Two weeks ago, I flew to Orlando with some other BMEs in the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering and MEDesign to attend the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Conference. It was such a cool experience and I learned so much about research and the biomedical engineering field in general!
At the conference, I attended some pretty cool research presentations, from 3D printing and biomaterials, to a presentation on women’s health technology that I especially enjoyed. I had no idea that there were this many new technologies and ideas being pursued in biomedical research, and it was so amazing to see the potential new directions for the field of biomedical engineering. I had never really considered doing research before this experience, but I am now thinking about potentially applying for a summer REU or maybe even pursuing research post-graduation if I like it!
Aside from learning about ongoing research projects in biomedical engineering, I also got the chance to learn about different graduate schools and programs! I hadn’t yet started thinking about grad schools other than USC, so it was great to meet graduate advisors from other schools and get a feel for what the atmosphere and programs were like there. Also, the swag at those grad schools was unreal. . .most notably, I got a colander???? Which was kind of awesome because I have definitely been using it to make pasta ever since I got back.
On top of all of the learning, the conference registration also covered travel to and tickets for Universal Studios Orlando, so on the penultimate night of the conference, we all went to Universal for a couple of hours, which was absolutely unreal! I not only went on a bunch of super fun rides, but also got to spend time with my BME friends from USC, as well as meet other BMEs (both undergrads and grad students) from other schools.
Another formative experience from the conference trip: I went to my first Waffle House! I guess the only downside to the experience (besides the Florida humidity) was that my favorite ride, the VelociCoaster, was (of course) one of the ones that isn’t at Universal Studios in Hollywood. But, if anything, that gives me a reason to go back! I would definitely recommend going to a conference in a field you’re interested in, because there’s so much potential for growth, learning, meeting new people (and maybe going on a rollercoaster or two while you’re at it)!