Skills that you can develop in your Research Visit or Internships- Reflections on the Visit of Thonon Les Bains, France

International research visits, internships or exchange programs and collaboration across national boundaries bring your research efforts to the next level and to the broader public which helps in better promotion or marketing. Some students asked me the ways to maximize the overall output of there internships or research visits in there undergraduate, Masters even Ph.D. school.

  1. Organize social meetups- The possible idea of organizing and meeting people in your internships in both formal and informal ways is quite similar to the way you meet people in any house parties or sports events discussing the love of sports and food. Also, you can always similar meeting in various digital tools such as google hangouts where you can organize a conference to the meeting call to discuss your potential project or put any of your query in the related fields. I recently started working with a non-profit organization in Canada which that organizes the social meet up using google hangouts to discuss the progress of the team in different domains which is indeed productive. As you get to engage with students working in the areas of a client meeting, organizing conferences or big events, expanding the team through collaboration with potential members.
  2. Try to document your internship work or idea in words or video authentically while keeping its originality as intact as possible.  Keep your content simple and user-friendly just like you enjoy user-friendly mobile apps. The content in your online platforms should describe the real which comes only if you have strong interpersonal communication skills. It is indeed an essential tool to organize different sort of social hangouts, which will keep the communication flowing in between the members. So, I always put forward my ideas with the potential person/s who is interested and wants to listen to your ideas.  Small things that have made the macro change in your project which could be a beginning of social media services such as a blog or youtube channel, creating new networks in linkedin and so on which can lead to a social hangout between the like-minded group.  Organizing and executing your internship or research visit in this manner which develops multiple skills such as the ability to collaborate and work in a team with the multicultural group and adapting to changing tools.
  3. Being an enthusiast student, I always have the opportunity to work on my interpersonal communication skills while working in different teams through internships, research visits, and conferences. In January 2018, I stayed in an institute in Thonon Les Bains which is in the north of Europe and is usually freezing in the month of January where the temperature can drop up to -15 C. The lab was just next to the massive lake known as Lac Leman from the French border and Lake Geneva Given from the  Swiss border. You can easily reach to most captivating cities of Switzerland- Lausanne, and Geneva by boat or an hour drive. It is a bit expensive to travel in Switzerland when you are living with a Spanish student scholarship. However, I managed to go to many places in France and Switzerland. I met my supervisor there, who introduced me to the lab members and current research going on in the department. Over the next 2.5 months, I worked alongside different Ph.D. students and technicians sharing the same house which was opposite to the workplace and the incredible Lake Leman. These international swings will break down your shyness and other traits that create a barrier for you, and further enhancing your confidence level to add more positive contributions to the team. Getting hands-on experience in an International organization can help you integrate into multicultural groups support you to go a long way towards global research and management teams. Therefore, Working in a multicultural team is an honor where you get to share different culture, cuisine, and stories. The purpose of the visit was to conduct experiments with the environmental samples and learn bioinformatics flow.  Learning algorithms to treat and analyze the big datasets is the base of future academic and industrial projects. If you learn to manage and handle big datasets, then you have already opened many doors for yourself.  This opportunity was the stepping stone to expand my limited knowledge of algorithms and possible uses of machine learning in biology. My main task was to prepare all the environmental samples for DNA sequencing that had to be sent to another laboratory for further processing and generate raw (unprocessed) computerized DNA data.

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Thonon Les Bains

4. I had the perfect and new challenges which ultimately gave me the interesting output for my knowledge base. Other than that, there are few moments especially when you are traveling in a strange country where people speak a language that is completely strange to you. The first few days were challenging but with passing days and changing climate; I was able to connect and make good relationships with all the colleagues and researchers. These opportunities give you the chance to have detailed stories which build the missing pillars in your journey either academic or non-academic. All these networking and learning events in the student journey are the fundamental blueprint which should be followed religiously i.e., to enjoy the process and work on networking thoroughly.

Think about your student life as the huge pillar formed of conversation and meetings either personal or professional which creates the base of your future projects in terms of collaboration and recommendations.

These strategies come along with certain emotions based on your experiences and what you have learned from it. It will happen like a rollercoaster ride if you believe in your projects and trying to figure out the ways to execute in million possible ways. However, I believe that every experience will be uplifting and rewarding in the later stages.

Maybe you can make 100 networks in 2019, Maybe 50 or Maybe you can make 1  Right now. Send that email.

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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.

 

 

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.

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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

😀

 

How To Win Scholarships? What do you think about Internships?

Internships are the landmarks that enrich your skills either you are in your graduate or undergraduate school.

I am pretty sure that most of the students have watched and inspired by the movies “The Pursuit of Happiness” and “The Internship.” If not, you should watch it. It shows the utmost importance of internship and shows how the lead actors landed the dream jobs after a six-month internship. Is it possible for all the students who apply or work as an intern?

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It is a hard call. As some of you might like the internship or could end the other way around. But, if you are ready to enjoy the process of hurdles and struggles without complaining just the way Will Smith did in Pursuit of Happiness. It gives you to the opening to diversify your research interests and know the real work culture either in the laboratory or business world. Please understand that it is the opportunity to maximize your network and build professional and sustainable relationships in addition to learning skills. Most of the experiment or tasks that you need to get those university credits are attainable in 4-5 hours of a day. Thus, it leaves you with another five golden hours which should be used only for networking and building relationships. Please define the specific goals that you want to achieve in the particular internship period. Acting on these small goals will make you realize your real desires or preferences and further helping you to eliminate the things that you don’t want to do.

There is a possibility that the tools or skills that you learned will change in the future, but the relationship that you made will survive for life. Even if there is one person in the whole laboratory that gives you the positivity and good vibes, connect with that person immediately. Understanding networking and work culture of a place is the most invaluable skill that can be used globally in any domain of your life either research, management, grants application or administration work. There is no better way to improves your interpersonal skills than to interact in your internship placement.

Once you have adapted and build your professional relationship nicely, you will be surprised at how your work turns out to be playful and fast. I was fortunate enough to meet incredible people in my internships.

Stay tuned for more details 😉 Its gonna get more interesting

 

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? Maximize your networking in University years

Recent reports on Global employment University survey concluded that significant employers are giving a lower value to the degree classification on there CVs. Usually, students are actively involved in projects or extracurricular programs that align with there studies which enhance there working experience as compared to other competitors.

Most of the undergraduate students do not focus on a skill such as innovation, leadership, networking, and design which complements there overall profile in both academics and corporate careers. Continuous efforts in these areas will help you to raise your social and environmental consciousness. And most of the undergraduate students are aware that these skills are of utmost importance but does not mean that they are devoting the required time to develop these skills.

It is quite similar to the journey of the fit body which comes with strict nutrition, sleep and exercise patterns.

Your networking skills in undergraduate school can help you envision your plans and provide you all the critical resources and information. It requires extensive efforts in addition to your daily university routine.

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Start by interacting with like-minded colleagues in University either in social, sports, literature or cultural clubs, just like you are learning to use new software. Building your networking can lead you to your new project which is much like any fitness goals. The return on investment depends on your day to day activities which is the outcome of your practice and hard work.

While spending extra hours in cultivating sustainable networks, independent projects or decision will progress over time not overnight. You need to thoroughly enjoy the process of rejections and acceptance which are the main ingredients in any journey. The roots of your strong foundation depended on the diverse experiences and planned the execution of your University years. It will highlight your life with necessary lessons which are mostly taken from the failures. Further trying new ideas and documenting your research experience can raise many questions that require your seeking attitude. Without seeking mind, one can lose the chance to explore the hidden strengths and talent.