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Attendance:

The Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference (Mass URC) is a day set aside for students and professors from 28 different universities across the Commonwealth to share and present their original research and learn from other students. So, basically, one of the largest networking opportunities UMass offers. There will be students from every field of study presenting their research. No, seriously: marketing, journalism, communication, biochemistry, etc. Every major, hundreds of students, all presenting their research and it’s free to attend.

Networking:

This is an excellent opportunity to network. You can seek out students presenting in your field and make friends. Why make friends? Because these people are going to be your co-workers in the near future, you’re most likely applying to many of the same jobs and will work in many of the same places as them. And perhaps down the line, they might even work in hiring positions at a company you’re applying to. Or, vice versa. You can listen and engage with other students as they explain their research: compliment it, question it, or politely disagree with it. Whatever you choose to do, engaging with students in your field and fostering connections works in your favor when entering the workforce or applying to internships. Maybe there’s a senior there that has the internship you want, and she/he can help you get your foot in the door. You never know. Talk to researchers, engage with them, and then add them on LinkedIn. You should go to make friends, foster connections with professional acquaintances, or you know, to meet the pre-med guy you’ve always been looking for. Or the pre-law smoke of your dreams.

Oh, and you just might learn something, too:

The presentations students have been working on all year are inspiring. Last year, I sat in on an oral presentation on the history of horror films. I’m a big horror film gal. I learned way more than I ever could from a Wikipedia page and received way better movie recommendations (I mean come on, it’s literally their major) than I ever would've with my usual Google search of “best horror movies of all time.”

Some of the research titles to be presented by different students at the conference are:

  • “Witches, Bitches, and Fairies: The Femininity of Fay and the Like”
  • “The Meaning in Life”

One I should probably definitely maybe check out.

  • “Drinking and Its Effects on Academic Performance in College Students”
  • “Generational Social Media: How Social Media Influences the Online and In-Person Relationships of Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z”
  • “Aesthetic Evolution of the Boston Red Sox”

How to Navigate Mass URC:

Navigating Mass URC can be intimidating if you haven’t been before. Some tips: prepare beforehand and do a little research on the speakers you want to see most, bring a friend, and go in with an open mind. Download the app to start looking at the presentations that match with your interests the most.

To download the app: http://tinyurl.com/massurc2019

Once you’re in, it’s simple. Use the search tool to type in keywords related to your areas of interest or major. The search results will populate all of the research being presented in that area: the student presenting, faculty, time of presentation. It’ll allow you to set a reminder, add it to your schedule, and bookmark it so you don’t miss any of the presentations you want to see.

I’m interested in communication studies, environmental sustainability, and big data, and I’ve created a loose schedule around those topics that looks a little like this:

After you’ve prepared a rough schedule of some of the presentations you want to see comes the best part: attend, have fun, and make friends.

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