Tips for Students

When preparing for GHC, you have to consider a number of things, including how to cover costs and how to arrange for hotels and flights. Here are some tips to help you have a successful experience at GHC.

Plan Your Budget

  • If you’re not prepared to pay for your own registration and travel costs, look for scholarships to help. We recommend our own GHC Scholarship.
  • Ask your department if they will sponsor your attendance. Sometimes schools will help fund students’ trips to career-focused conferences, and some even have funds specifically set aside for GHC.
    • Have a set dollar amount in mind when asking for funds. The more prepared you are, the better.
    • Provide specifics about your budget like registration price, flights and fees, and hotels or incidentals costs.
    • ABI also collects data and other important information about the impact GHC makes on students and other attendees. You can use our impact report to help make your case.
  • See if your university or department has scholarships for professional development opportunities.
  • Explore our Hoppers Program which allows some attendees to receive a complimentary registration to GHC in exchange for volunteering their time to complete various tasks at the Celebration.
  • Find others within your program or at your school planning to attend. See if you can share a hotel room or other related travel costs with each other.
  • Use the mobile app (released in the weeks prior to the conference) to find people departing or arriving at the same time so you can share cab fare.
  • Are you involved in any groups outside of school like a women’s group? Inquire if they would like to fund you as a representative from the group and offer to provide a presentation on what you learned. Your group may also consider fundraising together to send a few representatives to GHC.

Book Hotels and Flights

  • If you are booking as an individual, do not assume the discount airlines always offer the best deals. These airlines may tack on expensive additional charges.
  • Consult the conference hotel listing. Stay at a GHC-affiliated hotel to take advantage of the complimentary shuttle.
  • Pre-purchase shuttle service to/from the airport/hotel in Orlando to avoid costly taxi trips.

Prepare to Network

  • Consider what you want to get out of GHC. Keep your eyes open for:
    • Information about careers related to computer science
    • Opportunities to connect with women in your particular sub-field, who are part of an affinity group (Latinas in Computing, Black Women in Computing, LGBTQ-A in Computing, etc.) and/or who are at a particular educational or career level
    • New job/internship opportunities in industry or academia
  • Work with your faculty mentor or career services at your university to get networking tips. They may have other suggestions on how to make the most out of your conference experience.
  • Prepare a 30-second elevator speech to deliver to prospective employers or academic institutions in which you are interested for graduate school.
  • Prepare a resume. Submit it to the resume database and have hard copies on hand at the conference.
  • Connect with a previous GHC attendee and ask them about:
    • Lessons from their experience at GHC
    • Tips for navigating the programming and convention center
    • New technologies discovered at GHC