As part of their regular professional development seminars, the Graduate Group in Science and Mathematics recently gathered to discuss “best practices” for attending professional conferences. Led by Samantha Pezzimenti and Hannah Schwartz, graduate students in the Mathematics department, members of the graduate programs in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics compiled a list of helpful tips for students regarding what they should do before, during, and after attending a professional conference. Hannah and Samantha based the format of their seminar on a similar session they attended this past summer at the Georgia Tech Topology Students Workshop.
The first challenge is choosing the right conference, and the group discussed ways to prioritize the various offerings in each field. Once you’re signed up for a conference, the group underscored the importance of preparing a 30-second “pitch” about your current research ahead of time. They also advised students to research speakers and fellow participants they know will be at the conference to facilitate more informed and engaged interactions. Regarding conference etiquette, they stressed the importance of showing appreciation by recognizing the efforts of conference organizers and session participants whenever possible.
Professor Erica Graham from the Mathematics department was also on hand to share advice from the faculty perspective.