The importance of attending subject-specific workshops or conferences

I have already mentioned the importance of national and international symposiums and seminars that bring people from a different background that share similar objectives and challenges in solving the common problems.

Importance of Workshops, Symposiums and networking events in Graduate Student Life?

Let us focus on the importance of subject-specific or small scale workshops which brings in a number of people working on a rising or new subject in an interdisciplinary approach.  At the beginning of something new, it always starts with a small scale workshop which a student can only identify if he is consistent and up to date in terms of information and activities happening both online and offline about the subject area.

Attending small workshops or subject-oriented programs defines your maturity level to understand the subject in detail. This is one of the major shift that can happen in your student life either academic or non-academic. I always bring a small note about the Internet which has created a huge change in every single individual life either in the commerce sector, fitness sector and it is already bringing a big change in the student or independent academic researcher life.

Through small scale workshops, a lot of conversations and ideas can happen around the meetings. The primary aim of the small workshops or subject-oriented workshop is to derive the maximum benefit from the debate and discussions on the subject to find the directed solutions and new insights. The workshop theme usually solves the same problem in different geographical communities.

My supervisor in Spain was quite an active and smooth operative person who helped me out in all the paperwork while I was completing my administrative work in Portugal to get the work permit of Spain. In the meantime, she also created a space for me in an International Workshop in Croatia even before I got officially enrolled in the program. This workshop was the part of the massive program related to European rivers and water-related issues which helped me a lot to prepare myself mentally.

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Pic- DNAqua-Net, EU Cost Action

I arrived in Croatia in the month of November, and it was freezing out there. I had the brief idea about workshop theme and I was incredibly happy and overwhelmed because of the countries and new experiences.

Well,

Most of us are aware that we are living in a world of supercomputers and artificial intelligence, but I was not conscious about it until I attended the workshop about metabarcoding and diatoms. It was the moment I realized that artificial intelligence and computers are indeed hitting all the subjects equally. Moreover, this workshop introduced me to questions like the use of algorithms and machine learning to study biological data and biodiversity of microbes. Supercomputers, biological barcodes, and algorithms are the biggest biological shift we will ever live in the society. It has become practical and efficient to change the fundamentals of everything in the ecosystem. The combined technology of barcoding and supercomputers can tag every single microbe and living life on the planet earth. But for the moment, this program was focused on just DIATOMS and RIVER ECOLOGY.

Many researchers and Ph.D. students came across all Europe who were presenting their progress in the use of powerful computers and algorithms to treat biological data. It was not new, but the speed of growth in this field was astonishing because of fast development in computer processing power.   It is not so simple, but various researchers have identified the problems and the plausible computerized solutions which are way cheaper and faster than traditional methods to study the ecology of rivers.

It is not that these computers will replace all the bioscience research but can speed up the specific process such as classification of species or genes using defined algorithms.

Now here is when I learned a valuable lesson, I noticed that there were nearly 10 Ph.D. students are trying to mimic the use of a microscope. Further, when I explored this subject genuinely made me realized it could make the freelance Research possible with an economic upside for Ph.D. researchers especially that who enjoy algorithms and tech-based work. It will be beneficial to the biology students to learn or expose themselves to algorithms and a coding language.

In the workshop, there were people from the laboratory in France where I had to visit for the training and understand the new technologies that they have been implementing in studying the ecology of rivers. So, my supervisor introduced me to all of them.

Within the span of 2 days of this workshop, there was a macro change in my perspective and strategy towards science and life. Taking a step, attending a small scale workshop can load with information which indeed takes some time to out the knowledge in use in real time will be a serious help. I think the small scale workshops have the power to fill up the missing information and understand the evolution of the subject from others perspective as well. And, I have never been so grateful after meeting incredible researchers and students around the world.

Workshops are the best annual meetings designed to facilitate the interaction between supervisors and students to enable future collaborations between different groups in the same sector. It will give the strong foundation that has huge upside at all levels.

 

 

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How to Win Scholarships? Consistent Interaction with scientists, investors or leaders.

In my last blog, I shared the importance of networking in University and high school to build your diverse networks that have Huge impact in your profile to Win INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS.

Today, I am going to share one of the important networks that I made in my University time which has helped me in every step of the journey to winning International Scholarships.

Here is the link

https://talkwithnik.com/2019/05/09/how-to-win-scholarships-work-on-your-networking/

Continuing the Journey after the director of the department introduced me to one of the Young Scientist working in the area of Algae Biotechnology.

When I first met the scientist, I didn’t have any clear idea about what I am going to say. So, I explained to her my broad interests and shared the past research projects that I had done in High school. She said that her funding is for a specific project but, I will get to learn everything new. Getting a chance to be a part authentic laboratory is an excellent opportunity. I got introduced to various projects about industrial applications of algae which have now booming industry.  I was ecstatic. My supervisor introduced me to a Ph.D. student who was my instructor in the laboratory. It was just six months past of my 1st year of undergraduate school, and I have already landed an excellent place to work.

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Some of you might call it luck, but It was the constant communication with seniors, professors, and director of the department that led me to this lab. Reaching out all the possible options will increase your overall value and chances of being a part of something bigger than you, and as a result, you will receive far more diverse knowledge than other students. To extract the maximum juice from your university life, you need to acquire more non-cognitive skills in addition to cognitive skills.

The way you interact with all the team members in the laboratory is the way your learning ability and career curve will progress. Since the beginning, I had great relationships with all the members and Ph.D. student who was my guide in the laboratory. She gave me the related reading material to know about the become project in detail. Though I knew that reading hardcore scientific articles will be difficult at that time, but I continued the process to know the right way to develop my scientific reading and writing skills. It was my responsibility to take the personal initiatives by going through various online blogs and magazines which are the best source of interdisciplinary information in any subject which was indeed useful to know more about the renewable energy market and research. In the next few weeks, I started learning new techniques like to grow algae and make biofuels from them. Taking a course which is opposite to regular customs of the university such as exams and assignments will expose you to brilliant ideas and inspire you to think differently.

Ph.D. and other senior students are aware of their responsibilities and daily tasks.  It is an official program where faculty, department and other team members regularly interact to keep track of every aspect of an individual project. The things will be different for an undergraduate student but if the student makes the excellent use of the opportunity both in lab and bench can turn out to be the most fulfilling experience. Students who work in their undergraduate school either scientific or non-scientific by learning new workflows, tools, processing data and formulating further questions.

For much of your school and university life, you are trained to be a right part of the system which is essential for law and order of the society. But if you want to think beyond this single and defined strategy. One must adapt to the change with technology and market to attain a more diverse experience. Undergraduate school is the best time to know if you like the idea of research or if it meets the requirement of your career curve. Getting into the laboratory or even in regular contact with one supervisor working on a secondary research project gives you a broader idea of the scientific world. The working experience in a laboratory or field will teach you additional vital skills that can be incorporated easily in other domains of work such as time and project management. A biologist will experiment either in a laboratory or environment whereas a business student can research the specific market or clients.

One should adapt to use bold strategies in undergraduate school as it expands the profile in many ways which shows the potential of the student. Most of the students have assumed that securing good marks will make them achieve the fulfilling experience or dream project which is the tragic way. Instead, they should expand there horizon by learning from the experience of your supervisors or seniors. One way to do this is to communicate frequently with your supervisor and next immediate senior about your doubts and ideas through email, WhatsApp or any other medium which is acceptable by both parties. Have the presence of mind while communicating with your colleagues. What makes your undergraduate successful is not the efficient completion of monotonous college routine which million other students are doing around the world. But it is the diversity and richness of your experiences that make you unique.

Working with a collaborative mindset increases the efficiency of research in the workplace; therefore, sharing ideas with colleagues and supervisor will bring out the maximum output for the team. It is critical for personal and group success in science or any other venture as it increases both individual and group participation. Furthermore, with positive guidance from your supervisor and team members can strengthen your ideas. It is important to coordinate your ideas between two or more people to achieve the final purpose.

Next blog will be focused on Ideas and expressing your ideas without fear…

Stay tuned 😉