Contributed by Natalie Bowers
Having my paper accepted for this conference was a great honour. I was both thrilled and anxious about presenting my work in front of an audience. (Presentation: Virtual research environments: the role of the facilitator, Natalie Bowers & Martie van Deventer)
The days leading up to the conference were spent preparing and reciting my presentation in any quiet corner I could find, even in my car while driving home. I also arranged for a few dry-runs at work and received so much support from my colleagues who offered really great feedback and advice.
Being a young professional at this conference was rather intimidating, especially because the concept of a VRE is still relatively new and I was unsure of the response I would receive from the audience. But at that moment, while standing at the podium I felt proud to share my work and help generate awareness around the possibilities and benefits of a VRE.
Overall I truly enjoyed being part of the conference and I especially enjoyed the talks I was able to attend. There are quite a few take home messages that I hope to apply to my job including-
- being innovative and not afraid to try new things;
- embracing change;
- realising that the world is not static and that we as service providers need to keep ahead.