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

Exchange programs or summer/winter schools are practical opportunities to improve your business skills and human relations. Attending these events is the platforms to work on your networking skills, learn about different ways of working and adapting in a fast-changing world. I always try to apply for winter or summer schools to improve my cross-cultural communication and diversify my overall profile in order to know more. It is a chance to reflect on changes, think on your feet and express your ideas in an interdisciplinary group.

In 2015, I grabbed one fully funded opportunity of Indo-German Winter School on water management issues in urban areas in IIT Madras, India. It was an exciting program of 2 weeks that selected 15 students each from both India and Germany.

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After learning from many conferences, workshops and symposiums of while participating in many the lectures and activities, I learned that the happiest and successful person in the future world would be the one who can adapt and adjust quickly with global and multicultural teams.  The person with such an ability will be the natural winner in any group and will have a higher potential to win in any long version game.  And we don`t develop this ability in school or University

The best part of this Indo-German school was that the theme of the school was completed new and was also surprised when I got selected for this program. The broad topic of the school was to discuss sustainable water management in urban areas in an interdisciplinary approach.  But I had the practical experience of working in wastewater treatment, and I thought this program would diversify my knowledge in the subject of water.

In this program, I gained ample knowledge of water management issues and treatment problems in urban and rural societies of India. Further, there were comparative discussions about water issues in both India and Germany to share research and development. Mostly, I was listening about the policies, different systems, stakeholders and economy related to water projects.  I was astonished by the knowledge and leisure I gained in those 15 days which is infinitely different compared to what I had learned in my university or other internships.

The sole purpose of attending this school which was completely unrelated to my academics was to develop the untouched ability to work in a team with a different process of working. The more I attended these events, school, and conferences, I lost all my fear of the opposite party, and I learned to enjoy talking to multiple people and people from different backgrounds.

The diverse and multicultural the group, the bigger the output of the whole session. As a result, I was able to communicate and express my ideas in different domains with competence.

The way to enhance your chances to win scholarships globally is to do things that can enrich your soft skill sets and do things you feel uncomfortable which will ultimately diversify your experiences.

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How to Win Scholarships? Focus on quality of communication and networking

When I say Quality, I refer this term with more clarity. Clear communication with your colleagues, family members or supervisors always leads to a better conclusion. And sometimes these clear communications are hard but necessary.

The communication and networking are indeed the most potent friend of yours which will only nourish with practice. Quality is to be respected, but it is entirely subjective in today`s world. The various components of communication tools allow us to create an emphasis if we make the correct use of them strategically.

My suggestion is straightforward “Quality of communication is important but subjective” therefore speed should be the focus while you are pursuing your Undergraduate or Masters. When we are using digital tools, it is the practice that will improve your art of communication in different social media platforms or other official tools such as Gmail or LinkedIn where you can connect with your future leaders or supervisors easily. Nowadays, the Internet and social media have given attention to each one of us.

Traditional institutes teach students communication in a structured manner which usually won’t synchronize with today’s world. Communication tools are quite flexible, and it can never be practiced when a person is tensed, restricted and is being marked upon his skills. Traditional communication teaching is safe to get a job when they are prepared to connect in alignment with the company vision and mission. When the time comes to relate all this with the current situation in undergraduate school, it is a bit complicated. One cannot depend on the traditional communication strategies or university as it will never teach you about networking or other essential tools required for the real world.

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If you are planning to launch an independent project, then the traditional communication strategies will not work as it does not bring in the personal sense of control or connect you to the target audience which is highly variable. It is neither adaptable to presently available digital platforms.

The present communication platforms demand the greater quantity, depth of the subject and personal sense of involvement. You will need to alter your strategies depending on the tools which may require less quantity but more quality. There is no standard book or practice which must be followed to communicate and make a network.  Communication is a two-way process which will develop automatically based on individual or group of people with whom you want to interact.

It will never become refined and perfect without practice as the market and consumers are constantly changing depending on the overall technology and environment. Understanding consumer behavior in one shot is not an easy task and to understand this process requires a greater quantity of content with depth.

Now, you have so many platforms and devices to form networks and connect with researchers all over the world. If you want to accomplish and win in either academic or non-academic scholarship, you need to understand the importance of both traditional and digital communication.

I learned to connect and partner with fellow students both in University and digital platforms. One of my friends, Tania who was quite popular in social and cultural clubs was aware of the marketing and business tools who introduced me to many young students in University who wanted to explore more in the area of scientific research. I would not have been connected with all these students otherwise. At that time, I was a bit struggling to get the correct idea of scientific writing or communication which is again not taught in the University. So, I used this opportunity of interacting with other students to keep my focus on writing by collaborating with students having different research interests. I had no intentions or goals about the outcome but to follow my steps uniformly to improve my scientific writing. Writing and editing many articles with other students allowed me to refine my work with more precision. The key for you is to be conscious of the resources that you can have or generate in your area.

Further, I explored that undergraduate students have formed the society to promote Undergraduate students work. They have established the journal which is run by undergraduate students for undergraduate students. So, I contacted the team of Journal of undergraduate research at Colorado State University that is managed by only undergraduate students. Working with the different cultural groups in digital platforms gives you more advanced insights from hundreds of new articles and operating principles.

If you are applying for Global Ph.D. scholarship, applications will be pouring from all the over the world which will be highly competitive. Therefore, the network and communication that you have developed in your undergraduate school while participating in internships, conferences, symposiums or publication time will help you to use those skills while competing for international scholarships.

 

How To Win Scholarships? Classify your Interests

Classification is one of the easiest ways to narrow down your research projects or goals. Although it can also be a complex process considering that we have never ending options.  Knowing that you are an 18 or 19-year-old undergraduate student or even if you are a master student, there is no classification which could be complex because you have enough time if you use it wisely.

I am pretty sure that you have a wide range of ideas but are not able to find or choose the best one for you. If the whole thing is a mess, pick one goddamn thing and execute on it by reading, watching or practicing the thing with the best available resources. This will help you to identify your likes and dislikes appropriately.

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Let`s talk about academics either scientific or non-scientific.

You can classify your interests by keeping yourself updated with the scientific and social development projects that you can find in excess in various digital platforms completely free. Keeping an eye on incoming funded projects in your university could lead you to follow the idea in detail by discussing the possibilities with the supervisor or leader of the project. This information can be attained easily from your administration department or webpage of the department.

Since you have spent significant hours in reading and listening to the stuff that you think you might like, try to choose your much-loved topics which should be broad enough rather than specific for ex: food, energy, management, family or transportation. Selecting a problem right now does not mean that you will work or conduct research in this area for your next 20 years.

The next step should be finding your potential supervisor or laboratory where you can learn the process of working in a laboratory. Mentors and senior students will help you define your ideas into experiments or essential objectives.  Looking for a supervisor in a department you are studying is the best place to start as you have many chances to interact with your professors during your day to day premises.

You can also contact the possible supervisors via email, and I tell you that most of them will happily attend you and listen to your proposal especially if you are from the same University.  But make sure that you have conducted an in-depth study of your proposition. The whole talk will be more productive if you are aware of the supervisor work and how you are going to link prospects in his/her team. And even if you don’t have any planned ideas, you can always propose your curiosity to join the team. This is where you sow the seed of your project

As Tibetan Buddhist Master Chogyam said, “ There is no such thing as talent, only awareness” if you have developed the habit of being aware and reading, you will always be driven to work while traveling in trains or any possible free time slots to increase the maximum output with maximum joy. The undergraduate years are indeed critical, and it will yield positive results if you invest your time strategically and try to maximize the output.

There are other university proposed courses or events such as term paper, internships or secondary research project which are the golden opportunities to design your project and improvise on skills where you are lacking.  The best strategy will be to work in 4 different projects or different disciplines to explore maximum domains of research in your undergraduate years.

How to Win Scholarship? Attend Conferences 1.1

It was 2013 just in the middle of the 2nd year of undergraduate school when I attended my first International conference. In my last post, I shared the importance of attending conferences How to Win Scholarships? Attend Conferences 1.

In this, I am gonna tell you my personal experience and impression of attending the international conference in Tiruvannamalai in the southern state India, Tamil Nadu.

There is no doubt that our scientific reach has become global and effortlessly collaborative. The community based scientific events such as conferences, talks, workshops or symposiums bring all the stakeholders working in research and development together to explore new dimensions of a specific research theme and strengthen the future outcomes. Events like this, familiarize you to the advancements in the technology and research that is happening around the world. The exciting thing is that the frequency of conferences has increased and are being organized globally across all areas. The group scientific meeting is an excellent place to soak yourself an enormous amount of information and knowledge. In International Conferences, there are researchers from diverse countries and culture who are discussing one topic in an interdisciplinary approach.

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These events have been used for a long time to honor the renowned researchers and promote new ideas and new questions to young and aspiring researchers. It gives you the full window to communicate your science and maximize your networking with the renowned researchers.

Sometimes, it is essential to break the routine and try to do a different activity which is equally productive such as attending these events which also offers incredible food. I must tell you I have never been disappointed with the food and accommodation in all the conferences that I have attended in India.

For those who are stuck in their research or seeking new direction to connect their ideas, scientific meetings are the operative stage. The use of this stage to ask the right questions with a specific intention can nourish and embrace your work. These activities trigger and raise your sharpness or attitude of seeing a thing from a different angle which can work wonders in a research project either academic or industrial.  You learn to interpret your work more profoundly and link their objectives with your overall idea.

It is useful to synchronize your research objectives competently and effectually with the current advances in technology to see the potential impact of your research on human welfare. The real existence of any research output or product depends on the overall strategy of communicating the finding and conclusions with the scientific network. Attending these events are one time shot to meet your potential mentor that can take your career to the next level. It plays a very fundamental role and is indeed critical for the smooth execution and movement of your career curve.

I was fuelled up since the beginning of the conference and attacking any chance to indulge with prominent guest speakers or group discussions. Of a relevance, I remember I could steal a few minutes of one conversation with a renowned scientist aka professor who is now presently working with the US army.  My purpose in this conversation was to get clarity about the subject. The most significant component of scientific progress in an individual journey to learn and unlearn when needed.

Conferences are not merely a platform to present your research; it helps you to convert your networks to sustainable relationships that can recommend you some scholarships or suitable opportunities. Furthermore, I was fortunate enough to meet a few more scientists with whom I inquired for the possibility of short-term research stay or internships. The first experience of my conference was fruitful and full of new skills which pushed me to characterize my research strategy and implement the suggestions that I have received.

My experience was unusual as this act of meeting and greeting everyone in the hall was essential for me to look at things differently. For most of the students in University, there creativity and ideas are usually crushed by the demands of the system and society. But you need to understand the concepts requires input and nourishment in many ways; otherwise, it will only exist in the past but never live the present.

Getting exposure to these events will help you to overcome fears and doubts related to research and development.

It is a complete win situation.

How to Win Scholarships? Attend Conferences 1

Conferences are one of the best platforms to represent and express your ideas to a diverse community. In my last post, I shared the importance of sharing your ideas within your small group, friends or community where you are regularly involved in certain activities as it builds your communication and networking skills significantly. Once you have learned to share your ideas, at a certain point during work or research in University, it is beneficial to present the data in a conference or seminar where you meet like-minded researchers and students with whom you can collaborate or learn different aspects of the project. And there are ample opportunities at national and international level for students to present their work either academic, industrial or non-academic. Participation in these multidisciplinary events improves your public speaking and networking skills. Today more than ever, industries and investors are attending these events mostly who are interested in young people vision with excellent communication skills. Communicating and expressing your ideas well will set you apart in every stage.

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I found one such International conference in Energy and Environment which was the next stepping stone towards in-depth research, improvising speaking and networking skills. In addition to that participating in events represents a good accomplishment and achievement in your CV.   My supervisor was enthusiastic about the conference and asked me to prepare the first draft of the paper.  I was keen to learn two new things; scientific writing and speaking in front of eminent scientists and researchers. Of course, more efforts will be required for this challenge, and at the end of the day, it ensures your satisfaction with research. But you will have to prepare your mind for all the reactions and recommendation that you will receive at the conference. Either positive or negative.

Many believe that undergraduate school is the end and expects everything to go smoothly within the constructed structure of the college. There is limited evidence stating that everything is happy to go lucky after undergraduate years. Only your response or reactions towards difficult situations define your career path.

It might be a little tricky to manage all these activities together which require routine and repetitive actions. It is your responsibility to take these repetitive actions consciously. When the actions are unconscious and uncreative, then the output of work downgrade slowly and ultimately die. It will become the same as the giving exams and completing assignments which is dull and boring after a small period. If you are considering a job or a review with a vision and finishing it with full conscious, it will yield into something productive. But if you are mugging or copying the assignment, then it won`t result in something meaningful.

Consider your project as a mission where every small act is a ritual. The project is productive and meaningful if one engages in the new learning consciously and wholeheartedly. It is wise to know that the failure rate of starting something independently is quite high and happen often. If you don`t believe this, then take any case study of successful people in any field.

I realized this when I had to prepare the manuscript for my conference presentation where I had no escape. The thought of escaping the project will take away the responsibility along with your progress. The student working in an independent project is not solely linked with personal development but also advanced social development.  This demonstrates a sense of responsibility and leadership that directs you towards a better path.

Later, while trying to accomplish the draft manuscript for the conference, I found myself struggling and losing patience. But after rewriting the draft many times and discussing it with my supervisor, an acceptable paper was prepared to be sent.

I was happy because it gave a sense of satisfaction as finally, my efforts were giving some results after one year. I was excited to present my experiments to the scientific community which could bring value to the science and enhances my personal experience of public speaking. The conference was being organized in Tiruvannamalai which have extreme cultural and religious significance in India.

Stay tuned for the next blog where I will share the detailed experience of my FIRST CONFERENCE 

 

How to win Scholarships?

The next series of posts are needed because of lots of young people have been asking repetitive questions related to studying abroad and winning scholarships. Especially for students from low-income countries or who wants to win scholarships to keep their financial status better while they are studying and living abroad. Chances are if you are reading this blog, you want to study abroad and live a unique experience.

This section of the blog is written to guide undergraduate and Master`s students to develop there academic and non-academic profile which can help them to win International Scholarships and work abroad. Students always have different questions and doubts about the essential requirements to win scholarship and funding at the national or international level. Although there are many blogs and information available on the internet along with certain personal experiences.

As no such detailed experience is available, so I am sharing my journey with unusual and exciting experiences, traveling and networking. Once you have read this series, you can use this unique and untapped strategy as a reference or template to develop your unique ideas.

It took me a lot of hit and trials to design my own toolbox to learn both within and outside the framework of the University. Both play an essential role especially if you want to stay in academics and wants to win the scholarship. But once I figured out the potential opportunities that we have today is exponential.

Nobody in the past – your parents, your elder siblings or your grandparents had these opportunities. By the end of my Undergraduate school, I had already won two short scholarships, obtained 4 good recommendation letters and immense experience in both academic and non-academic fields.

What was the golden rule behind this efficiency? Consistent networking and communication.

 

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And it is time to accept the truth that simply scoring the top grades won`t win you an International scholarship. Therefore, when you prepare for the final task to apply for scholarships, it will be tiring to prepare for completely new things in quick time.  In contrast, I adopted and worked on the skills by spending time in various events and volunteering where I could learn more by eliminating the excess pressure in Undergraduate school.

After completing my graduate school, I got won two International scholarships to conduct research in Spain and then in Canada. A lot of undergraduate students started texting me to know the secret. Fascinated to realize, I have jotted down some points that I had done differently made me realize that I should share these tips with future undergraduate kids. So, I thought writing this new series of blogs which could be the easiest way to share these untapped strategies.

 

It will discuss the simple yet effective ways to build your overall profile and develop networking skills while you are studying in School or University. The detailed tips and tools will help students, especially if you are not from a top-tier college or have poor grades in their previous semesters. However, the student needs to show determination and constant hunger to look for more clarity in this experiential journey. Now, you have multiple ways to improvise your profile to compete in both academic and non-academic industries

In the upcoming blogs, you will find the detailed experiences of undergraduate school, my internships, case studies fellowships, summer schools, and networking that I could share in words.

Stay Tuned…

 

Digital- Freelance Researchers?

Researchers and PhD students should take the benefit of new emerging digital market which is also inclined with commercial perks at independent level. You have something more to take and play individually without being in the system.

Its not even about discussion anymore “if the digital education is future” because it has already become a established industry which is going to become giant or it will be  EVERYTHING in  future. Even the traditional education industry is moving slowly to provide there education services on digital platforms like COURSERA and it will be wise enough for all the professors and young aspiring researchers to shift to digital platforms to become a freelance researcher and consultant to private institutes and laboratories. It will open the doors for every single stakeholder to collaborate and do something more with people all around the world as it does not require any real presence which saves a lot of resources and need of infrastructure for everyone.

Digital PhD students can also raise funding for there ideas and projects through donors, investors and even  citizens you are genuinely interested in that project. Not just investment, digital presence can also help you to collaborate with other PhD students conveniently- Digital Researchers and there presence in internet is going to be a one big Digital Research Institute.

Did you notice that there is constant rise in various start ups in different domains and aspects of biotechnology such as bioenergy, compounds and diseases. All these start up provide different services and they would appreciate the digital researcher input in collaborating and creating useful research based content for these start ups.

Digital world has changed the concept of work and management literally in all sectors. The change in various technologies in the area of biology that produces a large amount of data to be treated using coding platforms (R or Python) opens the new field for biologist to collaborate with coding people.

 

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What are the perks of being a Digital Researcher?

  1. You can work from anywhere around the world and conduct your own research, initially you will have to start with the limited resources you have i.e, Internet and millions of gigabyte of data available in google but gradually you can generate  grants.  PhD students need to understand there importance and need of joining the digital world and start managing the content in the internet that is available for free.
  2. You can design your class as you want- You have complete freedom to present and edit your content the way you want. There is no time restriction or timeline. Once you have created (which can be edited anytime), it is created for forever. You don`t have to spend energy to create and present the same data repeatedly.
  3. You can have million students- Yes, its true that you can teach more than million and even billion students at a time through digital platforms.  You will never be able to achieve this milestone, by being a professor in a University or Institute.

 

Traditional Education will not die just like RADIO and TELEVISION but DIGTAL EDUCATION will rise and outshine the traditional education system.

Its the Future