Goal updates 2012 – International conference presentation in Portugal
This was one of my first international oral conferences. Looking back at my first real year of PhD – the first year of PhD pretty much involves taking courses and doing lab rotations, so only in the second year does one get to do actual research, after selecting a lab – I had done an okay job with research. I thought I knew more than I did. I overestimated my capabilities. Also, doing original research on your own is tough – I found out the hard way.
The presentation at the conference was fine. I got a couple of questions I defended properly. But I’m not at all proud of this. There is so much more to do. Looking back, I’m almost ashamed to talk about this. But I’m writing it down, so that the next time, I learn from all my mistakes.
Genya was there, so she took a video snippet of the beginning part of my presentation.
There are so many things I need to learn. How to effectively present. How to talk without saying umm after every couple of words. To not mumble. To be clear and precise in my language.
Apart from the delivery, even the Powerpoint slides. I’ve given enough presentations, but I’ve realized I have a long way to go to create an effective slide-deck. Have a couple of videos – they work better than text and images. Explain plots – axes, different symbols, critical values, errors. Have a take-away point for each slide. Highlight it.
This year has been a year of growth for me as a student. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I have uncovered so many weaknesses in my professional side. I don’t think I grew as much, but more like hacked away at cobwebs in my head. Realized old bad habits.
It has also been a year where I’ve gotten over the fact that I’m no longer an undergrad. When I first arrived at Stanford, I was this wide-eyed excited guy who wanted to do everything. Like an excited puppy, I tried a gazillion things. Which was fine. But the second year – this year – I slowly calmed down. This year has seen more focus and discipline from me, especially towards my professional career.
But it’s a long way to go. If I were to predict 2013 – I’d say that I’m going to become more of a graduate student. Of what that means, only time will tell.