I just wrapped up my first conference trip as a PI. I had a really good time--I saw and networked with old friends and acquaintances, made some new ones, had good conversations with good people to know (and to have know me). I got noticed for asking lots of questions in sessions. Exchanged business cards/emails and plans to swap seminar invites with some good people. I got asked whose lab I worked in a good number of times, but that was okay. I also got told I look like I'm 22, when I'm 31--good and bad... but not much I can do about it except try to look older. I dressed grown-uppy the whole time, so what else can I do!
Another cool part was that my sister was also here: she is a grad student working in physiology using similar techniques to me, so we decided to go to this meeting together to hang out. We were the famous sisters of the meeting--everyone in the organizational committee knew about us from our registration and hotel arrangements, and by the end most of the attendees knew of us as the sisters, too. We ended up hanging out at the bar after the closing dinner cruise with a bunch of the board members of the scientific organization that runs this conference, and had a blast. Nobody got messy, it was all good clean fun and lots of great conversation. My sister set herself up with their support to propose to run a student group in the organization--she'll be awesome at it!
I had my abstract invited as a talk, and there weren't many talks at this meeting so that was kind of a big deal (even though the meeting was small). My 10-minute talk went well, I kept it right on time and on topic, and got some good feedback from people who heard it. I wanted to show you all the fab shoes I wore for my talk, Isis-style, next to my beloved Marc Jacobs bag that I carried around like a briefcase the whole meeting:
All in all, a successful meeting, and I'm glad that I submitted an abstract even though it is so early for my lab. The K99/R00 made it possible for me to have something to talk about so that people will start to know who I am already: yet another advantage that grant can give us for our transitions.