By Cecilia Sanchez, Ecology PhD student and President of WiSci
This past semester, WiSci held our first professional development event, "Mapping Your Path in Science." For two days in mid-November, we brought together local science professionals, faculty, and students for panel discussions, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities. See more details on the event here: http://wisciuga.weebly.com/symposium.html. It took a huge effort on the parts of the officers and volunteers to make the symposium come together, and I think it's a testament to this hard work that we were able to pull off this event just a year after WiSci was founded. Overall I am really proud of what we were able to accomplish, and based on feedback I've received from attendees, many felt that the symposium was worthwhile and inspiring.
Because this was our first time as an officer board to organize such a large event (we had estimated 30-70 registrants, and ended up having 140!), we didn't have a template to work from. We had to start from the ground up in terms of identifying our goals for the symposium, brainstorming activities and topics, securing professionals to participate, organizing venue and food logistics, and more. The following are some of my own impressions of what we did well and what we could work on if we hold a similar event in the future. They may also be useful to other groups who are also planning a "first big event."
What worked well
In the future, we'd like to
If you have feedback on our event, or tips for other first-time event planners, please share below!