Tag Archives: conferences

Un-Covention: Women in Music and Media, Part 2


As some of you may have noticed if you saw last week’s post, I took a litttle trip to Manchester last weekend. The following Monday I wrote a post about it which covered the gender-related conclusions, this week I want to talk more about why it’s important to go to these things whenever you can.

When I went to this conference, I didn’t really know what to expect or even how formal or informal it’s going to be. I went there with the expectation to learn something about the state of the music and media industries from the women that are actually in the thick of it, and at the same time see what they’re like and if I ever enter any of these arenas, what are the people I would likely be working for like. And I went to see if I could gather any information that would be useful for my dissertation on live music and heavy metal.

Turns out the conference was so relaxed you could easily approach the speakers after each panel, a golden opportunity for anyone who, like me, was looking to build contacts. It took some courage and the best opening lines I could muster to do it, but I went up to them. I introduced myself, I commented on the points made in the panel, I took and interest in their work. And I walked away with not one, but two interview arrangements for my dissertation research. We are now also connected through various social media, therefore I am on their radar for future opportunities and have a huge edge against most of the competition if I do apply for a job with any of them, simply because they’ve met me before.

Competitions are good, you get prizes and pretty CV material. But conferences give you the chance to make your presence known among the industry community, which WILL give you an edge and might even bring the job to you.

It’s time to put that natural charm to good use!

Stay cool,

Marta

P.S.: Next weekend I’ll be attending another conference in London which lasts until Tuesday so the post should be out later the following week, but the delay should be well worth it.

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Un-Covention: Women in Music and Media, Part 1


So yesterday I attended Un-Convention’s Un-conventional Women event in Manchester’s awe-inspiring Victorian neo-gothic town hall (I have a wee bit of a soft spot for anything gothic). A fairly last minute decision since I was only told of the event a couple of days prior, and Manchester isn’t exactly in my general area. Nevertheless I grabbed a friend and off we went, almost unacceptably early on a Sunday morning.

It was awesome.

The main reason I decided to go to this convention/conference wasn’t to indulge some kind of feminist man-hate that these events have an unfortunate tendency to turn to. I was interested in learning about what the “state of the art” in the music and media industries is today, how do these influential figures in the music industry understand the age of digital music, and how can I work the situation to my advantage in what is very much a male-dominated industry. Another reason was a chance to network with the speakers and others in the industry to further my base of contacts.

It was very eye-opening just how little understanding of the relationship between music and the internet was demonstrated by some of the speakers. And what a fantastic opportunity this is for our generation to become the next great innovators in the music industry.

But mainly, I have to say, I was incredibly pleasantly surprised by the sheer presence of the speakers. Most of these were charismatic, no nonsense women. They have every bit the confidence to play with the boys, and they elegantly shot down all the characters that show up in these crowds to cry and whine about how “the boys make mean jokes” and are “insensitive”. Have you ever seen a bunch of guys hanging out together? They’re not exactly having a tea party and complementing each other’s hair. If you’re having to work with a bunch of guys, you need to learn how be one of them. I’m not talking visually, or about renouncing your femininity. But you can’t expect to walk in a room and everyone adapting to you just because you’re a girl, because let me tell you something, sweetie:

That is not equal treatment. That’s preferential treatment. And you’re nothing more and nothing less than every guy in the room.

Besides, from my experience, most of the time a girl’s biggest enemy in a male-dominated place is the other girl. Just something to think about.

I’ve still got a thing or two to say, so stay tuned for Part 2!

Much love,

Marta

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The Power of Schmoozing


A few weeks back I was contacted by a lady from my university who wanted to hire me to photograph classes and events in their department for new brochures and website content. She found out about my photography (a hobby) after I mentioned it to a colleague of hers at a social event in my department.

I like taking photos...and silly hair. (© Marta Svetek 2012)

This isn’t some kind of high paying job. It isn’t a milestone in my career. I don’t even want to make a career out of photography. I am definitely not the best photographer at our university. I am also not the only one who would even be willing to do this kind of job for free. But I got the offer simply through making a good enough impression to make that person recommend me to someone looking for someone with my skill set.

That lady doesn’t have the time to review the entire photography talent pool of the university and she obviously trusts the opinion of her colleague who thinks I am reliable and generally someone she can trust to get the job done well. And in turn I get to boost my creative CV and portfolio with an actual paying job.

This little anecdote is hardly groundbreaking in itself but it shows how important socialising and networking is.

Studying hard is important, but don’t forget that it’s people that hire you and people you work with, and you need to show them you’re the person they want to work with!

A smile goes a long way! (© 2011 Toastmasters International)

Be nice, compliment people, take an interest in whoever you’re talking to. Tead up on the latest news, talk about your interests/hobbies. You’ll find people will be much more willing to talk to you if you can have a conversation about something OTHER than work! Having a hobby in common with someone or generally just a very interesting one will definitely make them remember you.

So go to those employer presentations, conferences, sponsored events, alumni events, basically any kind of social events and work on your networking and social skills. You might not meet the CEO right away but you may meet someone he/she knows that will refer you to them when you apply for the job.

And above all else, don’t forget to SMILE! No one wants to talk to a grump, or the guy that takes himself too seriously.

Happy schmoozing!

Much love,

Marta

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Martholio !

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Design Our Tomorrow Conference


What do you imagine when you think of the word “design”?

Furniture, architecture, or computer graphics?

How about climate change, invention, or medicine? These are the many facets that Guinness World Record holders, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and contemporary artists talked about at the annual Design Our Tomorrow (DOT) Conference 2011.

DOT Conference Nov 12, 2011. Photo Credit: Trevor Haldenby

The conference was held at the beautiful Convocation Hall at University of Toronto’s downtown campus, and it was filled with students, young professionals, journalists, Nobel Peace Prize winners, seasoned professors, optimists — and a few pessimists. All were bright-eyed and excited for the speakers ahead.

The conference began with a performance by violin virtuoso, Yi-Ting Chen, and featured some incredible thinkers and dream makers. The audience was treated to new scientific discoveries, an original music score on the world’s first water instrument (the hydraulophone), and inspirational speakers — all in the span of 6 hours!

The Hydraulophone. Photo Credit: Trevor Haldenby

If you’re in a rut, or you’re down in the dumps about school, work, and life in general, I highly recommend finding a student conference near you. Here are my top 3 reasons to be a conference delegate:

  1. Be inspired
    I came away with this conference with a renewed sense of determination and courage. It’s really refreshing to hear about a non-athlete who set the World Record for farthest distance traveled by his own power in a single day. It’s also remarkable the kinds of technologies being developed to aid the elderly to stay connected with loved ones.
  2. Meet new people
    This conference was held in downtown Toronto, but a lot of students from surrounding cities made the trip. At conferences you can meet people from different schools and interact with professors too! All of the speakers were available afterwards in the atrium and were eager to interact with the audience.
  3. Learn
    Design Our Tomorrow was a conference for youth who wanted to make a difference – from PhD computer science students, to undergraduate interior design, the speakers and the audience represented a broad array of studies. I learned a lot about design and aethestics that I wouldn’t have known otherwise!

Find new student conferences every week for any faculty @ StudentEvents.com

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4 Reasons to Attend a Student Event this Year


You’re in college, enjoying the best years of your life – it’s all about hanging out with your friends, doing some studying and mostly having a lot of fun. Find out how participating in a student competition, conference, or seminar NOW will help your essays write themselves… Continue reading

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The Benefits of Attending International Conference for Students


Communication is one of the most important skills to learn for human beings, no matter how it is conducted. Today’s students are the masters of communication both formally and informally. One of the most important venues for formal communication is at a conference, especially international conferences for undergraduate students. There are many benefits, both globally and individually, of attending a conference. Not only do you further your education, but you also learn how to talk to people from diverse backgrounds.

Communication is key. Photo credit: Google Images Search.

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