Attending a professional conference for the first time as a student can be daunting, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. COT’s Education Intern, Anna Welsh, is here to guide you through your first OT conference.
Being a student can sometimes be difficult and it always gives you peace of mind knowing that you have support. It is always interesting to learn from others in the profession who have experience; this can be occupational therapists out in practice, lecturers and other students. One place which brings people from all over the profession together is COT’s Annual Conference. The Annual Conference this year is held in Brighton, 3–5th June at The Brighton Centre.
Attending the Annual Conference will allow you to network with people from all over the OT spectrum. It also allows you to attend inspiring talks by occupational therapists and even get a chance to network with them too.
There is a session specifically for students at the Annual Conference, which will be run by myself and Anita Volkert, who is COT’s Education Manager for Pre-Registration Policy. During this session, students will present their abstracts and share their experiences. This will be a great learning opportunity. We are also planning to have a social event for students after the session which will allow you to network further.
As well as being able to gain support from networking, it will also give you an opportunity to share ideas with others.
Of course, these are just a few of the reasons why students should attend conference. Have a look at our conference website, which includes the full programme here: http://cotannualconference.org.uk/
Attending the conference will greatly help you to develop your CPD, which as you know is extremely important.
The COT Annual Conference will be the theme of our #COTstudentchat on 8 May, 12–1 pm. This chat will be held by Anita and will provide you with an opportunity to ask questions. To join in, simply add the hashtag #COTstudentchat at the end of your tweets.
As a recent graduate myself, I am excited to be able to meet current students and offer advice. I feel that networking is one of the best ways to learn.
The Annual Conference will be a great experience and I am looking forward to seeing you all in Brighton!