The School of Computational Science of the University of Catania, in Italy, organise annual short summer courses. This year’s topic was Computational Microbiology and Microbiome-Based Medicine. I chose this course as it not only covered highly relevant topics for my PhD (such as Metatranscriptomics, Bacteria Tracking, Genome Editing, Immune System Analysis, Microbiome Analysis and Reverse Vaccinology) and raised intriguing and complex questions, but was also organised in the beautiful Sicilian island of Lipari. Thanks to the Principal’s Go Abroad fund my dreams come to reality and I bought tickets to Italy. So my objectives for that week were to learn exciting science, productively network, and have as much fun as possible.
I am not advising you on how to learn, but I want to share a few thoughts about networking. This time I followed these obvious “everyone knows, no one does” advises and read beforehand about the presenters and their research. It really helped me to stand out and engage better in conversations. Also, make your LinkedIn profile ready and polished for the time of your scientific or work related travel when you connect with people who could potentially be your future employers. And last but not least,, learn how to present yourself and your research in a short, concise and clear way – without too many technical details but with some fine points that will make you unique and memorable.
And about fun – take it all! Be open: eat local food, make local friends, ask about the local traditions – you will surprise yourself, no matter where you are going!
A few photos below, give no justice to the wonderful Lipari!
Lipari, Marina Corta
My first sicilian coffee with a sweet, sweet cannelloni.
If there is no time for taking notes – take a photo then!
Climb a volcano!