Monthly Archives: February 2015

How to Conference: Tips on Attending Like a Pro

A large part of building your professional CV or resume is showing interest in and an updated awareness of your field. An easy way to create this line on paper and introduce yourself to others in your area of specialty is to attend a conference.

There are all kinds, with topics and themes ranging from the broad to almost ridiculously specific. This, of course, makes it seem overwhelming and frankly, a little tiresome to comb through the various calls for paper to find something that fits your interest, level of specialty or education, and will assist you in making connections or finding jobs. However, there are a few basic tips that can help you narrow the search, feel a bit more comfortable when applying, and get out onto the field.

Right off the bat, never feel that you are too inexperienced or too new to attend a conference. If anything, heading to a conference—even if you’re just there to listen and get to know people—is a great way to gain the experience and confidence needed to walk to the front of a room and just talk. Mostly, because, even if you just go to take everything in, you’ll see it’s not as serious as you feared. Nothing can make you feel better about stage fright than watching a respected scholar mispronounce the word “et cetera.”

And on that note, attend conferences as a master’s student.  This way, when you decide to submit papers as a PhD candidate, you know the general format of the prominent conferences in your field and can prepare accordingly. Some fields are okay with presenting or reading an unfinished paper, others have specific rules and panel formats. If you go to a few ahead of time you’ll feel more comfortable when it’s your turn to apply.

Feeling nervous and want to test run a presentation? Try to find a more informal conference with mainly student participants. These are usually put on by graduate associations for local students, such as Fordham’s GSA Conference, and are broad conferences welcoming papers from across disciplines. Conferences like this can help you get feedback and also show your professors that you are serious about expanding a certain paper or research topic into a solid presentation (future recommendations anyone?).

Go to the same conferences as your professors and advanced PhDs. If you’re feeling uncertain about what conferences to invest in, ask or emulate the professors and older PhDs in your area of specialty. Sometimes the right fit isn’t as obvious as you may think.

Also, don’t neglect more professional conferences if they’re relevant to your field or your career goals. Conferences that are focused on practical application can be an important element of your presenting as a well-rounded job applicant. Finding the right sort of professional conference can be hard but it is well worth it—they’re usually filled with people who have the authority to hire you.

In short, go to conferences! Test run a few as an attendee and then apply to participate. It’s worth the expense and more often than not you’ll have a great time and gain some confidence.


Dewis Shallcross, GSAS ‘14
Administrative Assistant and Events Coordinator


Would you like to be a student contributor? See our upcoming topics schedule and then submit your proposal online!

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Filed under Conference, Graduate Student Association

GSA Second Annual Interdisciplinary Conference: Change and Its Challenges, Saturday February 28

Change is nothing new. Academics and public intellectuals have always struggled with change, examining its nature and effects through the lenses of literature, science, philosophy, theology, sociology, economics, and psychology. These studies have regarded change as a driving force, variously positive and negative, but always present. This conference will explore change as a theme and inspiration of both academic discourse and scientific exploration, from antiquity to the present day and beyond.

Saturday, February 28: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fordham Lincoln Center, Lowenstein Center, 12th Floor Lounge

Reception to follow.

Register here.

Learn about Conference Panel

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Filed under Career Development, Graduate Student Association, Personal Enrichment

Winter Woes…


Rose Hill, Winter 2015

Oh winter; thou art a cold hearted Bee. The months of November through (let’s face it) March, are a rough, particularly if you’re from a state where snow is more a concept than a reality.

As a Floridian, the cold is my nemesis and New York is my battleground.

Now, before you Chicagoans and other Midwesterners get riled up, don’t worry—I know there “ain’t no winter like a Midwest winter.” But as a woman who didn’t even see snow until she was a ‘tween’, I reserve the right to complain about 20˚ days (and to be completely unproductive when stepping outside means facing freezing winds).

However, as we all know, life is cruel and apparently ‘cold’ isn’t a valid absence excuse—a fact which I think we should all reevaluate with our various HR reps. So, here are some productivity (read, leaving the house) tips for those unused to whipping cold winds freezing your features.

Students, you have the best of both words. On one hand, wearing flannel pajamas for the majority of the day can be a cozy reality, and on the other, you often have to move from one building to another multiple times through frozen wind tunnels (a.k.a. quads). Getting out of your warm bed or couch-nest to haul across town to class is the worst. So I recommend the following:

  1. Actually leave the house before dark. Making it to a 6:30 seminar in the freezing dark is about the least appealing thing in the world. Go early, sit in the (usually overwarm) library and do some work while it’s still light. Which brings me to…
  2. Layers. Layers. Layers. Cannot emphasize wearing layers enough. Guess what? That classroom or library is going to be about 80 degrees once the furnaces get up to speed and you are going to be a sweaty mess unless you have a t-shirt under your sweater.
  3. Buy a ceramic coffee cup. This sounds silly, but it’s actually the best thing I ever bought in December. The ceramic gets nice and toasty without burning your hands and it’s not metal so it won’t get too cold if you can’t manage to hold a cup with gloves on (cough*me*cough). Plus, almost every department/office in a school will have water dispensers that have a hot faucet—bring some tea bags or lemon with you so you’ll always have a warm drink.

Basically, I’d hibernate if it was biologically feasible; but since I (grudgingly) need to go outside to make the doughnuts, I guess that I’ll have to brave the weather.

Any tips from seasoned cold-professionals?

Dewis Shallcross, GSAS ‘14
Administrative Assistant and Events Coordinator


Would you like to be a student contributor? See our upcoming topics schedule and then submit your proposal online!

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Filed under Community Enrichment, Personal Enrichment