By Alexandra Oberempt
Having the honor of being a panelist at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, was an absolutely incredible experience!
As one of the largest language and literary study conferences in the country, I was a bit nervous, particularly since it was my first time attending a literature conference and presenting my original work. Moreover, I was the only undergraduate on my panel. It was an honor to learn that I was accepted to present at the conference, to speak alongside peers who were entering their third and fourth years in PhD programs. This gave me the opportunity to make connections with others in my field of study and we are still in contact today. Additionally, the networking helped me to see where I could improve my papers for my next conference presentation. Meeting other, more experienced, students from around the country allowed me to take part in a nation-wide conversation and become part of a bigger world of literary analysis. I was even invited back to attend next year! The experience was beyond what I expected. Out of everything I could say about the benefits of the experience, the best I can think of is that it gave me the confidence I needed to realize that academia is a career path of which I will stay dedicated.
Alexandra is an English major at the College.