What is it like presenting at a Conference?

February 19, 2019
Brandon Tran ’19 Biology Major
  • Brandon Tran '19, Biology Major

Presenting at a conference seems nerve-racking to many, and it is rightfully so. Once you get past the idea that presenting is scary it is actually very fun. Presenting work that you have spent time on, whether that be days, weeks, or months– is very fulfilling. It’s exciting to be able to stand in front of your work and to explain to people something that you have probably spent doing mostly alone, with the guidance of your supervisor of course. 

I had the opportunity to present at a national conference as well as a local conference. I presented my research on the “Pilot Implementation of a Cell-Culture Based Laboratory Module at a Liberal Arts PUI”.  This research took me to William Patterson University as well as to San Diego, California. Personally, presenting my research was not nerve-racking, but a very fun experience. I accepted the fact that many people I would see may have an idea on the topics which I was discussing and that helped me become a better presenter/explainer. I practiced multiple times before my first presentation and that also helped me adjust and formulate the flow that I wanted to convey my research.  

At both conferences, I presented in the style of a poster and had my information right behind me. The guidance of having a poster was very helpful as it helped the thought process of trying to explain my research and its significance. An objective to have while presenting is to explain to not only explain to the audience the basis and results of your research, but to also convey why your research is of any value to the scientific community. I had the job of conveying the importance of sophomore-level biology majors understanding the basic concepts introduced in Biology I and II which were further elaborated on in Cell & Molecular Biology.  

These experiences were very helpful in my ability to network and connect with other science majors as well as with professionals within the scientific community. Going to a conference and performing some type of research is important during your undergraduate education especially if your academic career includes or expects graduate education as it sets you apart from everyone else. Experience is key to any potential job or interview that may occur during both your academic and professional career(s).