Here you can read more on the experience of Lisanne de Moor’s international traineeship:
In July 2018, I attended the first edition of the Summer School of Personality Science (SSPS) and the nineteenth edition of the European Conference on Personality (ECP) in Zadar (Croatia) to fulfill the Research Master international traineeship course.
For the SSPS, one of my major goals was learning how to contribute to a group discussion. During the summer school, I’ve attempted to be more active during various parts of the schedule. Although some parts of the days lent themselves better to active participation (e.g., “panel discussion”), I have also tried to weigh in with my own opinion and experience during the mentoring lunches and during informal group discussions outside of class. While I still feel like I was one of the more silent members of the group, I do think I’ve made great strides in sharing my own views with academic peers.
Another major goal that I feel I’ve progressed in is concerned with presenting my own work in a professional way to an international audience. While I still am uncomfortable with presenting to others, I feel like presenting my own work at ECP has greatly helped me to become less anxious about presenting. Moreover, presenting at ECP and getting helpful feedback about how to improve my work has really shown me the benefits of presenting work; it is not just a moment to show your work, but also to gather others’ thoughts and advice on your work. I think this realization has also caused me to think more positively about presenting work in general, and I hope it will benefit me when presenting work in the future.
Taken together, although I feel like I certainly still have a lot to learn, I think attending both the SSPS and the ECP was a great experience and a wonderful start of an international career in academics. I can honestly say that I very much enjoyed both the summer school and the conference. While very intense at times, I learned a lot about my topics of interest but, and perhaps just as if not even more importantly, also about topics outside of my direct interest. In this way, I feel like the SSPS and ECP have really given me a better understanding of the entirety of the field that is personality psychology. Moreover, apart from teaching me a lot about all the things that we now know, the summer school and conference have also especially increased my awareness of all the things that we do not yet know – and being around so many intellectual and motivated individuals has increased my own motivation to want to fill in those gaps.
All in all, I consider my time abroad as a very useful experience, in which I learned many new things – both knowledge- and skill-wise. Moreover, I feel like I benefited from this experience in much more ways that I had previously imagined.