Get your Conference on!
The Reflector has advice for you to get into the meat and potatoes of your degree in the midst of the school-workload blues
Claire Shaw, Contributor
Are you feeling that old dread of school? Feeling as if you might not ever see the light at the end of the semester? Are you losing touch with your purpose for being in school?
Students of Mount Royal, you are not alone! Conferences are a quick fix solution to help curb these doubtful feelings that a lot of students share. And the university has a number of options for conferences that target your degree.
Imagine a place packed with a range of inspiring industry professionals, and passionate educators. A place where there are no midterms, no papers, and zero final exams, regardless of all the amazing learning that will be taking place.
If you are looking to get into the conference game you can find specific conferences on Blackboard, on the mtroyal.ca webpage and on the samru.ca page as well.
MRU Physical Health and Education professor, Laura Ell, has advice for the first time conference goer.
1) Know before you go: often there are attendee and sponsor lists on the conference website so you can do a web search and create a target list of who you want to meet at the event
2) Always be prepared: have business cards stashed in your pocket or conference lanyard
3) Get social: follow twitter hashtags dedicated to your event or Facebook posts to get even more value from the event and it’s just another way to request a few minutes time with a contact on your target list
4) Be positive: have an enthusiast attitude and be open to seeing things from a new perspective
“I personally have had incredibly positive experiences going to conferences over the years, first as a student and now as a professional. I find it helps better understand timely issues and offers a chance to bump elbows with the who’s who of your profession or perhaps even a celebrity or one of your idols,” said Ell.
Current Mount Royal student, Vanessa Beerda shared what she gained from conferences she went to.
“It was good, the content related to what I was learning about in class. I was able to see real life case studies and actually connect faces to names,” said Beerda.
“Sometimes I ask myself why I am in school? What is my future? But you meet all these people who are passionate about what you are doing, and you always come away incredibly inspired,” says Beerda.
Fortunately for Beerda, through connections she made at a conference, she was able to land herself a job at a company of her dreams.
“You go with purpose to meet as many like-minded people as possible and, you just never know where those connections will take you,” shares Beerda.
MRU Students can even apply for funding at the SAMRU office to help with the related conference costs. For more information about applying for funding, inquire at SAMRU.
“SAMRU financial support was easy, through forms they ask you why they should invest in you, they ask you to use a few photos, and how it enhances your education”, says Beerda.
“On top of this, generally there are usually heavily discounted rates for students. Because conferences are expensive, the way to hit up these conferences is while you’re a student is because you get so many student discounts and scholarships”.
Learn and get inspired about the world you are going to jump into, before you are really out there! There is nothing to lose – check out a conference nearest you!