A month after my (first) Siggraph experience, I already have some thoughtful conclusions. The experience has been awesome! I will just give you a brief idea of what it meant to me and what my role was there: I have been an Ex-Student Volunteer working inside GraphicsNet Team. Basically, the GraphicsNet team is in charge of giving network support to the whole conference center. So, we provided service between the conference center network team and Siggraph conference. That included running cables through the whole conference center to connect every venue and every room that required it.
Working with the GraphicsNet guys has been great. They are very talented, they have a lot of experience (a member of the team has been at Siggraph since the 80´s!), they really know how to do their job and, well, I was learning something new every moment. They have been doing this forever, so they have a robust and clear network design. What I had to do was easy, but trust me if I said that it was a huge amount of work! I have never run so much cable in my whole life. But honestly, I didn´t care. I was in heaven! I have seen the entire process of Siggraph, from the very beginning (guys setting up all the furniture), to the end (same guys removing all the furniture).
This experience has been quite positive in so many aspects. First of all, the personal one, which I consider the most important as it is what defines us. This was the first time I have been away from home for so long and also the first time I have had to manage all by myself. Taking into account the circumstances, I think I did it pretty good. It was easier thanks to the people from GraphicsNet, who have been very helpful.
Surprisingly enough, the social aspect was good. I was concerned about it because this was the first time I had to speak English on a daily basis. Well, I spoke a lot of English, sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes really bad and a couple of days no one could understand me at all…In spite of this, I met a lot of interesting people that I would not have met otherwise (in fact, and do not ask me the reason why but it was easier for me to introduce myself to people than before), I strengthened some existing relationships and I even went to a couple of the famous Siggraph parties!!!!
So, summing up, I must confess that this has been a unique experience and that I am quite thankful to the people that recommended me for the volunteer program, to the people that selected me for the program, to the people at GraphicsNet team and of course to my family.