About two weeks ago, I attended my first professional conference. Thanks to the amazing McNair Scholars program, undergraduate students spent the weekend networking, eating good food, speaking to graduate schools, listening to panel discussions and presenting academic research. It was my first time presenting my own research and I was very nervous, but it was an amazing experience. Not only did others get to hear about what interested me in the world, but I got to learn about other people’s work and interests. I bonded with my own EMU McNair cohort more than I ever thought I would and I’m pretty sure I made friends for life. All of us at the conference had the same goal: to go to graduate school. It was inspiring to hear and learn about experiences from students all over the country.
What is McNair?
Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program:
“The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded at 200 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented segments of society.”
The University of Maryland
The conference was held at The University of Maryland and it was a beautiful campus. We stayed at the Marriott Hotel located right across the walkway from where the conference was being held. The hotel was very nice and clean and it was so new that it is still under construction is some areas. The food they provided at the banquet was of great quality and all of the speakers and events were thought provoking and helpful. I would also like to mention that one night, my cohort went to dinner at a place called Busboys and Poets and I would highly recommend trying it one day! The atmosphere was incredible. Overall, it was a very successful weekend.
*Unfortunately, I forgot my camera battery. All photos were taken on my iPhone 5c and Snapchat.