85 votes

What does it mean when I am told "your field might be related to my field"?

It is somewhat baffling to me that you think the literal meaning of "your field might be related to my field" would be "let's work on a paper unifying the two fields". The literal ...
Anyon's user avatar
  • 26.2k
26 votes
Accepted

Making friends in academia and building connections

I don't know if this is much of an answer, but it's become more than will fit in a comment. If you just joined in Fall 2020, it's not unusual that you haven't made the kind of connections you're ...
cpit's user avatar
  • 588
25 votes

Bad experiences at conferences, worth going anyway?

If you "lock up" in public situations you should probably talk to a mental health professional or counsellor about it. It once helped me greatly. And, one of the best ways to overcome such ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
25 votes

Making friends in academia and building connections

Ah mate, I am in the same situation. Moved city to a new place, a new job in Feb 2020. What a time to do so! My colleagues are super nice, but covid just makes everything hard. People are having ...
Ander Biguri's user avatar
  • 5,571
19 votes

Making friends in academia and building connections

I also started a new faculty position during the pandemic, so I know how you feel. There is also not really anyone else at my university working in a similar area. It's very difficult to develop new ...
atom44's user avatar
  • 5,680
17 votes

What does it mean when I am told "your field might be related to my field"?

The expression your field might be related to my field is an expression of interest. How many interests do you have? I hope plenty. Do you have time to pursue all of them? I am sure not. General rule: ...
EarlGrey's user avatar
  • 18.4k
11 votes

Bad experiences at conferences, worth going anyway?

I don't think freezing up like that will reflect badly on you. It sounds like some people were interested in talking to you and some were not. I would say that is fine and normal - don't waste time ...
toby544's user avatar
  • 2,578
10 votes

Bad experiences at conferences, worth going anyway?

After 30 years of going to several conferences per year, the handful of askers I remember were all people I knew previously. People I have shared afternoons with don't seem to remember me years later. ...
Martin Argerami's user avatar
8 votes

Making friends in academia and building connections

Loneliness for new faculty is definitely a problem, even in non-pandemic times. Students/Postdocs/reserach fellows often have research groups or cohorts that provide a ready made professional circle ...
Ian Sudbery's user avatar
  • 38.5k
8 votes

Making friends in academia and building connections

There are already many good answers specific to the academic environment. I just thought I'd add my two cents as an expat. I moved to a different country 8 years ago and struggled much with the same ...
Henya's user avatar
  • 81
5 votes

Making friends in academia and building connections

There are two aspects to "making connections": professional and personal. First, a few words about professional connections. If you are the only person in your subfield at this place then ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
4 votes

Bad experiences at conferences, worth going anyway?

It is perfectly normal to be anxious in a place with lots of strangers. Here's what helps: understand that they are all there because of a common interest, in this case, a scientific field. You are ...
Captain Emacs's user avatar
3 votes

Any other PhD students getting time anxiety?

First see if you can find a counsellor to talk to about methods to ease anxiety. But these sorts of things come slowly and with some effort. They are unlikely to just go away unless you put some ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
2 votes

Bad experiences at conferences, worth going anyway?

Can you go to a conference with a more senior person like a post-doc, your advisor, or some professor? They might show you around, introduce you to some people, and most important, you can just walk ...
usr1234567's user avatar
  • 5,778
2 votes

Making friends in postgraduate education? How?

Your imagination is almost always worse than reality. Similar to you, I bet there are lots of other people feeling awkward or unsure of how to navigate social situations. It's totally OK to cue people ...
ASimonis's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes

Making friends in academia and building connections

In our company we have started to create "coffee break" video sessions which are explicitly not about work. Most are once or twice a week; and span different organizational boundaries (e.g., ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 4,209
2 votes

What "ice-breaker" type activities would be suitable for a grad student open house event?

I've attended many conferences, and in my experience, classical icebreakers are quite boring. People just stand around with drinks and snacks and might talk to people they already know, if at all. ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 42.8k
2 votes

What "ice-breaker" type activities would be suitable for a grad student open house event?

My experience with engineers is going to suggest "hallway meetings" with beverages and food and a place where the people from the uni can mix with the people visiting. Maybe the uni folk ...
Boba Fit's user avatar
  • 1,859
1 vote

What "ice-breaker" type activities would be suitable for a grad student open house event?

I'd recommend an engineer-adapted version of human bingo. Participants get bingo sheets with prompts instead of numbers (e.g. "drinks more than 3 cups of coffee a day","has seen every ...
coffee_into_plots's user avatar
1 vote

What "ice-breaker" type activities would be suitable for a grad student open house event?

Create a "Play" so that the participants are the "actors". Give each one a script, perhaps with a single "line". Perhaps their line should be repeated several times when ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
1 vote

Making friends in postgraduate education? How?

Yes it's definitely okay to just walk up and say hi. Especially since they are more experienced and some are researching different things than you, since you now immediately have your conversation ...
Jeroen's user avatar
  • 8,156
1 vote

Making friends in academia and building connections

Whereas I agree with the answer of cpit, I do think that we have lost the culture of welcoming new members to our working groups. This might have different reasons. At first, science and academia tend ...
Tho Re's user avatar
  • 493

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