Being a PhD
student is not always easy. Long hours in the lab, frustration when experiments
do not have the expected outcome, anxiety trying to meet deadlines for
abstracts, papers, meetings, reports. But it is not all bad; there are many
wonderful moments that should be cherished.

When I got the
opportunity to assist as a volunteer in Cell-VIB-Symposium: The Multifaceted
Roles of Type 2 Immunity Conference I did not think twice. My main task would
be to help at the registration desk and the Q&A sessions and at the same
time I could attend the presentations and poster sessions.

My anticipation
was building up until the first day of the symposium arrived. Waiting at the
reception for all the delegates to arrive I could not help but noticing
everybody’s excitement. They will wait for their badge, while taking a final
look at the program before entering the room to follow the presentations (also
asking questions about the picturesque city of Bruges). A mixed audience, as in
any conference, ranging from early stage researchers, PhD students like I, to well-established
scientists. One thing all having in common, their love for science and passion
for their work.

For these three
days, I was part of a buzzing community, eager to discuss and exchange results,
and form collaborations. Through lively discussion both at oral and poster
presentations I learnt a lot about different immunology aspects which gave me
ideas for my own research. To my surprise, the author workshop as mentioned to
the program, was an insight into the unknown world of scientific journals, with
the participation of two Cell editors answering questions for their peer
review/publishing procedure giving hints on how to have a successful outcome to
your paper submission. An advice
that one should always remember; fight for your paper and rebut a negative response
if you truly believe in your research.