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? Interact consistently at your Internship place. Go say Hello !!

This post is in continuation of —How To Win Scholarships? What do you think about Internships?

I am a big fan of learning from experiences and I never miss a chance to interact with the person who has smooth public skills and loves to share his knowledge. I got this chance of working under the supervision of a senior Ph.D. student who is presently working as a Researcher in Top-Notch Hospital in New York. He was always there to mentor me in that summer internship Thanks to his kind nature and calm attitude whose guidance was a big help in every step from the undergraduate school to become a calm and patient researcher until getting into the Ph.D. position. This first experience of internship taught me various things where an undergraduate student should focus and maximize their potential.

The internship is also the best time to explore a different culture and learn another set of values that will indeed help you to live better in a globalized economy. Having the patience to learn and adapt to the new place helps the person to develop integrity and become emotionally stable.  Familiarising to new cultures and places is something that you cannot learn in school or a book. It only comes through real-life experiences. Don`t be shy in speaking a new language or trying something new in culture.

Most of the scholarship programs or jobs in today’s global world consider a person who has some exposure to working in a multicultural team. It is regarded as a bonus point.

Unfortunately,

Most of the students take this internship period as vacation time to take their time off from their regular college routine to go into another non-productive method. In your graduate curriculum, you might have to do at least two internships and one major dissertation. Even if it’s not the part of your academics, you will have the time to conduct these internships by yourself.

But usually, summers knock in your life with lots of sleep, food, and dreaming of traveling. You might be tired of your university routine.

If you enjoy traveling and food figure out your internship plan long before you have lost the opportunities and deadlines. Internships are the most rewarding time even if you have a million dollar family business. Interns can use this open window to discover the potential of their ideas in the real world. It is the chance to flourish your life tools such as communication, marketing, research, and development.

Being a Biotechnologist, I was trying to work in different areas of biology and technology considering the rapid growth in the use of algorithms and big data in biology domain. I was consistently participating in online symposiums and courses. And I am still pursuing the online courses where I can enhance my new skill set. These online courses are likely to overlap with usable tools and resources to strengthen your comprehensive profile.

There could be two kinds of feelings in this situation, either you are completely ignorant about your internships, or you are up for the new challenge. Choosing later will help you explore your natural talents or passion which can go untouched due to lack of new experiences. Different experience and internships can help to classify your interests greatly. Although everyone has there unique ways to find there strengths and talent, the most effective way is to experience things in your undergraduate school is INTERNSHIP.  Based on your real and diverse internship experiences that can give the in-depth recognization of your likes and dislikes.

interact

The process of reaching a new spot in your career requires patience and consistent drive. If you are finding this at your University, then exams and assignments do not answer all your questions. But, you can find your answers in your experiences and internships.

It is better not to think of any monetary gains from your internships or if you are going to get any quick benefits that will advance your career path. Nothing happens in 6 or 8 weeks. This is the opportunity to use your intelligence and invest your time to know more people and new things. Internships are the free options where you can test and try different areas of work, interact with people that you have never met and you might never meet. So interact as if it’s your last time you are meeting them. Maximize your learning output through these interactions.

Take Away- Nothing physical can come in 6-8 weeks but mountain load of information and learnings can come just by interacting with people with complete attention. 

Cheers

😀