MSE graduate students learn, practice presentation skills in inaugural “elevator pitch” competition

Author: MSE Staff

Photo collage of MSE event participants and judges
MSE Elevator Pitch Competition Students and Judges

Students from the Notre Dame Materials Science and Engineering PhD program recently participated in dual events to sharpen their research presentation skills.

The first event was a 90-minute workshop presented by Ryan Kristofek, Graduate Career Consultant for Engineering. The workshop covered the value and "how-to" of creating a short "elevator pitch" -- a succinct and engaging way to introduce a research topic to anyone you encounter, particularly non-experts. The workshop included a time for each participant to give a short, impromptu presentation.

“Crafting a compelling elevator pitch isn't just about condensing your research; it's about illuminating its significance to both experts and non-experts alike,” said Kristofek. “In the fleeting moments of, say, an elevator ride, clarity and impact can transform complex ideas into resonant stories, bridging the gap between academia and the broader world.”

After the workshop, the students then had two weeks to prepare a one-minute elevator pitch based on their graduate research. The competition was conducted for an audience of three judges and the MSE student-faculty research community. The judges also provided individual feedback to participants after the event.

The participants (1st- through 5th-year MSE students) were:

  • Tiago Migliati Zanon (CBE, Yichun Wang group)
  • Angela Abarca Perez (CEEES, Kyle Doudrick group)
  • Joshua Morales Campos (Chemistry, Adam Jaffe group)
  • Grayson Huldin (Chemistry, Kaiyu Fu group)
  • Irina Gushchina (Chemistry, Ken Kuno group)

Congratulations to Irina and Grayson for taking top honors in the competition, and to Angela and Grayson for organizing the inaugural event. Special thanks to the judges: Ryan Kristofek; Luna Rodriguez, Graduate Career Consultant for Science; and Thomas Meyers, Graduate Career Consultant for Arts & Letters.