It is conference season for me! This means it is that time of year when different disciplines are calling out for presenters to sign up for their conference.
At a graduate level you are, more than ever, encouraged to sign up to present at conferences of your particular field. I never thought I would be able to present my own work in front of others. At first, it is intimidating to be up there, presenting in front of students who seek inspiration, answers, or knowledge from others. However, if you are planning on pursuing your PhD, then it is best to have that skill under your belt. What helped the process was presenting with my fellow classmates who had similar topics to present. We worked together and got together a panel that had one theme in common, unifying all our different projects. In the audience were our professors, who helped us by giving us feedback on how to present better, and encouraged us to move forward with our projects.
This year, I don’t feel that my thesis is ready to be presented. However, I am planning on attending the conference to support my classmates. As a graduate student, it is important to expose yourself to that environment to network see who could possibly help you in your thesis or project and perhaps meet future colleagues.
The conference I plan on attending is the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) because my discipline is Chicana and Chicano studies. But I would also like to go to other conferences of different disciplines that interest me for the possibility of pursuing a PhD in that area, although, that is still on the works. It is expensive to attend these conferences though, so seek out grants from your graduate studies office or other entities on campus.
It is scary, but it is very rewarding.