At TNC17 GÉANT launched a joint programme with research and education networks to bring young professionals and students to the conference and deliver a lightning talk. Bright IT students from across Europe were nominated to submit their best idea and follow a training course provided by GÉANT’s Learning and Development team to prepare for the occasion. The IT Students’ Lightning Talk Challenge is one of the first GÉANT Future Talent Programme initiatives. Every single student, with their enthusiasm and the exciting topics brought to TNC17 an absolute breath of fresh air; we look forward to repeating and surpassing the experience at TNC18.
CONNECT approached one of these TNC17 Programme alumni to learn about their experience from the preparation work carried out with the support of the GLAD team, through to the delivery of their talks and their TNC17 attendance.
Fredrik Strupe, UNINETT Lightning Talk: Using Raspberry Pis for cheap Wi-Fi monitoring
How did you learn about the Student Lightning Talk Programme?
My supervisor at UNINETT suggested to put myself forward to present the project I’ve been working on for the past year (I am currently working at UNINETT while studying at university); it sounded very interesting and I decided to give it a go.
How did you find our webinars and our coaching?
The lessons helped me during the creation of the paper and the preparation of the talk, and the seminars gave me the opportunity to meet the other students. The feedback on the talks received from the coaches and the other participants was also useful, and enabled me to considerably improve the talk. All in all it was a very enjoyable experience, and it made the thought of presenting to a large audience so less scary than expected.
What was the most memorable moment of TNC17?
I have so many memorable moments from the event, but the most unforgettable is probably the opening reception, a great social event spent on a boat cruising the Danube River. It was a fantastic way to get to know the other students and the GÉANT staff, and to meet other participants from all over Europe.
What did TNC17 mean to you?
It gave me an insight into the networking community in Europe, and the different organisations and people involved.
What was the biggest challenge you faced at TNC17?
Probably avoiding a heat stroke! Coming from 8°C in Norway, the summer heat in Austria was quite exhausting. But on a more serious note, delivering the five minute lightning talk was probably the biggest challenge I have ever faced, as I don’t have much experience in presenting to large audiences.
How do you think this experience will benefit you in the future?
It gave an incredible boost to my confidence and helped me improve my presentation skills, in addition, during TNC17 I had the opportunity to meet people I may collaborate (and encounter) with in the future. The event also gave me a great insight into the types of jobs within the European networking community, and I am sure it will inspire me to choose a career path after my studies.