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Rebekah Willson

ASIS&T 2014: Making Connections
ASIS&T 2014  in Seattle was not my first but it was my first as a PhD student on the job market. Besides the obvious goal of sharing my research, my aim was to network and make connections in my field. Being at a university in rural Australia means that there are few in researchers in my field and even fewer visiting scholars. My hope for ASIS&T was to meet new people, go to pre-interviews for jobs, and to re-connect with colleagues. ASIS&T more than met my expectations. Through Facebook I knew that several friends and acquaintances I’d make in the IS community were going to be at ASIS&T and before I left Australia I set up times to meet.

The conference itself was a whirlwind of presenting, conference attending, and networking events. I started off with attending my SIG and was reminded how wonderful it is to be in a room full of researchers who are all interested in my sub-discipline. Throughout the conference I strengthened previous connections and made new ones. I exchanged business cards with a variety of researchers, students, and industry professionals. I attended my SIG’s business meeting and became co-chair of the planning committee for next year’s symposium. I met with 3 different universities about jobs. I got a variety of career advice from senior scholars. I got feedback about my work. In addition I got to see a bit of Seattle. While I’m not naturally an outgoing person, talking with people who share my love of research makes forming connections that much easier. Since the conference I’ve emailed and Skyped with connections I made. I’ve also starting planning preparations for the next ASIS&T, keeping me connected to my community throughout the year. ASIS&T was an important time for meeting people, sharing ideas, and getting inspired again about my work. Looking forward to next year in St. Louis!