MBA Student Selected as Fellow for International Conference
It's not the first conference Norman Atkins Jr. has ever been to, but it may turn out to be a very important one to his future.
Atkins, an Illinois graduate student pursuing an MBA in the College of Business and a PhD from the campus interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, was one of 75 students and young professionals selected for sponsorship to the 2003 Biovision meeting and World Life Sciences Forum held earlier this month in Lyon, France. He was chosen as a fellow from an applicant pool of more than 200 international scholars. The BioVision Conference was an opportunity for participants to share views on a wide range of issues in the life sciences.
In some ways BioVision was a typical conference, with industry leaders in various fields of science coming together to discuss and debate scientific issues that impact life around the world, as Atkins described it. What made it different, though, was the sheer magnitude of people in attendance and topics that were discussed.
There were people from all over the world engaged in various life sciences, as well as members of the United Nations and other governmental agencies from various countries, Atkins said.
What really impressed Atkins was the fact that high-ranking executives came to represent companies from various industries. This varied from other conferences where less prominent company representatives are often sent by companies.
It was a great opportunity to make contacts with investors and potential employers who are the heads of (company divisions), Atkins said. I had never attended a conference where so many high profile meetings were taking place simultaneously.
In the discussion, Atkins said he not only gained an understanding of issues that are on the table across the globe, but also was able to talk about them with the people who potentially can directly impact the issues.
It was an environment where your argument, if well presented, could lead to a change in the world, said Atkins. In a week, I met people and was exposed to issues that should take years to experience.
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