As a researcher, often summertime is conference time – this was true for me this year as well. Like some other ESRs’, I attended and presented at R&D Management Conference 2023 in Seville in June. In July I travelled again, this time to Cagliari, Italy to attend and present at the EGOS Colloquium 2023. In addition, I got a spot at the EGOS PhD Colloquium, which is a one-day event before the conference itself. In the following blog post, I will share some insights from my time there – EGOS is indeed a really good conference and the research there is so amazing and high quality, I can totally recommend going!

Attending the EGOS Colloquium & EGOS PhD Colloquium 2023 in Cagliari

Poster at Cagliari airport welcoming all EGOSians (picture taken by C. Leeb).

The EGOS PhD Colloquium

PhD Colloquia are an excellent opportunity for any PhD student and I highly recommend attending one or several! This year I attended the one from R&D Management and the one from EGOS. Jess already wrote an insightful summary of the PhD Colloquium with R&D, and I thought it could be useful to share how the EGOS one looks like.

It was a one-day event before the main conference and we heard some talks by senior scholars about writing theory papers, the art of reviewing, and insights on how to publish in Organization Studies. In addition, the EGOS PhD Colloquium consists of small table rounds of a few students and one senior researcher. Each student submits a thesis proposal which is then being discussed in these smaller groups. This way you get to meet fellow PhD students from around the world, as well as brilliant researchers from various fields within organisational studies.
Even though it can be daunting to share your thoughts, especially as everybody is doing such great work, it is a great opportunity! This part was extremely productive and useful for me – I learned so much and got very valuable tips from the other PhDs and my facilitator. In addition, you already get to meet other people you will see again at the main conference!

In general, I would recommend doing PhD Colloquia as early as possible in your PhD – it sometimes is a bit hard to be ready for these in your first year. At the EGOS colloquium, I felt like most people were in their 3rdyear of PhD (also depending on the PhD system of their home country), so it is for more “advanced” PhDs.

Attending the EGOS Colloquium & EGOS PhD Colloquium 2023 in Cagliari

Sustainable conference badge, which can be planted! (picture taken by C.Leeb).

The main EGOS colloquium

Don’t get confused – the main EGOS colloquium is the name of the conference, and it is really a big conference! We were spread out in 3 different locations across the city, and I heard from others that it really was a conference with thousands of people.
Something really great about EGOS is that they are trying to be as sustainable as possible. One example is their conference badges (see picture)!

What is specific for EGOS is that they have a track-based system. That means that you submit your work to one specific track and if you get selected to present, you are asked to attend all sessions in this track throughout the conference. This way, they are trying to build a community around a topic – which is really nice! I presented in the track “Professions in an Age of Intelligent Technologies”.
It was such an amazing experience for me to join this as such a junior researcher. In my track, there were so many excellent researchers, whose papers I had read in top journals – just incredible! The feedback I got was so useful and of excellent quality. Many of the attendees had read my paper and were really trying to give useful feedback to help me progress further. In addition, every single presentation in my track was interesting to listen to and the topic was relevant to my research – incredible!

Of course, this can also be intimidating, and it is normal to start questioning what you do, etc. – but courage, it is part of the PhD journey (what I have been told from senior researchers) and it’s just an amazing opportunity to connect with great scholars from your field!

At EGOS I did not know many people. Alejandra was there as well, which was really nice for some social events, and also another friend that I met at my placement at RMIT Australia was there. However, as noted above, the conference is really big, which meant that I did not meet them during coffee breaks and was alone – something daunting as well! As in most conferences, people travel with colleagues or have their community already, so it can feel a bit lonely and overwhelming. But, don’t be afraid – you will meet people that you can have a chat with or you can just approach new people to make some small talk. Or, what happened to me, is you meet somebody who is really well connected and who introduces you (in person or via e-mail) to other scholars. And don’t forget: it’s also totally ok to take breaks from socialising now and then, conferences are exhausting!

Even though it was harder to meet people at EGOS than it was at R&D (where I already knew many people through EINST4INE, especially more senior scholars), I still met a few new people who do similar things to me, some of whom I will also try to visit when I pass by their university.

As a summary: EGOS is an amazing and excellent conference. It was daunting, exciting and brought me invaluable and extremely helpful insights into my research – I can only recommend everybody to attend EGOS if you get a chance to!

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