How to network during conferences

Networking has been really scary for me. It’s hard to meet other trainees and professors during conferences. I’ve had a hard time meeting others during conferences… typically I am alone at a conference.


But I have met really great people along the way and have learned something new every time!


Here are some of the ways that I meet other people during conferences:


  1. Meet others during lunch. If you see someone at a table alone… go up and ask if you can have lunch with them. (this is how I met my current supervisor!)
  2. Go to new trainee events (some conferences have separate talks or professional meet the researcher talks just for trainees and graduate students. I love going to these especially at a larger conference because you typically get to meet a smaller group of people and make connections easier that way.)
  3. Use conference hashtags or twitter meetups. (I’m my field, Twitter has gotten a lot of traction. Conferences use hashtags and encourage everyone to connect online.)
  4. Go to the vendors (Vendors at a conference are amazing and super nice and friendly. Some of them have been previous graduate students. They not only just answer questions about the products they are selling, but they are more then happy to chat with you! I have learned about jobs and difference career paths outside of academia by speaking with vendor representatives.)


Sometimes you do meet some people who don’t want to talk to you. But most of them do and are really friendly!! Don’t give up is my best advice!

Hope this helps.

How to take steps to increasing your activity levels

In honour of diabetes month and just because it’s getting cold and dark here and I have been very sedentary.

Here are some of the ways that I use to increase my activity levels, and stay mindful that I should get up and move every so often.

  1. If you see stairs try to take them!
  2. Park in the furthest parking spot from the entrance to the grocery store. Or take transit to the grocery store… but I know that isn’t always easy. Do you know how the goal is to get the best parking spot in the lot, the closest one to the door, our goal could be park the furthest! Sometimes you will hate it especially if you are carrying a lot of groceries back to your car…
  3. Take the long route around to get to your bus stop.
  4. On your lunch break, take a walk.
  5. If you are having a meeting, consider having a walking meeting. Instead of sitting in a board room to have your meeting, take a walk around outside and have a meeting while you are walking.
  6. If you are sitting in a talk, consider going to the back of the room and stand up to listen to the talk.
  7. If you work and have a few minutes for a break, do some squats! ( I used to do experiments that have 5 minute wait times. So during those 5 minutes, I would try to do as many squats as I could.)



Every small step is a step towards a more active lifestyle!



Hope this helps.

Working from Home

I have been writing from home a lot these days. The challenge I have is staying focused and concentrated for long hours.


My tips for staying concentrated at home.

  1. Remove distractions ( I like a clean desk before I work so I remove all the clutter that is on my desk and only have the things that I need to get my job done. I remove things like other notes that I don’t need, even my phone sometimes)
  2. Use a stay focus app ( I like to use Flora – it makes it so that you can be on your phone)
  3. Take short breaks! ( use the pomodoro technique where you work for 25 minutes then give yourself a 5 minute break, I used the Be focused app for this)
  4. Make to do lists! ( Even for small tasks like, “I wrote one sentence,” or “I add in one picture or graph to my writing,”  those are all things that you did! It makes me feel accomplished)
  5. Celebrate your successes! You did it, you sat down and did some work today! (I like to celebrate the successes no matter how big or small. This always helps me work for longer hours.)


Those are my short few tips for now!

Hope they help.


What are your tips for staying concentrated and focused while working from home?