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Overcoming a Significant Challenge

Overcoming a Significant Challenge

Yim Kai Yiu's Story
Faculty of Law

Woody, a Government and Laws graduate who is now studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Laws, presented at the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) Annual Conference in April 2018. 

While most politics students would prefer to write an essay or assist a faculty member by involving in literature review for their capstone requirement, Woody was up for a greater challenge - he was a research intern to Dr. Kai Quek, with whom he co-authored a working paper related to people's perceptions on military and foreign policies. They conducted a survey experiment with over 1,000 respondents, analysed the data and produced a working paper.

The MPSA Annual Conference is one of the largest political science conferences in the United States. Woody, along with 2 more other classmates, flew to Chicago to attend the 76th Annual Conference, where he presented the paper in front of many research teams, including distinguished scholars of the field.

“Try to distinguish yourself from other presenters in the same panel.”

One of the most challenging parts for Woody would be managing the presentation. A year’s worth of effort had to be condensed into 15 minutes. “Our focus must be narrow enough to prevent losing the attention of our audience.”

It is extremely rare for an undergraduate like Woody to present research at a conference, not to mention a highly prestigious one like MPSA. Woody is humbled by such an opportunity and considers this a fruitful experience even though he does not intend to pursue a career in academia.

What tips or advice would Woody give to aspiring students intending to follow his footsteps? “Rehearse. Rehearse. Rehearse.” You only get one shot on presenting, and rehearsing is the best thing could do to make the most out of this one-shot. Preparation also entails looking into the research of others - “Try to distinguish yourself from other presenters in the same panel.”

Written by:
Truston Yu
Year 3, Faculty of Social Science
September 2019

Overcoming a Significant Challenge