you’d like to attend. Keep in mind that many sessions are offered twice during the conference, so if there is a conflict with SCIS, or with another session, chances are you’ll be able to watch that session at a different time.
The Steel Conference is a professional atmosphere; however, you will see all levels of attire, from jeans and polos, to suits and ties, and a few t-shirts here and there. Each year, we get the question from students – What should I wear to SCIS?
We like to go by the saying: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” We recommend that you wear professional dress for all SCIS events, and at least business casual (no jeans or t-shirts) to all other Steel Conference events. You’ll be networking with professionals that could be making hiring decisions someday, so dress to impress!
If you have additional questions about The Steel Conference or SCIS, please contact one of us from the SCIS team. We’d be more than happy to answer your questions, or direct you to where you need to go to find the answer. The SCIS team can be reached using the contact information below.
View more FAQs regarding general questions about The Steel Conference at this link.
See you in San Antonio!