The 11th Annual INFORMS Professional Colloquium was another smashing success. We had more applicants, higher fund-raising and a stronger program than any of us could remember. Though the organizing committee worked hard to put everything together, I think I credit our continued success to the fact that it’s such a great product. There are currently plans to piece together a more complete history of the program, but the general idea was simple: introduce graduate students from OR/MS to real life perspectives on practice within the field. Meeting for a full-day curriculum the day preceding the Analytics conference, roughly 20 students are selected and have the opportunity to begin building their professional networks and learning from practitioners in the field.
I attended the Colloquium, myself, in 2011, literally as my very first event with INFORMS. The deeply discounted registration rate, combined with the scholarship funds made available by way of the generous corporate donations brought attendance within my grad-school-budgeted financial reach. I’ve continued to be involved each subsequent year, and have been privileged to see countless young students reap the same benefits as me. I encourage all conference attendees to think learn more about the Colloquium: meet the students, review the conference website for details on the program, and perhaps even consider making a financial contribution or nominating a student for participation in the future.