Conference Tip for Newbies

from the CHE:

mdwlark: We had a thread a while ago about what we wish we had known when we were new graduates.  I wish I had known what a small world my academic discipline is, that even a vague negative impression or slight misunderstanding could have longstanding repercussions.  I finally went to our really big national convention a few years ago, and discovered everyone who is well published knows everyone else who publishes in our field–throughout the United States.  By first names.  I also failed to take advantage of the wonderful networking opportunities from some heavy weights who reached out to me at the convention.  Dumb dumb dumb.

infopri: Yup, the same is true of my field.  Not only does everyone know everyone else (again, first-name basis), but they often collaborate on various research projects, even when they are separated geographically by hundreds or even thousands of miles.  Even as a first-year doctoral student, I was meeting all the Big Names in our field (that is, the ones who weren’t at my school) at the conferences, and through various research projects, I was also meeting some of the Big Name policy makers down in Washington, DC.  Talk about networking opportunities!  But it also means that no student/candidate/faculty member stays anonymous very long.

“Re: Posting Hall of Fame–2432.” chronicle.com,6 April 2011, www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,30991.2430.html.

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