Last week, I had my first conference as a PhD student and my first alumni meeting as a former ENSIM student. Two very different situations, but both were very interesting!
The JJCAB and the (re)discovery of the French acoustics and vibrations world
On Thursday and Friday, I attended the JJCAB in Paris, a French Acronym for “Young Researchers in Acoustics and Noise’s Day. This was a pretty classic conference, similar to Internoise, but scaled down of course ^^ There were 2 lecures: The first one from someone at PSA Group which was very interesting, and a second one which showed me how much I still have to learn since I understood almost nothing 😮
There were also “Flash Presentations”. It consists in 3-minute talks during which a PhD student can tease his research to the assembly for the “Poster Sessions”, which are informal moments with the crowd so s/he can explain better what s/he’s working on. Since I started my PhD 6 weeks ago, I had nothing to present but I still attended these sessions to talk to other PhD Students.
Many things stroke me during these two days: First of all, the strength of Le Mans. Many PhD students were doing their PhD there or had done their studies there (like me for example). Second, the intellectual level of the attendees. There were moments when I felt like “Wow, I’m so dumb, should I even be there ?!?”. Right now, I think that it is due to the fact that I’ve just started, so we’ll see if how I will feel next time. Then, I experienced how tiny this community is, as I also saw people that I used to meet when I visited companies during my studies. I see that as something pretty good since it makes it easier to see who’s working on what in the case of cooperations or carreer changes.
Overall, this was a good experience, and hopefully I can present something the next time I attend these kind of conferences 🙂 But after two days and a short night in-between, it was time to travel from Paris to Le Mans, and ENSIM specifically.
Alumni’s day at ENSIM
On Saturday, I attended the ENSIM Alumni’s day. It takes place every year but since I was in Germany last november, I couldn’t affort to attend it. This day is divided into several parts: First, a short introduction by the current headmaster, then conferences by former students to show what they did after ENSIM, and finally round tables about specific topic. As you can see on the picture below, the first part of the day was not the most interesting :p
I am right in the middle, with a blue pull-over and a white shirt 🙂
After this short introduction, I decided to attend the conferences from former Computer Science Students. One of my friends chose this major and I wanted to see his presentation. But after all the talks, we saw that there was still a lot of time left, so another Alumni asked me to talk about my experiences abroad, even though I didn’t do the Computer Science major. I did a small speech and many students seemed interested.
After a lunch with friends and former teachers, I took part in a round table about working abroad. There were also round tables about work legislation, consulting companies or team management, but I felt that I was more skilled to talk about working abroad as I have 3 major experiences to share. Despite the fact that sessions were sometimes too short, it was very interesting to share my experiences with students. One of them even read my blog, and another one was a close friend of a former colleague in Germany! Once again, it shows how tiny the community can be.
Short nights but good times
I keep a good memory from these two events! I think that our network is our best strength today if we want to succeed in our working life, and experiences such as scientific conferences or Alumni’s day are perfect occasions to maintain it. I will surely attend the next ones but for now, let me catch up the sleep I need 😉