In 2014 we ran our conference funding for Early Career Researchers scheme for the first time. In this series of posts, some of the winners report from the conferences they attended with our support.
By Fouzia Choudry
I attended the 3rd Postgraduate Research Student Conference at Staffordshire University on Monday 13th July 2015 and presented a paper titled: Role Identities of Female ESOL Learners: Challenges, Complexities and Experiences to Career Progression and Paid Employment.
I was first to present, which made me feel nervous. I had prepared a short presentation so I had more time for Q&A and feedback. The questions asked at the end of the presentation were very useful and enabled me to reflect. There were suggestions of various literature to read and how to change my sample. Some to which I agreed and some I didn’t. The support in the audience was great and people were assuring me I had done very well. One person in the audience who I didn’t have a chance to meet, later found me through Linkedin and gave excellent and informative feedback on the content of my presentation, my presentation skills and how I responded to audience questions. This has boosted my confidence in presenting at a conference and I will seek further opportunities to attend conferences. Watching other people present was also a great experience as I gained ideas of what I could try next time or things that might not work well.
The highlight of the entire conference was the 3-minute thesis competition. I didn’t take part in it, as I wasn’t too sure of the procedure. However, after watching it I thought that although it is very challenging, I would love to give it a go next time.
Overall, attending the conference was an amazing experience!