Steven V. Cates, DBA SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Kaplan University Professor, School of Business and IT
You may be asking yourself, “Why is making a presentation of my research at a conference important? What is the big deal?” Here are a few good reasons:
- It allows you to contribute to and learn about the most recent advances in YOUR field.
- You become an ADVOCATE for your field of study.
- If it is NOT important to conduct research in YOUR field, then why should students major in it?
- You learn how to discuss your findings with other academic colleagues.
- You get the opportunity to meet and network with other researchers in the same field.
- This allows you to build your own Research Brand.
So what is a Research Brand? As academics, we are not only required to provide university and community service through serving on committees and boards, but we are called upon to transfer learning through teaching our students about the subjects in our specific disciplines. How are you going to provide that learning opportunity unless you are a Subject Matter Expert in your teaching field? How do you become a Subject Matter Expert? In some cases, your past and current professional experiences might make you an expert. As an academic, your expertise also comes from the research you are constantly performing on chosen topics in your field. This allows you to then share your research findings with your students and your colleagues.
You may ask, “How do I even get started?” One way is to read the journals that are published in your field. You may also have trade journals, other magazines, or internet sites that provide the “Hot Topics” that are being discussed in your discipline. This will give you an idea about what is being written and read about in any teaching field.
If you belong to a professional association, this is also a great place to hear new and exciting discussions on topics that are unexplored. You might even want to consider attending a conference and listening to presenters discuss the trending topics that have people talking. Certainly, networking with other academics is a great way to find out what are the major issues being faced and what research, if any, is being done on a given topic.
If you have enjoyed reading about ways to begin submitting to conferences, please keep an eye out for Part Two next month. This will be followed by the rest of the I Really Want to Present at a Conference series.