Being a PhD student is not always easy. Long hours in the lab, frustration when experiments do not have the expected outcome, anxiety trying to meet deadlines for abstracts, papers, meetings, reports. But it is not all bad; there are many wonderful moments that should be cherished.
When I got the opportunity to assist as a volunteer in Cell-VIB-Symposium: The Multifaceted Roles of Type 2 Immunity Conference I did not think twice. My main task would be to help at the registration desk and the Q&A sessions and at the same time I could attend the presentations and poster sessions.
My anticipation was building up until the first day of the symposium arrived. Waiting at the reception for all the delegates to arrive I could not help but noticing everybody’s excitement. They will wait for their badge, while taking a final look at the program before entering the room to follow the presentations (also asking questions about the picturesque city of Bruges). A mixed audience, as in any conference, ranging from early stage researchers, PhD students like I, to well-established scientists. One thing all having in common, their love for science and passion for their work.
For these three days, I was part of a buzzing community, eager to discuss and exchange results, and form collaborations. Through lively discussion both at oral and poster presentations I learnt a lot about different immunology aspects which gave me ideas for my own research. To my surprise, the author workshop as mentioned to the program, was an insight into the unknown world of scientific journals, with the participation of two Cell editors answering questions for their peer review/publishing procedure giving hints on how to have a successful outcome to your paper submission. An advice that one should always remember; fight for your paper and rebut a negative response if you truly believe in your research.