INFORMS Annual Conference  

INFORMS Annual Meeting 2012, Phoenix, AZ, October 14-17

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Tips for Students and First-Timers

by Dawn Strickland on October 15th, 2012

1. People are not staring at your chest, they are trying to see where you go to school. It only gets awkward when the person looking is actually from the same place but just didn’t recognize you.

2. Turn off your cell phone ringer when you go into a session. Don’t be THAT guy.

3. Nobody understands an entire presentation, unless giving it themselves. (Even then it is questionable.) If you can keep up with the first couple of slides, you’re doing fine. The person asking all the questions at the end is probably the presenter’s thesis adviser.

4. It’s okay to skip a session or two and check your email. (Or write a blog post.) Everyone does it.

5. Go to sessions and presentations given by other students. Also, go to the student reception tonight!  In general, go to any reception/lunch/gathering to which you are invited. It is at these smaller events that you will feel more comfortable, make more connections, and get free food.

  1. Walt DeGrange permalink

    Great guide! Also remember it is a marathon not a sprint. If you attend every session your brain will liquify before Wednesday afternoon…

  2. If you spot a faculty member or industry person you know by reputation (perhaps you’ve studied some of their papers) but do not know personally, feel free to introduce yourself. OR people tend to be what the psychologists call “low power distance” (Latin for “approachable”).