As a Ph.D. student, I try to volunteer at every conference I attend. Initially, the motivation was purely monetary: Students who volunteer usually get discounted registration fees. However, during my first conference, I came to appreciate how important volunteering can be for networking. While welcoming people at the admission desk or offering speakers assistance, volunteers get to know a lot of scientists. During my second large conference, the 2013 International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) in Baltimore, Maryland, I leveraged my volunteer position to create an even more rewarding networking opportunity. (Read more at Science.)
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