Augustana Observer

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Augustana Observer

    2015 Undergraduate DePauw Honors Conference with Katie Canning

    I wanted to write one last blog about my overall experience at the conference and why I think it is so extremely important that more Augustana students attend events like this.
    The final speech:
    I headed this portion of my blog the final speech because I was blown away by Dr. Aaron Anderson’s presentation. I will admit that sometimes professors who present research do so in the most mundane way. All students know exactly what I am talking about. But, believe me, Anderson was phenomenal. I learned so much from him in only one hour.
    Anderson teaches in the schools of business, medicine, and theatre at Virginia Commonwealth University. Yes, I am aware that those are three completely different areas of discipline, but this guy literally does it all, which is why he has so much unique and insightful knowledge to share. The reason why I loved his presentation and would sit through it over and over again is because it was relatable. He spoke about how to best market yourself after one graduates. I have heard speeches about this topic area many times. Yet, his was different and here is why.
    1. “T”-Anderson said that one should market him or herself in what he calls “T” shaped skills. This means one should show off his or her expertise in one area and be able to apply that expertise to other spaces. Basically, he feels people should be a jack of all trades but master at one.
    2. Think wider-He mentions that in order to get a job, one can’t solely rely on the traditional job market. A student may have to venture out and become an entrepreneur, which may be scary, but could be worth the risk in the end.
    3. Floating is ok- The best thing about his presentation was his assertion to not be overly panicked if you do not have a job lined up after graduation. After graduating, he said that it may take a year or two for people to truly figure out what they want to do in life.
    His third point hit home for me because I have been seeing a lot of posts from Augustana students on Facebook about either their excitement of getting into graduate school or their public dismay of not having any job or direction after graduation.
    I wish all of my Augustana peers could have seen Anderson speak. I would have to say that his speech was the highlight of the conference for me.
    Below is a picture of Anderson expressing the importance of “thinking wide” or outside the traditional job market, in order to find success.
    Displaying photo.JPG
    My takeaways in a nutshell:
    2. Be open to new research or ideas.
    3. Floating is perfectly acceptable.
    4. Research and publication is a lengthy process.
    5. Sharing ideas through presentation leads to greater knowledge and more opportunities for further research.
    I feel like I don’t really have to do much explaining with the above five. They are simplistic points that I have learned the past two days. And, without this conference, I don’t know if I would have ever learned or experienced a few of them.
    Why more Augustana students should attend conferences in their areas of study:
    1. Again, making connections that could help get you a job.
    2. Meet people outside of the “Augie bubble.”
    3. One is able to practice presentation skills.
    4. Nice addition to a resume.
    5. One is able to gain new insight on trending topics.
    6. Interacting and connection making is fun!
    All in all, I had a great time at the conference, and I hope to attend more conferences like the one at DePauw in the future. I am not saying that Augustana students should apply for the DePauw conference only. I am merely advocating on the behalf of all academic conferences because they are worth one’s time and efforts by far.
    This is a written account by Augustana junior multimedia journalism and communication studies major Katie Canning as she takes us on her journey of navigating an undergraduate honors conference at DePauw University.

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    2015 Undergraduate DePauw Honors Conference with Katie Canning