Every three years, my alma mater, St. Lawrence University, hosts a unique conference experience for its current and former geology majors. Alumni return to campus while classes are in session to present research related talks, discuss career paths and network with current geology students.
I had an opportunity to attend one of these conferences when I was an undergraduate. The ability to chat with recent grads about the realities of graduate school was incredibly useful. The opportunity to see what kinds of careers the alumni had pursued was helpful for me to answer that ever present question – what exactly can you do with a degree in geology?
As an alumna, I have a great opportunity to talk to current undergraduates about the opportunities available in librarianship/information science. I also have a chance to catch up with some friends from college.
Some highlights of this conference:
- The variety of talks from practicing professional geologists. Although academic presentations still outnumbered the more practical ones, the talks given by professional geologists were engaging, interesting and very informative (perhaps more so than the academic presentations?). I think they were very helpful for the students.
- Giant chocolate chip cookies from the “Pub”, one of the on campus eating establishments.
- A chance to chat briefly with the new president of the University who wrote an excellent article describing libraries as “the most dangerous building on campus“.
Intellectual chain reactions exist in an air of danger, daring and human hazard; transforming elements of thought require the chase, the hunt, and the adventure of traversing narrow cliff-side paths and box canyons.
- Talking to a former classmate whose old nickname was based on the beer he drank about potty training and the challenges of having a newborn baby at home.
- The opportunity to chat with old friends and current students. Seeing my friends is great, but it is wonderful to chat with highly intelligent and motivated young people about what they want to be when they grow up. And I love giving advice, so that is fun too.
This unique conference will happen again in 2013, and I’m already looking forward to it.