My First Conference

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I was fortunate enough to be awarded some money to help me to get to a conference that I was very eager to attend – as it perfectly summarised everything I had been studying for the last 4 years – Translational Medicine. I was then lucky enough to secure a place at an additional conference slightly further away from Amsterdam, in the Hague. I used planes, a boat and a couple of trains to manoeuvre my way to the country and around it, on a sort of conference tour. The first one I arrived at, I was terrified as I have never done anything like this! I was desperately trying to work out what the dress code would be, where I would sit, who would I be talking to, and trying to remember the names of the guest speakers.  All I can say is – I think I was worried over nothing, it was seamless from beginning to end – two days of discussion and cutting edge research peaked my academic interest. As my father is diabetic, I was attending a conference on new research in the field and also general care options that I was unaware of. The outlook for diabetes research seemed very promising and I have followed some of the researchers and companies online to try and keep up with the outlook of the trials. Before I left for the conference, I read a couple of the papers I knew were the backbone to some of the trials that were being discussed. Reluctantly, I did something I said I wasn’t going to do before I went ….I asked a question! Flashbacks of the fear of “asking stupid questions” from my childhood came over me, but I persevered and the question was well received!  Driven from my new-found academic confidence, I eagerly travelled to the following conference a couple of days later, taking on board the beautiful scenery that the Netherlands had to offer en-route. The main reason I had travelled to the Netherlands was to attend this conference that had been mentioned by a lecturer of mine earlier in the year, as it acts as a culmination between industry, academic researchers, teachers, doctors and any interested parties involved in the field. This makes it a very worthy 3-day conference to attend, as it encompasses all aspects of the field which are so critical to making general medicine effective. It did not disappoint, and I was able to understand most of the lectures and discussions as they had been discussed throughout my 4 year degree. On top of all this I made one or two contacts in industry that have placements for recent graduates in various countries Europe, which I hope to follow up after completing my Masters degree. All in all – a very enjoyable experience and now I know there is nothing to be scared of, so I hope to attend more in the future!

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