Friday, 22 April 2016

2016 Grad Cohort Workshop

This year, I was privileged to attend the 2016 Grad Cohort organized by the women's arm of Computing Research Association (CRA-W). It was an opportunity for me to meet fellow female graduate students, female members of the academia and female professionals in North America. There were several sessions for first year, second year and third year graduate students with speakers from the industry and academia. This year, over 500 students participated.

I learned a lot from the various workshops including, how I can improve my verbal communication skills and how I can produce better quality research papers for publication. I also learned that PhD holders are relevant to the industry and don't necessarily have to work in academia; I now see a PhD as a back door to academia which I can take advantage of later on if I don't find industry jobs interesting enough. Finally, I learned about the importance of building a professional persona online. The sessions were chaired by top experts with several years of experience.

There was a poster session where I got to present my research and get feedback from industry experts, members of the academia and fellow students. I also had the opportunity of hearing from other students about their research.

Of all the activities and sessions, I enjoyed the individual career advising session the most. I got first hand advise and career pointers from my advisor at the session.

It was a very good experience for me and I am already putting to practice all I learned from the workshop.

I am thankful to the sponsors who made it possible for this event to take place. We were lodged in the best hotel in San Diego and were taken care of the whole time. I am also thankful to the organizers and speakers for taking out time to mentor the next generation of female computer scientists.

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