ASM Conference

So this was my first time going to a conference to present research and to be honest I was really nervous for it. The only presenting I’ve done while at Longwood is in front of my peers at the Fall and Spring showcases. I was worried that it was going to be really formal and that I was going to be really critiqued on both my work and delivery. Luckily the girls that are in my group are all super awesome and they made the 3 hour drive to the conference so much fun. The downside of that was that we all had to wear our nice outfits for the drive since the conference was that afternoon, so we basically got there and had to start setting up our posters right away. I soon realized that we really had nothing to be nervous about. The conference really mimicked how the showcases are back at Longwood, and that the only ones giving presentations in front of everyone were those who were either veterans in their work or students who has spent 2 years on their research. When it came time for all the undergrad students to present, it was really relaxed and we could walk around to each poster and hear what they had to say. I think the only nerve racking part was that we were each assigned two professors that had to listen to our full presentation and then critiqued us on ways to get better. I actually really liked that part because it made me see that others liked our work, but it also helped us see where our flaws were.

Overall I really liked my experience at the ASM conference. I got to hear so many different ideas being presented on topics I probably would have never thought of, and it was interesting to see the issues they were trying to solve. It also made me excited for the future, as I hope to do my own research one day that I could present to others. There was also a round table discussion of different career professionals on the variety of jobs one can go into if they want to pursue microbiology. It was definitely eye opening to see all the different paths that one can take and it made me excited to know I have so many options.

I really hope I get the chance to attend another conference before my time at Longwood comes to an end!

Bianca and I in front of our poster (Fall 2022)