Hi there! This is Kiewit RA Kristina Ward writing you from Philadelphia, PA! I’m here for a research conference—this afternoon I’ll present a poster on my research about the effect antibiotics have on ears (Random Fact: in developing countries, people often have to choose between recovering from an infection or using an antibiotic that may cause them to lose their hearing). Creighton’s size makes us big enough to be able to get really cool research done, but at the same time we’re small enough that undergraduates get to go to conferences to present the work. During my four years here I’ve been lucky enough to present my work at several conferences, so I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned with you:
- Don’t be afraid to ask really smart people questions you have about their work. Professionals are usually impressed by the effort you put in trying to understand what they did; no question is a stupid question.
- No matter how awkward you feel, try to network wherever you go. You never know when the connections you make can be useful!
- Dress Professionally. Sometimes at research conferences people walk around in jeans with holes in them. My advice: only do this if you think you’re the smartest person in the room.
- Pack a comfortable pair of shoes. At most conferences I find myself on my feet for hours at a time. When I present my material I have on fancy shoes, but during the rest of the time (especially getting to and from the conference location) I always have on a nice pair of comfy shoes.
- Have fun and explore! If your hard work takes you to another city, explore it! Take advantage of every chance you get—My “to do” list for Philly includes seeing the Liberty Bell and trying an authentic Philly Cheese Steak.
As much fun as I have getting away from Omaha, I can’t wait to get back to Bluejay Nation tonight!