The 40 People You Meet at Higher Education Conferences, Part II

[View Part I]

And now, the second part of our edition!

The Name-Dropper: One minute they’re telling you how they were on a bowling team with ‘”Marcia, or Baxter Mags as I call her”, the next they’re talking about how Vasti Torres made them cry in their grad school interview but now they’re total research besties.

mean girls - father is inventor of toaster strudel

The Knowledge Nerd: They’ve got the sessions plotted out on their calendar and are taking notes the entire time.

Modern Family - cant wait to learn

The Twitter BFF: Surprise, just because you follow each other on Twitter doesn’t mean you’re BFFs now.

let me love you

The Fashionista: So much color coordination and cuteness, you spend more time checking out their outfit than listening to the presenter.

fashionThe Sexually Frustrated: All they want from a conference is some sexy time. What else are hotel rooms paid for by their university for?

30 rock - sex person

The Avoider: Student Affairs is a small and often incestuous world. For some folks, conferences equate to avoiding ex-lovers, people they hated in grad school, people they hated at their last work place, etc.

adventure time- hide

The Drunk: Open bars are a devilish temptation…not to mention one of the most popular ways to bond/network in higher education is by drinking.

drinking bridesmaids

The Swag Hag: This person is all about that free swag, whether it’s hotel pens, stickers, free food at conference socials, or the sponsers’ hall.

swag hag

The Desperate Job Seeker: You said “hello” to them in the lobby and next week they email you asking for intel at a job in your department or a LinkedIn reference.

mariah - obsessed

The Blogger: How do you know if someone has a blog? Don’t worry – they’ll tell you.


The Vacation-er: You’ll find them by the pool, by the beach, heading to nearby amusement parks, or engaging in other adventures. If they’re smart, they’ll follow along on the conference’s Twitter backchannel (i.e., hashtag) to see what folks are saying about sessions so they can pretend they went.


The Desperate Job Seeking Grad Student: Yes, they’re similar to the trope of the “Desperate Job Seeker” except they’re worse because they’ve been brainwashed to believe they must have a job by May graduation or else they’re an SA failure. So expect lots of “OH GOD SOMEBODY PLEASE HIRE ME HERE’S MY UNSOLICITED RESUME” from them.

New Girl - ResumeThe Person Constantly Calling/Texting Their Significant Other/Family: They are constantly on the phone going “Hey bae, I miss you” and giving all the updates. The antithesis of ‘The Sexually Frustrated’


[View Part III]


The following individuals contributed a name, description, or otherwise idea/inspiration for the different types of people you meet at conferences. A few people gave ideas for multiple ones and a few people inspired various types with their comments to me; overall definitely more than half this list. Thank you, friends! ❤

  1. Kristen Abell
  2. Chad Ahren
  3. Eric Crumrine
  4. Ashley Dorris
  5. Mika Karikari
  6. Annabel Feider
  7. Alberto Gonzalez
  8. Michael Goodman
  9. Amanda Khampa
  10. Kathryn Magura
  11. Kristen Marshall
  12. Vanessa Pacheco
  13.  Kaitlyn Owens Yoder

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