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Tea Party for Networking Knowledge

On the afternoon of 18 January, the ACM-W SJTU Student Chapter hosted the "Knowledge Tea Party" series of activities - "How to Network Effectively in Academic Activities". The event was successfully held at the Long Bin Building of the Joint Institute, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. We were honoured to have Prof. Qianli Chen, Prof. Weikang Qian and Prof. Xinfei Guo from the UM-SJTU Joint Institute as guest speakers for the seminar, as well as students from the Joint Institute, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and other colleges.

At the beginning of the event, as it was the first time for the event, the current chair of the ACM-W SJTU Student Chapter, Runxi Wang, welcomed everyone and briefly introduced the basic situation of the organization and the planned activities in the future.

We then moved on to the main topic of the event - the panel session, moderated by Vice Chair Ruge Xu. The three professors started by sharing their experiences of networking in academic activities, what they have learnt and some advice for students. Prof. Chen shared a story about a professor who helped her a lot, and used a story from her daughter's fairy tale book as an example to encourage introverted students to take the first step towards academic networking. Prof Qian shared his own experience of seeking advice from other senior professors, emphasizing that a social interaction can bring more benefits than the conversation itself, and suggested that students should seek advice from young professors and senior PhD students at the forefront of research. Prof Guo talked about his mentor's request that he should communicate with people from different schools and countries when going to conferences, and he also gave a lot of practical advice, such as registering on LinkedIn before going to a meeting and remembering to check in regularly after the meeting.

Prof. Chen sharing.
Prof. Qian sharing.
Prof. Guo sharing.

During the Q&A session, some students also asked the teachers about their own confusions, such as how to politely move from small talks to the topics they want to ask when communicating with senior professors, and some students wondered if the teachers themselves, as seniors, had ever met any impressive classmates who came over to get to know them, among other interesting questions.

Students asking questions.

The event ended with a DIY e-New Year greeting card, led by Vice President Xiaotian Zhao. Coinciding with the arrival of the Chinese New Year, and in line with the original purpose of this activity - academic networking - e-cards are easily disseminated through electronic media such as e-mail, and at the same time are more capable of expressing the sender's feelings. Students can also use this opportunity to send their handmade cards to tutors and professors they have met before.

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