Attending a conference within your field of study can impact your career and help set you apart to employers.

Danika Thiele has been to a couple different conferences that has helped shape her.

“I attended the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, which relates to my major because it is within the field of Communications,” Thiele said. “I also went to the NAB Show in Vegas last year, which was a blast. Both conferences definitely opened my eyes! I was enlightened by everything that could be done professionally within my fields of Advertising and Journalism. It was amazing to be able to see the best of the best at both conventions, a little intimidating too!”

Conferences are a way for professionals to connect with one another and showcase their work.

Dr. Samara Anarbaeva, a communications professor at FSC, says that this one of the most important things about the conferences.

“I meet a lot of professionals from my field and I connect and stay in touch with them regularly,” Anarbaeva said. “We help each other out in need (guest speakers, collaborations, etc.). We support each other and become lifelong friends.”

Not only do they become friends, but through these conferences they are able to learn from each other.

“I love to network with and learn from other Public Relations and Marketing professionals from around the world,” Anarbaeva said. “They open my eyes to issues that are global and help me stay in touch with the world brands. I bring this to my department, classrooms and my research. So it’s always very interconnected.”

Ashley Webb, a graduating senior who recently went to the Southern States Communication Association with Dr. Anarbaeva, says that it really helped her prepare for Grad School.

“I was able to see panel presentations and discussions, which is useful since I want to continue my education to get my masters and maybe PhD,” Webb said. “Also, I was able to take away tips from their presentations and apply it to my own life. My final presentation in one of the classes I just finished was set up as a panel presentation and discussion. So, I was glad I was able to go to the conference beforehand and experience that kind of activity.”

Dr. Anarbaeva enjoys giving students the opportunity to see these experiences and open their eyes to more than just what is taught in the classroom.

“I think it’s great to be able to take students with me, who get out of the classroom and see a different perspective to the way they view their field of study and the world,” Anarbaeva said. “Usually, students come out very excited about what they do and get inspired. Students have told me they learn a lot of things they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to. It’s very important for students to get out of the classroom and attend a conference in their field of study to expand their knowledge and worldly perspectives.”

Thiele said she was very grateful for the opportunities to attend the conferences that she did, and hopes to attend more and maybe one day even present at one herself.

“The conferences enabled my imagination and challenged me to become better in every aspect, so maybe I can someday be presenting at a prestigious convention like the two I attended,” Thiele said.