It has been three really hectic days for me (which I took as an excuse to procrastinate writing this blog post!) and finally after stealing some “me time”, I’m finally dishing out about my first poster experience, which was actually better than I expected.
After a very hectic first day which I spent running between IDP and fluorescence subgroups and hiding from the unforgiving cold, it was time for me to
slay the monster, present my poster. The first thing I noticed was that I was the only one person presenting any cell biology data; everyone else in my category (IDPs) has worked on modeling/simulation/studies with purified proteins, all of which were very novel concepts for me. Similarly, my research was also something new for people who work on IDPs and it turned out to be much less intimidating that what I expected and I learnt a bit about several new techniques. But the number of posters that was displayed was far more intimidating than what I imagined! It was just so humbling to see that I am just one of the several posters in the biophysical community.
I had a similar experience when I participated in the SRAA poster competition later that night, but because of the really long waiting times I was able to come out of my shell and was able to interact with the other contestants. I realized that irrespective of the science and locations of labs, the lives of the graduate students are similar across the world!
I do have one small compliant though: I really felt bad that I had to miss workshops on communicating science and networking on Sunday because these clashed with my poster timings 😦 . I wish that when they make the schedule for the next meeting they keep graduate students like me in mind who will really benefit from such sessions.
In short, I had a wonderful experience with presenting my poster and in fact all the positive comments gave me a much needed dose of motivation to improve on my work!