Le Grand Mix

One of the strengths of Georgia Tech and Georgia Tech-Lorraine are the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of its students, so Professor Serafin organized a night of “speed-networking” for undergraduate and graduate students to meet and share experiences! Check out Karsten’s latest blog on the evening.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 | Written by Karsten

The Georgia Tech-Lorraine program includes both graduate students and undergraduate students. However, naturally, students tend to hang out in their respective program. This is because of the age difference, schedule differences, and some language and cultural differences—many of the graduate students haven’t been to the Atlanta campus, while the undergraduates, excluding transient students, have. Some of the graduate students learned English as their second or even third language. Being fluent in more than one language is something I’m quite jealous of.

Since students stick to their programs, even though some of us live in the same building, most of us haven’t met. However, for the first time, the French professor at Georgia Tech Lorraine, who has classes with both graduate and undergraduate students, planned an event for the two programs to come together and mix so that graduate students and undergraduate students could meet. She thought this event could be beneficial to both groups, as some graduate students are coming to the Atlanta campus in the spring and needed information on housing and things to do in the city, and undergraduate students could hear about graduate programs. Professor Serafin introduced the idea to her French class, which I’m a part of, and there was a general interest from our group. She sweetened the idea with free pizza so we could get some of our friends to come, and we promised we could get some more undergraduate students to come, and so Professor Serafin went ahead and planned the event. 

The event happened on Tuesday immediately after the CROUS cooking event. On this rainy Tuesday, more than twenty students from each program came out to meet each other. It was set up in a “speed dating” manner, meaning there were a bunch of tables lined up, with undergraduate students on one side and graduate students on the other, and one side rotated after about two minutes. While this ended up seeming like a really short time, both sides were able to introduce themselves and share some valuable information with the other. After about thirty minutes, there was about five minutes of free for all, so you could meet new students or pick up on a conversation that was cut short by the two minute timer. After all of this, we could continue to mingle and eat the pizza that just arrived. 

Being an introvert, naturally, I wouldn’t expect to have liked an event like this. However, being that I promised Professor Serafin that I’d come and the event having free food, I came and actually had a good time. It was very interesting to hear the graduate students perception of Atlanta and it was good to be able to help them with whatever they might’ve needed that we had previous experience with.