10/09/2018 – Post by ICUR Presenter Alice Kim

Not sure what to expect at ICUR 2018? Don’t worry, last year I was in your exact position.

ICUR’17 was the first conference I had ever attended, and it was a great experience. The idea of attending and presenting at a conference seems intimidating (I know I find public speaking scary) but ICUR was a great opportunity to help conquer this preconception whilst developing important transferable skills.

Attending the two-day conference felt very official. As it was held in New Horizons, it felt like going to new place, as a science student, it was a building that I rarely frequented. There was registration, a welcome speech, and lots of coffee to help us stay fuelled.  

Presenting at ICUR was a totally different experience when comparing it to presentations I had done in my course. First off, it was live-streamed internationally – that was a first experience! Secondly as my panel had presenters from Monash Australia and Monash Malaysia, my audience was interdisciplinary and international. I was asked a variety of questions that came from people from different backgrounds – both culturally and disciplinary. Thirdly, as your presentation is unique (no one is presenting the same thing as you) it was up to you to capture the audience’s interest and teach them something new. Thus, it was a great opportunity to practice your oral communication skills, publicize your research and teach others.

Being part of the audience was a great learning experience. In addition to supporting my fellow Compass members, I attended other panel and poster sessions where I learned about things that I had never knew before. Some things I learned included using forum theatre to treat psychological trauma, the role of diet and gut bacteria on asthma, the use of Japanese language in English-speaking online forums and its impact on social inclusion, and the media’s role in the rise of Islamophobia. Hearing people speak about their research was great as you could see their genuine passion for their research

Another thing that stood out from my ICUR’17 experience was interacting and learning from people from other faculties and disciplines.  During our university life, we are often in silos – we interact with people from our discipline and we don’t get much opportunity to interact with people outside of it.  The word “networking” can send shivers down your spine but at ICUR, we got great practice as we easily mingled with other students to chat about our research.

All in all, I am looking forward to ICUR’18 and I hope you are too!