#DigitAgora : The 3rd annual #DigitAg meeting of masters, PhD & post-doc students, online, 1st & 2nd of June, 2021

The #DigitAgora, the annual meeting of our community, was held remotely over two half-days in early June 2021 and brought together about 50 students from our Graduate School – PhD students and Master 2 interns – and members of the #DigitAg management team.

Given the format, we have favoured workshops and interactive exchanges:

  • Thinking about the digital showcase projects of 6 PhD students
  • The intervention of PhD students already graduated on the usefulness and the way to develop our professional network
  • Sharing the transversal skills acquired during the #DigitAg experience

93% of the 41 people who answered the questionnaire said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the proposed highlights, even if everyone would have preferred informal times that would have allowed them to extend the ideas and reflections shared.

The more festive time with the online culinary escape game allowed the participants to get closer to each other.

Some feedbacks we got:

Digital Showcase Projects:

“Constructive and relevant feedback and exchanges on my work allowed me (i) to project myself on possible future applications and to step back on other perspectives than those already considered, (ii) to quickly present my work, (iii) to give a quick and constructed feedback of this work session, an exercise I had never had the opportunity to do.”

“Approach very interesting but I found it difficult to bring something to the workshop (being very far from what the PhD student was presenting). On the other hand, the best part of the #DigitAgora was the common feedback on Wednesday morning: it inspired me for my own thesis and I also got to know better what was being done in #Digitag. ”

“Very good for initiating the PhD student’s thinking around the object for the digital storefront: refining their thinking, expressing it in an understandable format, understanding the stakes and scope of such a work, and glimpsing the next steps (for some of them). ”


Developing professional network:

“It’s interesting, and it made me realize how little I’ve thought about my network in recent years, and how to leverage it. But there is something a little scary about thinking in terms of the usefulness of all our professional relationships. We need to find a balance so as not to fall into bulimia of the network! ”

“Interesting and de-dramatizes a bit the fear via a non-existent network. I still have the fear of not knowing how to approach / interest the person we are trying to contact and the frequency of contacts remains for me unresolved. ”

“Too focused on PhD students who switch to the private sector after their thesis, no leads for those who want to stay in research.”

“Interesting and “reassuring” because depending on the situation I feel more or less legitimate to be part of such or such network. In the end, you build your network little by little. ”

“Relevant. The network is important in all areas. Not everyone is aware of how to build it and use it, so it’s interesting to get advice. The idea of an interactive presentation is interesting, but I don’t think many people dare to speak in front of many people. ”


Knowing and building your transversal skills:

“I really liked the opportunity given to think in workshops with advance registration based on topic preferences. ”

“Great, thanks for sharing the transversal skills document and methods, e.g. STAR. This is especially helpful for PhD students at the end of their thesis who are therefore looking for a job. ”

“It was nice to have small group time to have the opportunity to talk a little bit with colleagues. But it would have been even nicer to have time set aside in this workshop to introduce each other (the time was short so we didn’t take the time to do it). The fact of tracing a “story” to be told to highlight acquired skills, although interesting, did not allow us to highlight our experiences to each other, since we focused on the experience of one PhD student. ”

“Very interesting to brainstorm with almost strangers on a common topic. We can see that the doctoral program allows us to develop a lot of skills that are essential to the management of a project. Very reassuring about the post thesis in the private sector and/or in entrepreneurship. ”

“The experience sharing is interesting and allows us to focus on the skills that we sometimes misunderstand. Perhaps not enough time for group discussion. ”

“Not easy to do the exercise when you’re only in your 1st year of doctoral studies because you haven’t acquired many skills/experience yet. But it’s very interesting to listen to more advanced PhD students.”


Article written by Sigolène Rousseau <sigolene.rousseau@supagro.fr>