- Introduce myself with first and last name; learn to say such full name with intonation that just rolls off the tongue.
- Learn to like wearing lipstick and other confidence-raising cosmetics, such as concealer for dark under-eye circles.
- Work up alcohol tolerance to college senior level so that I don’t get shit-faced in front of important people. The alcohol is unavoidable; I must change myself.
- Get those business cards printed… finally!
- Come up with updated, more professional sounding one-liners to describe my work and myself.
- Dig out a couple of nerdy jokes for the cocktail chatter. Grammar jokes are always appreciated, I attempt to convince myself.
- Have handy “did you know” fun facts on file, preferably in reference to Chinese history.
- Don’t bother checking for wedding rings on conversation partners — in my field, most of the men are married. Most of the women are single.
- Practice self introductions balanced with a healthy dose of confidence and imposter syndrome (the latter in good humour, of course).
- Change Tinder photo of me in a suit talking at a podium to a more updated photo of me in a suit talking at a podium. I’m definitely not a junior in college anymore.
Here’s to a fantastic semester of research, writing, and above all, schmoozing!