Question 1: As a participant, any overall thoughts about the symposium?
Jon: I think this year’s UniPsych Symposium went much smoother than the previous year’s and this is definitely due to well coordinated efforts of all parties involved in the planning. The speakers were all professionals with a wealth of experience and inside knowledge to the workings of the fields they were in. I’m sure the participants were able to gain a good overview of the various fields in psychology, which would hopefully allow them to make a more informed decision. That said, I feel the opportunities for networking could be improved, as there were often times where the participants are not too sure how to best approach speakers. Perhaps setting up a system where participants can send their questions to the speakers for follow-up after the event may be a good way to address such an issue.
I enjoyed the keynote address by Dr. Denise Dillon as she summarised the history of Psychological research over the years and the importance of Psychology, as well as the necessary soft skills that give graduates an edge over their peers in the Psychology field.
However, I feel that after Q&A segment during each session, most students were rushing to the next talk or the restroom and were unable to further network. Perhaps it might be favourable to add a short break (10 to 15 minutes?) in between back-to-back sessions (Session 2 & Session 3) for students to refresh themselves and/or get more one-to-one interactions with the speakers.
SGPsychStud: I feel that it was more well-organised than last year’s, with their registration booth at a more visible (and bigger) area, a longer time for lunch, as well as a longer lunch and timings for the talks. Website was professionally done as well.
The issue, which is also often faced during other symposiums and talks, is the level of networking. One purpose of the whole event was to allow students to network; however, most students stayed within their own comfort areas by staying with friends, and the talks (that I went to) mostly ended with a Q&A session without a further networking with the speakers. Speakers (thankfully) provided their contact details, for students who have further questions and wish to network further. Probably it is just our culture? But I do hope to see this to be improved in further events.
Stay tuned to Parts 2 and 3!