Organizing and participating in an IONS conference helps students connect with their colleagues in other countries. Participants and organizers also gain valuable experience such as presentation skills, learning about research in diverse areas, starting collaborations, and finding PhD and postdoctoral positions. For the organizers it is an excellent way to learn how to build their own team and organize group work, find sponsors and create marketing plans. Organizers also establish ties between academic and industrial communities.
New organizers always receive advice and suggestions from previous organizers, as well as “IONS Manual” notes, consistently updated after each event by the organizing team. “Organizing a good IONS conference is challenging (something that increases with each edition!), and very similar to what the same organizers will face later in their careers when organizing conferences, meetings or events,” says Silvia Carrasco, Knowledge & Technology Transfer Director at ICFO. “To succeed in their careers, regardless of what they decide to do, students will need leadership, management, and presentation skills, entrepreneurial spirit, networking experience, etc. All chapter activities constitute an essential part of this training. Organizing or participating in IONS makes students grow.”
The Optical Society of America (OSA) has sponsored the IONS Project from the very beginning; The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) and the European Physical Society (EPS) have recently also joined the list of sponsors.
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