If you have made a New Year’s resolution to gain more professional experience or showcase your hard work, VIU’s CREATE Conference might be just the thing you need.

With the intention to represent the diversity of student work, the annual VIU CREATE Conference gives students of all programs the opportunity to showcase their major projects. On March 30, students are invited to present displays and participate in oral presentations to highlight their efforts and accomplishments.

The event aims to give students a chance to earn experience; credentials; networking opportunities with community members, students from various departments, and faculty members; as well as cash prizes. It also allows students to strengthen their public speaking and poster-making skills, spark research curiosity, and build their resumes and research portfolios. To aid in the display creations, there is free poster printing available through the Research and Scholarly Activity Office for participants.

“I believe the biggest benefit for students is the opportunity to gain experience to add to their cover letter or resume,” said coordinator Kathryn Jepson. “Participation in events like this are recognized in scholarship applications, graduate school, and future career endeavours, and being able to communicate your ideas and disseminate knowledge clearly is a valuable skill to acquire. It’s also a free and friendly environment.”

Students can participate in one, several, or all of the events, which include posters and displays, performances, presentations, and the Scholarship Slam. To strengthen your display or presentation, VIU offers several workshops in poster design and oral presentation. A full list and details of these can be found online.

In addition to recognition and the chance to make professional relationships and gain experience, there are several awards to be won. These include: the People’s Choice Best Poster Award, People’s Choice Best Presentation Award, Meritorious Best Poster Award, Meritorious Best Presentation Award, and the Scholarship Slam Award. First place will receive $500, second will get $100, and third will win a $50 gift card to the VIU Bookstore.

If research is not in its final stage by the start of the conference, students are welcome to present problems, ideas, hypotheses, methodologies, and preliminary data they have to date; in addition, multiple author presentations are accepted.

A full description of each of the events is available online. Online registration will be available shortly.