Freqently Asked Questions

  1. What does it mean to be accepted into this program?
  2. Wait a second. You mean I have to do more than work at the conference like when I was a Student Volunteer?
  3. I'm still not really clear on what my responsibilities will be if I am accepted for one of these positions. Can you tell me more?
  4. So, you mean that as an apprentice I help out where my mentor needs me, and at the same time I learn something about volunteering for a specific area of the SIGGRAPH conference?
  5. Which SIGGRAPH 2009 programs will have apprentice positions?
  6. Who is eligible to apply?
  7. I was a Student Volunteer in 2006 (2005, 2004, etc.). Am I eligible?
  8. If I am not accepted to the XSV program, can I still be a Student Volunteer?
  9. Why am I eligible only if I graduated within the last two years? That seems arbitrary to me.
  10. How do I obtain references?
  11. How does somebody go about providing a reference for me?
  12. What makes a good reference?
  13. How many references do I need?
  14. If I am selected for the 2009 conference can I defer my acceptance to the 2010 conference?
  15. Do I have to pay my own way to the conference? I mean, when I was a Student Volunteer there was a lot of support.
  16. Do I have to attend a jury meeting?
  17. Do I have to pay my own way to the jury meeting?
  18. When might I have to travel, so I can plan ahead?
  19. What can you tell me about the selection process?
  20. When can I expect to be notified whether my application was accepted?
  21. I've been accepted. Now what?



1. What does it mean to be accepted into this program?
If you're accepted into this program, you will become a member of a SIGGRAPH-related planning committee. This may mean you've been accepted to assist with the planning and execution process for a co-located symposium or other event. The chair of this committee will act as your mentor and help you to participate as an active, learning team member.

2. Wait a second. You mean I have to do more than work at the conference like when I was a Student Volunteer?
Yes. Indeed, your commitment for this position will begin many months before the conference takes place. If selected, you will be part of the planning core of volunteers that helps to make the annual conference happen. You should expect to begin your volunteer position in December 2008. Most volunteer positions end shortly after the conference finishes.

3. I'm still not really clear on what my responsibilities will be if I am selected for one of these positions. Can you tell me more?
If you are selected as an apprentice, you will become a member of a specific conference subcommittee. Each subcommittee has a chair. The chair will work with you to define your role and specific responsibilities. The responsibilities will vary by area and program.

4. So, you mean that as an apprentice I help out where my mentor needs me, and at the same time I learn something about volunteering for a specific area of the SIGGRAPH conference?
Yes, that's exactly right.

5. Which SIGGRAPH 2009 programs will have apprentice positions?
If your application is accepted, you will receive information on which programs will have apprentice positions.

6. Who is eligible to apply for apprenticeships?
You must have graduated with a computer graphics-related degree within the past two years, and you cannot be currently eligible to volunteer to be a SIGGRAPH 2009 Student Volunteer. So, you cannot be enrolled as a full-time student at any point during the 2007-2008 academic year. As of 2009, former Team Leaders who have been in the Student Volunteer Program for over THREE (3) years are also eligible for the XSV program even if they are still registered students. 7. I was a Student Volunteer in 2005 (2004, 2003, etc.). Am I eligible?

7. I was a Student Volunteer in 2006 (2005, 2004, etc.). Am I eligible?
Maybe. You must meet the eligibility requirements noted in the previous answer.

8. If I am not accepted to the XSV program, can I still be a Student Volunteer?
This seems unlikely. To be eligible for the XSV program, you are no longer a student. To be eligible for the Student Volunteer program, you typically must be a current student.

9. Why am I eligible only if I graduated within the last two years? That seems arbitrary to me.
Not exactly. The purpose of this program is to involve people who have recently finished school, but who do not yet have a large amount of professional experience. If you've been out of school for a few years and have been working in the industry or academia, then perhaps you should consider other volunteering opportunities. See ACM SIGGRAPH Conference Volunteers.

10. How do I obtain references?
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can ask your recent academic advisor, SIGGRAPH professionals, professors, or your current employer to write reference letters for you. Read more about the process here.

11. How does somebody go about providing a reference for me?
How does somebody go about providing a reference for me? First you need to submit an Online Application Form for the XSV program including basic information to express your interest. Once you complete this form, you will need to contact potential references, asking them to follow the criteria highlighted at Supplying a Letter of Recommendation. All letters of recommendation should be sent to nico_g (at) siggraph.org. As each letter is successfully completed and submitted, you and your potential reference will receive a confirmation email notice.

12. What makes a good reference?
A good reference will be provided by professors and employers who:

Know you well.
Know your specific skills and interests with respect to computer graphics.
Can give a candid assessment of what it's like to work with you.
Can communicate your level of commitment.

13. How many references do I need?
Three references are required, but you might consider requesting references from more than three people. This will increase the likelihood of obtaining at least three by the application deadline, and additional references will only enhance your application.

14. If I am selected for the 2009 conference, can I defer my acceptance to the 2010 conference?
No. The selection process matches specific apprentices with specific mentors and does not lend itself to deferment.

15. Do I have to pay my own way to the conference? I mean, when I was a Student Volunteer there was a lot of support.
Depending on your responsibilities at the conference itself, you may receive travel assistance and registration. However, the purpose of the XSV program is to provide you with an opportunity to network and gain additional experience within your chosen field. This may not require your presence at the conference, though we certainly hope all XSVs will attend SIGGRAPH 2009.

16. Do I have to attend a jury meeting?
Possibly. This decision is made by the Committee chair of the program you are assigned to.

17. Do I have to pay my own way to the jury meeting?
No. Any meeting or conference attendance required and pre-approved for your volunteer position will be reimbursed within the SIGGRAPH expense policy.

18. When might I have to travel, so I can plan ahead?
If travel is involved, it will vary from subcommittee to subcommittee. Typically, jury or other meetings (except the SIGGRAPH conference itself) take place over a weekend.

19. What can you tell me about the selection process?
The selection committee is composed of approximately a dozen people: the committee chairs who will be mentoring apprentices, and the XSV subcommittee. All members of the selection committee will read your application and the three or more supporting letters of recommendation. We will be looking for evidence of responsibility and commitment to completing tasks through your prior student-volunteering work and your evolving experience within the broad domains of computer graphics and interactive techniques. Letters of recommendation will be critical to assist the selection committee in its decision-making process. Finalists will be contacted for one-on-one interviews in late November or early December.

See: Things to consider when asking for a nomination letter.

20. When can I expect to be notified whether my application was accepted?
All notifications will be sent by email in mid-December 2008.

21. I've been accepted. Now what?
You will be contacted by your mentor, and you will begin immediately in your role as an part of his or her committee.