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BookishJulia said in July 14th, 2010 at 9:55 am

I am so glad to see you talk about ALA from the student perspective! I am also a student (and a first-time attendee), so I felt a little overwhelmed. I had slightly different motivations in going (well, networking was the same, but I was presenting research and trying to impress PhD programs rather than employers per se). I was glad I wasn’t the only student who felt there weren’t ample opportunities for us to network: I definitely recommend that students who are even slightly considering a PhD go to PhD fair(s) offered at the conference. My best networking time took place here and after my presentation, and the fair really helped me decide on schools after meeting with folks and discussing research. It was interesting to go to ALA with the perspective of a researcher rather than that of a practitioner (although I think the line between the two is often more exaggerated than it should be), since I felt like a lot of the programs were not geared for me. That being said, research-minded students will still get something out of every session, and there’s definitely something to be said for bridging the research-practice divide.
I also love that you mention the Twitter hashtag, that ultimately helped me network more than just about anything!

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Lauren said in July 14th, 2010 at 10:43 am

Hi Julia,

I am always glad to hear other student perspectives, and yours is particularly interesting. Thank you for representing the researcher point of view and offering your tips for students looking to pursue PhDs – I’m glad you found a helpful networking session for your interests!