I wanted to share some photos and stories of my experiences at research day with you guys so you can see how a poster presentation session works. I was so nervous going into this day because it was my first scientific presentation ever and I had no idea what to expect so I hope this can help any of you future presenters in your upcoming poster sessions!
A few weeks before the presentation I had to send in an abstract explaining my research and what we have found. It had to be 300 words or less and this was such a challenge because I had to condense down a year worth of work into 300 words, but with some amazing help from my mentor, it turned out great!
The day of the presentation I made sure to dress professionally and get to the venue 15 minutes early to give me time to put up my poster and mingle with the people around me. I met two second year medical students that were awesome and so kind. They both gave me their contact information and told me to text or call anytime I needed help with anything which was so great. So, YAY research day for helping me make connections!
Three judges came by my poster and I had to provide a 10-minute presentation on the poster and leave 5 minutes for questions. I had two women judges that came pretty closely back to back and then I had about 30 minutes before my last male judge came by. I had some occupational therapy students come by as well as some other students genuinely interested in the research.
My last judge was so great, he was so interested in the research we were doing which made it so much more fun to talk about! I did my 10-minute presentation and we ended up talking for the next 10 minutes about how important this research was. What was so great about the experience is that I actually learned things too, I learned that the drug we are using to treat nicotine addiction is also being tested as an antioxidant in cancer cells to speed up metabolism so much that the cells undergo apoptosis. THIS is why I love medicine, you learn something new every day!
Just being around so many scientists and people who are passionate about medicine just made the day amazing!
I was done around 11am and the awards ceremony wasn’t until 4:30pm, I went to the library to do some homework, went to class, and hung out downtown before it started. I almost decided against going to the ceremony because it was so late in the day and there were a ton of other undergraduate students who had amazing posters, but my research mentor pushed me to go and I ended up winning 2nd place in the undergraduate division! It was such a good day!
To anyone who is a future scientist in the making, being nervous is totally normal, but also be excited. If you are given the opportunity to present your research that you’ve worked so hard on, don’t give that chance up! It’s an amazing experience that I am so grateful l had a chance to be a part of!