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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Dear Student Researchers, Now, you have your Chance !!!

The digital platform gives you 100% control to say and publish things loudly without any fear. Do you want tips to develop your digital work? Have you found your research or work interest? It does not matter if you are a first-year undergraduate or about to submit your Ph.D. thesis. There are 4 billion people on the internet, and the number is only going to rise. So, everyone has their share of attention.

In the beginning, students tend either to lose control as they face challenges in the project to move further making them quit before they have started. The interference of these movements and hurdles in your game are the warnings to calm down, take a step back, analyze and solve it. Instead, these hurdles should motivate you to make different moves. Especially, with the availability of the flexible tools which accepts alternative solution freely without any entrance exams or cut off the list.

Learning about digital tools online through various Internet laid the foundations to build my basic digital profile such as website, linkedin profile and a blog. Since I was in the late third year, I created my first blog and tried to involve as many undergraduate students in writing in different domains. The blog was not a success, but I learned many things about blogging, communication, and people management.

The undergraduate school is the perfect time to analyze the stillness between your ideas and execution. You may notice, if you are prepared to hustle and execute consistently, there will be regular and systematic progress in your vision. There is a moment of frustration and stillness, but most of us lack the courage to move into the next phase.

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Let me share an interesting story with you about Foldscope which is a microscope under $1. It was invented by the students and researchers of Stanford University. The first prototype was released back in 2010 and they have planned to distribute at least 1,000,000 foldscopes in the year 2020. So, It took almost 10 years to come at this level with so many resources. The product is incredible and revolutionary but it took a lot of hard work, research, patience, and consistency to achieve this masterpiece.  The moral of the story is that if you have an idea in your undergraduate school that you believe in and that this project will not make you wait for weekends to enjoy your life.

Instead, it will help you forgot the concept of weekends and understand and fall in love with the concept of passion and process more.  

The time cannot be more exciting. The age of fast information, fast communication, and fast processing is already existing with incredible infrastructure. You have got a super mobile phone and fast speed internet which does not leave us with any excuse to share our ideas with billions of people WITH A CLICK.

You have almost 5-6 years of University to understand and practice your skills and craft in different digital platforms to analyze the people response and further expectations. But I am sure that you will succeed and manage to find it out if you are consistent in your efforts.

The way of student life is already changing and the digital research or projects will contribute a big part in student success.  These digital platforms are not just for fitness, music and travel industry. There is a significant need to rave all these platforms with Students research and their philosophies. You have a way to replicate your knowledge in real and virtual life.

Why Create a Personal profile?

The digital profile will be the substitute for your CV or cover letter for your future applications and collaborations all over the world. The presence of the internet is essential to grab all the opportunities. The digital profile is fantastic and is way better than a piece of paper that highlights your grades and a couple of awards. It gives you more room and independence to sell yourself creatively.  It makes you visible to other people who can directly contact you even if you have not sent them your CV which opens opportunities from another way around. The employer or future collaborator have an idea of your vision and creativity from your wide presence on the Internet. If you are contributing the real values and content in the social media and digital platforms related to the subject of your future employer, it helps him to pre-evaluate you which can give you edge over other candidates.

It does not matter; if you enjoy or support the extensive use of social media, it is happening.  Getting and building your digital profile is not easy, but the access to the resources and unlimited free tools can make things happen with hard work, dedication, and mental focus. The primary thing about using a digital platform is content creation which can be done in multiple ways. It is indeed true that the starting point is always confusing. Now here is all the management and smart work lies ahead.

Content creation is easy if you are studying and creating content about the subject that you really like and deeply passionate about. It would be efficient and straightforward if you define a big theme which can be used to create multiple short pieces in the form of words, pictures, and art on different social media platforms.

Choose a theme or subject that you want to talk about and keep it as a seed of your further piece of content. The first thing you should do is create a large piece of content which could be in the form of video, article or podcast to be used as a reference to develop other related content. Writing or recording a detailed piece of content is much easier to accomplish as compared to short and specific content.

Let me give an example

If you are biologist interested in studying plant kingdom. Record or write your understanding about plant kingdom in detail which will subsequently be used to create other pillars of your digital profile. And in initial stages perfection is subjective, focus on the detailed information related to the subject. Once you have built the base of your content, you can try to create pictures or short video content suitable for other digital platforms like Instagram and blogging platforms that have a large population of graduates, master and other tech researchers who will be interested in scientific content.

Furthermore, you can create content for the people who are interested in enhancing their information about plants based on medical properties or geographical regions. The first way is to develop useful microcontent to grab the attention of the people. Microcontent only takes 30 seconds to 1 minute of your selected population in return of helpful information that you give them

Digital Researcher demonstrates the immense potential to challenge the routine of the Universities and Schools. Public opinion about your work will be of utmost importance in the coming days and will produce a more significant number of digital researchers in science which won`t require any green signal from the defined body.

The public will be happy to see the freelancer researchers changing the regular pattern of defined work as many of them are heavily funded with tax payer’s money. But the public is never being informed about the output of their tax money.  The digital world is making the world more transparent which is a big advantage to the independent researchers or freelance researchers.

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

😀