Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It's good to be home, but it was fun!

I really enjoyed Grace Hopper this year. Although I'm relieved to be home and able to work toward all the deadlines coming up, I can't wait for another chance to attend! I met so many great people in so many different career and life stages, learned some more about how to decide where to go with my own career, and had a great opportunity to present my research.

My favorite part of the conference was definitely the networking aspect. I wish there were more opportunities to talk; often I found myself rushing to the next session because the previous one went over, which keeps me from being able to talk more with those people in that session. I did however find some familiar faces that I hadn't seen in over a year! I found a friend Jen who I interned with at PNNL two summers ago, and had not talked to in many months. I also found Kristin, who I had met at the Google retreat for the Anita Borg Scholarship in 2006 and had vaguely kept in touch with through Facebook. Unfortunately many of the other people I met in 2006 at Google and at Grace Hopper were not at the conference this year. However, I met so many interesting new people that I didn't have much time to be sad about that. Hopefully we will all meet again next year, or some other future year.

For anyone wondering: I did not make it to the next stage of the Student Research Competition, but that's OK. I had a great time presenting my work in the poster session; a lot of people came to my poster, and many seemed to understand when they left it. I especially loved talking to the undergraduates, many of whom had no idea about my type of research when they stopped to talk, but most of whom grasped it very well by the end. It was great to be able to teach them about something new, that might help them later.

So, I've been incredibly exhausted since returning from the conference, but I still have so much more I'd like to say about it! Maybe I'll continue to post about GHC for the next week or so, in the "free time" I have between catching up on coursework, research, and paper writing. I actually needed a coffee to get through the day yesterday, which hasn't happened in at least a year...so we'll see how the week goes!

No comments: