Get the Most Out of Professional Conferences

Students and hearing care professionals alike attend many conferences throughout the year, which serve a variety of purposes including gaining continuing education credits, networking and event interviewing for jobs. Whether you are just starting out in the profession or you are a seasoned professional, conferences can be a great way to learn, connect with other professionals and develop new relationships. Lindsay Prusick, Carolyn Pinkerton and Stephanie Loccisano – three Starkey Hearing Technologies audiologists – share their perspectives on how to get the most out of professional meetings in this post.

From a student standpoint the best thing they can do is attend a wide variety of presentations and check out the poster sessions. You just never know what topic may pique your interest and help steer you in the direction of your capstone project topic. In addition, talking to other professionals after presentations or during a poster session is a fantastic way to network. I met two wonderful Starkey research audiologists at AAA when I was a fourth year Au.D. student. As a result I established a great connection and ultimately started working for the company three years later! Not only did I keep in contact with them and HR over those three years, but when I started I had two very welcoming faces to greet me.

  - Lindsay Prusick, Au.D.

Professional conferences are your main opportunity to get out and meet your peers. The audiology community is a bit of a "small world" atmosphere, and you will find yourself connecting with the same peers at multiple events throughout the year. Be prepared to network and have your contact information ready. Perhaps more important than the initial meeting with a new connection is the follow up. Use resources such as LinkedIn to connect with new acquaintances and contribute meaningful dialogue to common ground groups and discussions.

  - Carolyn Pinkerton, Au.D.

AudiologyNOW! is one of the best opportunities for Au.D. students to network with other professionals in the field. Attend receptions (like Celebrate Audiology or SAA's Cheers for Ears) not only to spend time with friends but also to meet new people and make new connections. If you meet someone who can be a professional resource, be sure to exchange contact information and follow-up with him or her after the conference. Have fun, but keep it professional: the people you meet at AudiologyNOW! may one day be a future coworker or boss!

   - Stephanie Loccisano, Au.D.

By Kendra Klemme