What to bring to open houses

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Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 9:56 pm

What to bring to open houses

Post by hopefulastro » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:19 pm

I'm about to attend various open houses for programs I've been accepted to, and want to know what I should bring during my days on campus. Of course I will bring a notebook and pen for taking notes, as well as carry my wallet with me and some snacks. Is there anything else that would be helpful to bring, and do people generally bring their laptops with them as well? I will take it along while traveling, but am unsure if I need to carry it around with me during the visit days or not.

Also, regarding dress code: I've read from other posts that it's mostly casual, or slightly dressy casual. For those of you who have been to these before, do people usually dress up a little more when attending the faculty meetings and research presentations? And what do people usually wear for the dinners with grad students and faculty?

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Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:54 pm

Re: What to bring to open houses

Post by Mizar » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:42 pm

I attended my first open house last week, and I would say almost everyone dressed quite casually for the whole event. If you'd prefer dressing a bit more professionally, that certainly won't be looked down on, but I'd say it isn't necessary or expected (but definitely check the school's itinerary for any special instructions). I don't recall anyone lugging around a laptop.

One thing I'd suggest is to make sure you check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. I was in Wisconsin last week, and it was COLD. I mean, I sort of expected it because it's winter, but it was colder than I had anticipated and I wasn't prepared (e.g., forgot to bring gloves and scarf) and we spent a fair bit of time outside walking between destinations. Also, expect to be exhausted by the end of the first day. And have fun!

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Re: What to bring to open houses

Post by jabennett2194 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:43 pm

Unless you plan to show a professor you're research or something, I would not carry around your laptop. a pen and pad is totally sufficient (helps remember questions to ask of people too without constantly looking at your phone.)

I wore.... a shirt and tie underneath a half zip shawl-type of sweater and i was very overdressed! remember that if the opn house is in march it may be hot! it was for me last year and one of the profs at dinner mentioned how hot i must be :oops: i was embarrassed by being so overdressed haha
i think (for men) a nice shirt is plenty! this year I think ill just skip the tie but stick to the collar shirt + vneck if its cold, or just a nice collar shirt without a sweater if its warm

also, good move with the snacks! they do "feed you" but its very basic and to not appear a glutton you dont want to steal too much food!

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