Grad Hack: Convention Tension
By Benjamin Johnson, GSC Member-at-Large
Find conventions overwhelming? Here are some tips to making the most of research conferences.
- Networking is key, both with fellow grad students and especially with more senior researchers in your area. Most conventions have a fancy banquet for conference-goers; try attending and sitting at a table with people you want to get to know. Even if the food isn’t spectacular, it will usually be worth the added registration fee!
- Always try to present something. Whip up a poster from some old data lying around; chat with other SPSP members about collaborating on a symposium. Research presentations look great on your CV, are good ways to get recognized in your area, and even open doors for travel funding and other awards!
- Volunteering can help defray convention costs. Often you can get your registration fee reduced or even waived!
- Another way to cut costs and boost your networking skills is to stay in the conference hotel with a group of other graduate students. Staying at the host venue can lead to chance meetings in elevators with the big shots, and if you get enough people together to split a room, it can be quite affordable.