Brunch: March 2019

Brunch at home: March 23rd, 2019


  • Black coffee
  • Omelette with salami and cheddar
  • GF toast with peanut butter and sliced almonds
  • Banana

Networking – my notes, my experience. Part 2

Today’s post is the continuation of a previous post about Networking from a few months ago. If you haven’t had the chance to check it out, I highly encourage you to start with it by clicking here: Networking – my notes, my experience. Part 1

My experience with networking. Part 2

In my first post about networking, I wrote about how I feel about it and the key things I think anyone should mind if you want to get better at it. This post continues listing all those important and simple things.

Continuing from part 1 on Networking

Show your interest in others’ work/activities/research. We all love when someone shows interest in something we are talking, we feel valuable. Do the same with the person in front of you, even if you are not highly interested in the same topics but it will make the other person feel comfortable and more open to speaking with you. It’s also perfect for breaking the ice after introducing yourselves. Use things like: “This is fantastic, tell me more about it”

Network, network and never stop networking. Go to networking events in your town, there are more events than you think! Start small with your community, make yourself known. The more you show to networking events, the more you practice your networking skills, the better you will get at it and, the more people will know you. If you don’t feel comfortable with attending a big event, start by attending small chats and gatherings of people with the same interest. We are constantly networking in our daily lives without even being aware of it, we come across with new faces on workshops, seminars, new coworkers, volunteering work, etc; make the most of it, introduce yourself and the rest of the conversation will follow. After all, you both are there for the same reason, right?

Prepare your goals before any event. What do you want to get from the networking event/conference? What are the companies attending? What have been their recent achievements? Is there any particular person you want to talk to? What do you have to offer? If you are looking for a job, do not forget to pitch yourself. You can use the elevator pitch “PAWS” – professional, academic, work and skills.

Find something personal in common with the person you are talking with. Personal and unique facts are easier to remember than a name. Observe the other person and find something that you could link to you. It could be a shared hobby, a story, etc. Build that connection and they won’t forget you.

Read and keep you informed of the latest news on your field. Bringing up something you recently read in the news shows your interest and passion in your field and of course, it’s an interesting topic for breaking the ice or keeping in touch with your new connection.

Understand cultural differences. If you are abroad, follow the social guidelines of the country you are visiting. These differences can be just a fun experience to tell when you come back but it can also affect your future career. Be mindful of where the other person comes from and respect their personal space. Miscommunication often happens and the best way to avoid it is by making sure that you understood what it has been said; an effective communication is a big part of networking.

There is always someone willing to talk and interact with people. This is something I observed in conferences I attended as a graduate student. Experienced networkers easily identify someone who is struggling in a professional situation and they sometimes even see themselves when they started. That empathy makes them start a conversation and show interest in your work/research topic. Do not take it as a personal invasion, take it as a great chance to absorb all they have to offer.

Do not be afraid of interrupting a conversation. There is nothing more awkward than waiting for a group of people until the conversation is over. If your target is having a conversation with somebody else, my recommendation is to keep track of that person from distance and if you see that the conversation is still going and the event is about to end, breath, approach him/her and don’t be afraid of interrupting! You only need 10 seconds to say: “I’m sorry to interrupt your conversation, my name is John Smith and if you had sometime later, I would really like to have a quick chat with you”

Keep your connections alive. This is the part of Networking that most people who have just started to network forget about. Keeping your network is as important as building it. Keep in touch with your contacts after you met for the first time; send them an email no later than a couple of days after you met and comment on your conversation or interests. Add them on LinkedIn and share your achievements. Be active and thankful.

I just want to finish this article with a note: Networking is not about quantity, it’s about quality. Networking is not a competition. It’s better to make one connection rather than make 100 who might not even remember you in a week! Don’t be afraid of networking, practice and attend as many networking events as possible. Getting out of our comfort zone and putting yourself out there is not easy for anyone but it does not need to be difficult if you train yourself. Go early, you will probably find fewer people and ENJOY!

I hope you found this article helpful and you are now looking forward to practicing your networking skills.

The thesis writing process (4): thesis writing retreat

Welcome to the fourth part of the series The thesis writing process. Click on the links by the end of this post if you missed any of the other posts on this same series.

I am currently writing the second version of my thesis, which hopefully will go under review in April. I have been writing for around a year now. From my experience, the thesis writing process is as hard as conducting research and we don’t usually realize that until we start with it; surround yourself by supporting peers.

Continue reading “The thesis writing process (4): thesis writing retreat”

The thesis writing process (3): create a plan

Welcome to the third part of The thesis writing process! If you missed the other posts on this series, you can find the links to them by the end of this post. In previous posts, I discussed things you can do during your research that will help later on when you write your thesis. However, I want to start looking at more specific things to the thesis.

So… the time for you to start thinking of writing your thesis has arrived! You have your research perfectly framed, you have results, you have been keeping a journal but you don’t know how to start! Keep calm and start planning.

Continue reading “The thesis writing process (3): create a plan”

Brunch: February 2019

Wiché Café Bakery, Bilbao, Spain: February 19th, 2019


Brunch for two:

  • Toast with olive oil and mashed tomatoes
  • Yogurt with brownie, sprinkles and chocolate sauce
  • Yogurt with red fruits and raspberry jam
  • Fresh orange juice
  • Spanish omelette with Iberian meats and duck liver mousse
  • Cafe mocha

The thesis writing process (2): keep a journal

Welcome to the second part of The thesis writing process! If you missed the first part of this series, you can read it here: The thesis writing process (1): frame your research

Documentation complements research and both should evolve side by side. Some of us, especially in disciplines where research is mostly conducted from a more technical perspective, find writing very challenging. But there’s a way to make things easier!

Continue reading “The thesis writing process (2): keep a journal”

My thoughts on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

UNESCO @unesco

This week on February 11th, we celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Since I am a woman working in a STEM field, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on what being a woman in science means to me.

Continue reading “My thoughts on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science”