Today, Southeast Asia students are forced to find new ways to advance their careers and meet graduation requirements in the overcrowded and hugely competitive region. One strategy is to attend professional conferences, where students can submit and present academic papers before a professional audience, says investor-entrepreneur Ana Shell, who is dedicated to developing alternative energy technologies and improving the economic fortunes of impoverished countries throughout the world.
The annual international conference, devoted to original research and innovations in science, engineering and technology, was hosted on six continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania) by 34 different countries (Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA).
The international conference partnered with academic journals in the fields of Life, Health, Physical, Mathematical and Social Sciences.
Shell noted that a large number of students from across Southeast Asia attended the ICEPE 2014: International Conference on Electrical and Power Engineering in March as part of their graduation requirements. The annual conference brings leading academic scientists, researchers and scholars together to present their findings. It has also become the premier interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to discuss the most recent innovations in electrical and power engineering.
“This conference connects engineers from different fields, but the main purpose is to give opportunities to students in overcrowded countries,” Shell said.
“It was encouraging to see a number of future Ph.D. students attend, especially women,” she added. “In Southeast Asian countries, there is a great difference between female and male unemployment. Now, women who graduate will have an opportunity to get a good job with a good salary.”
The unemployment rate for Southeast Asian women last year was 4.4%, compared to 4.1% for men, the International Labor Organization reported in January. Those are only averages, however, as the rates tend to be much higher on a country-by-country basis. In Indonesia, for example, the unemployment rate in 2013 was 6.3% for women, compared to 5.5 % for men.”
Participating in professional conferences offers a way for Southeast Asian students to hone their presentation skills while gaining valuable experience that sets them apart in a dauntingly competitive job market.
“There is also a question of culture and religion, where women are considered ‘home workers’. Therefore, seeing women present at the conference is a good example of the progressive gender emancipation happening in Asia,” Shell said.