Working as a Student Volunteer at CHI was quite an eye-opening experience. I had attended CHI previously as an attendee, which allowed me the opportunity to attend a number of sessions and talk with a number of visionaries in our field. However, this year I had the pleasure to work behind the scenes, and have a lot more personal conversations with a number of visionaries within the field. Some of my favorite moments include meeting Alan Dix for the first time in the OutdoorCHI session, meeting m.c. schraefel in her inbodied interaction session, and the countless interactions I had in the rockstar lunches with visionaries such as Allison Druin and Hiroshi Ishii.
I also got to know how the conference worked behind the curtain, which informed a lot of my possible research opportunities. I figured out how many people were able to fund themselves throughout their PhDs, and understood the process of maturing from a PhD student into a candidate and possibly being employed afterwards. This provided me a lot of food for thought, which I have been thinking about in the future.