Professional conferences March 14th, 2008
As a second year graduate student about to graduate in June, I thought it would be a good idea to attend some professional conferences this year. These conferences in my mind would allow me to start networking with individuals from all over the nation. I attended NASPA in Boston, and it was very overwhelming. There were about 4,000 plus student affairs professionals in attendance. The conference was amazing and I got to sit on some sessions that really sparked my interest, and I want to continue to learn more about these topics. I went to sessions on ethics, racism, sexual assault, compassion fatigue and many more. These topics were wonderful and I felt connected when I was in the sessions, but as a graduate student I felt very overwhelmed and felt “lost” while at the conference. I know that without my fellow co-hort members, it would have been an awful experience, but the support that the fellow graduate students provided me while at this conference was amazing. So my thoughts are that conferences are wonderful and can spark intellectual development, but they can also be very overwhelming for those of us that are not as outgoing or extraverted. I do not regret going to the conference, because I learned a lot about myself but I also got to learn more about my fellow co-hort members.