Category Archives: Postgraduate study

How I messed up my first conference

If there’s one pro tip I could travel back in time and give myself in July 2015, it’s this: don’t write the bloody presentation the night before you’re going to present it. Give yourself at least a week. Or a few days. A day..?

Enough time to at least make sure you get a full nights sleep. Or more than three hours.

If I’d actually given myself time to prepare, I wouldn’t have stood there awkwardly five minutes in, confused on what slide I was on (in my defence, I clicked the thingee ten times and I was still on slide number six. What’s up with that?). And I would have already tried out my presentation on my stick, so when the sound files didn’t work, I wouldn’t have found out about it when I was trying to show how my two points differed (bonus tip: never wing it. You’re not funny. No one laughs at conferences. They just stare at you until you start crying).

Preparation is key. It’s the lifeline when you’re sinking and no one in the audience wants to help. Not even your supervisor, because they’re too busy reminiscing about how terrible their first conference was.

I think the best part of the day was when I got to go home. To my extremely cheap hostel accommodation because I couldn’t afford anything else. And after a glass of wine and some loud music (to block out the sound of the couple next door), I realised that if I didn’t want to, I’d never have to see any of these people again.

The great news is, I’ve now done five conferences. I’ve gotten better each time (I think). The bad news – I saw all those people again at the next conference. Luckily, there was some other newbie learning the ropes, and I just looked that much better.

Fake it ’til you make it, postgrads.

– Anonymous

WIN $2750!!



SAGE has a commitment to education and to our subject areas and, in particular, is a leading advocate for the social sciences and those involved in the social sciences.

SAGE has agreed to award NZ $2750 for the best paper submitted and written by a postgraduate student in ANY selected social science topic of the writer’s choice.

University of Canterbury has selected a committee to review the papers and make recommendations to SAGE who will make the final decision. This panel will include one academic, one librarian and a representative from the Academic Skills Centre.


To be eligible for the sponsorship, the participant must be:

  • A postgraduate student from the University of Canterbury
  • Write and submit a paper in ANY selected social science topic of the writer’s choice (minimum 2,500 words; maximum 5,000)
  • Format and reference the paper in Harvard style
  • Submit the paper in English


SAGE agrees to sponsor a total amount of $2,750 for awarding the best paper being written by a postgraduate student.

For more information>


Get your nominations in for PG Rep

UCSA PG Rep Thomas is getting ready to hand the PG baton to the next rep and wants to see anyone passionate about the PG community running for the role.

This is an exciting time for the PG community on campus – nominations are open for the next UCSA Student Executive elections.

It is exciting because, as I am sure that you are all aware, there is a specific spot on the Exec for us PG’s. As we have spoken about earlier, this is an excellent opportunity to make a real difference on campus and to continue to build the PG voice on campus.

What’s more importance though is if you are thinking of running, which is fantastic, your nomination must be in by Friday 4 August, 12noon. Follow this link to the UCSA page where you will find all the relevant information regarding nominations and the process.

I look forward to seeing heaps of you running for this role and the new ideas and passion that I am sure you will bring.