Written by Misato Matsutani
I recently had the privilege of presenting my paper at QUEUC, Quebec Universities English Undergraduate Conference, held at Bishop’s University in Sherbrook, QC. For two days, approximately 50 undergraduate students from across Canada’s humanities programmes shared their research. The presentation topic varied from feminism, Shakespeare, Harry Potter, to Muji – which was my topic, in which I talked about their branding strategy. I wrote this paper last year in CMNS323, Cultural Dimensions in Advertising.
Attending QUEUC was a highly beneficial experience as it gave me the opportunity to share, learn, and connect.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to be able to share my research with others. Receiving feedback from people other than my TA or professors was refreshing. I enjoyed this aspect because people were not there to criticise me, but rather to learn and discuss about the topic. Writing, at least for me, can be a rather lonely activity. You read, research, and write all by yourself. Therefore, I was grateful for the opportunity to actually talk about my paper with people. I found this very rewarding.
I learned many things from the experience; this was my first time attending and presenting at a conference. For example, I learned a lot from the process of editing my paper for the presentation. Whenever I let someone read it, each person pointed out different aspects of the paper that I might modify, including: sentence structure, redundancy, or examples I choose to use. The editing process seemed endless at times but was a good learning opportunity which enabled me to strive to be a better writer/presenter.
In addition to presentations, QUEUC offered various social activities, such as, trivia night, wine and cheese social, and meal breaks. This was a fun and great way to network with other participants. Talking with people who are passionate about what they do was inspiring.
Overall, I had a great experience attending QUEUC. It was one of the most valuable experiences in my academic career. When I started my study at SFU almost three years ago, I never thought I would present at a conference. I was struggling, especially with writing, and was very scared of it because I had only a little experience. Once, I even cried in front of my TA because I felt that writing in English was painful. However, I did not give up and slowly improved in this area. Working towards something can feel difficult, but when someone acknowledges your hard work it is so rewarding and encouraging. I still do not know whether I can say I am a “good” writer as English is my second language. Whenever I write, I have to ask someone to edit it. Nevertheless, I now have more confidence in myself, which is perhaps the most important things I have gained from this experience.
*This article was written as part of our Travel and Conference funding requirement. The views presented in this article may not necessarily represent the values that the SFU Communication Student Union holds.*