Grad Days A Confidence And Morale Booster
By Ryan Trepanier, Graduate Support Officer
The reality of studying at the graduate level is you don’t have the time or opportunity to get out much, even beyond your own lab or office. A dozen Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior graduate students brought their colleagues together last month to work around this challenge.
Aimee Battcock, Christie MacLeod, David Prete, Hossein Mehdi, Jiali Song, Julie Bannon, Lauren Smail, Mike Galang, Matthew Berry, Portia Kalun, Smruthi Venkateshan, Victoria Foglia organized the third annual Graduate Day for their department. Graduate students came together to share their work and learn from one another.
Graduate Days are becoming increasingly common across the Faculty of Science. Mike says these events offer graduate students a safe, controlled environment to practice presentations before heading off to international conferences. While Graduate Days are academic in nature, it’s also good for morale and self-esteem says Matthew, who was the 2018 provincial winner of the 3-Minute Thesis competition.
One of the hardest things to deal with as a graduate student can be the loneliness and the imposter syndrome you may feel when research hits a wall or a problem remains unresolved. The great thing about Graduate Days, Portia says, is that “you may feel like you’re alone, but by coming to this event you see everyone is doing something different, and at different stages of their research, and that’s okay.”
For students who are nervous or unsure of participating in an event like this, Matthew says "take a risk and give it a try. Try next year. Practice your presentation. Practice makes perfect. We’re a big tight-knit family all here to encourage each other. Every grad student is standing on the shoulder of giants.”