For me, the most exciting part of attending the ASCB-EMBO conference was seeing all of the new technologies that were available for molecular biology research. I got to see and learn about many of these new techniques, which was a huge eye-opener with regards to what is possible in terms of potential experiments. Before attending the conference, I was a little anxious about the event. I had never attended a national conference before, and I didn’t really know what to expect. Following the conference, my confidence has increased tremendously. My research was received very positively, and I became more comfortable asking questions of other scientists. The experience was an extremely valuable one, giving me the opportunity to learn how to explain and defend my research at the national level. At the conference, I presented a poster two times: once in a session specifically for undergraduates and once in a general session. The undergraduate presentation was a little nerve-wracking, but also the most enjoyable of the two. At this session, I presented my research for three different judges as well as several other undergraduates. While the judging aspect certainly made me nervous, I loved the opportunity to discuss my research in depth with an expert in the field. Their feedback was instrumental in the further development of my project and also a great source of validation for my honors thesis. To anyone who is new to undergraduate research, I would highly recommend that they actively seek out opportunities to present at a conference. The ability to meaningfully explain your research to a variety of different audiences is indispensable as a developing scientist, and presenting at a conference will provide the chance to interact with everyone from fellow students to leaders in the field.
» » Bethany Bundrant ’17