Fixation on Histology

Take the Leap - Submit a Session Proposal to Present at NSH in Baltimore

leapOnce upon a time, in a land far far away, (OK it was really 2012 in Milwaukee, WI) I decided to take a leap into the unknown. That leap turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. That leap was submitting my very first session proposal for the 2012 NSH Annual Symposium/Convention in Vancouver, BC.

Am I crazy? Do I think they would really pick ME to present at a National Conference? I’m a Histology nobody. No one knows me or anything about me? Why would they think I have something intelligent to share on troubleshooting? Look at the names of some of these Histology “icons” that present at these things! They aren’t going to pick me. What am I thinking? Yet, I chose to hit that “submit abstract” button in early 2012.

After I hit that button, the anxiety and fear kicked in. The waiting to hear back from NSH if my abstract was submitted seemed like a lifetime. In reality it was just a few short weeks. Then I thought, what if they DO pick ME? I was terrified! I told myself years ago that I would never speak in public after that terrible public speaking class I had in college. NEVER!

Then it came. That message I was waiting for in my Inbox! It was the email I had waited for since I hit that submit button. They accepted my session proposal. They picked ME!!! They picked ME…the Histology nobody to talk about troubleshooting! I was giddy with glee and couldn’t wait to share my excitement with everyone. I did it! I really did it!

Fast forward to Vancouver. I was terrified as I started to speak. I was frightened to get a question from a Histology somebody that I couldn’t answer. Was I going to know how to do this PowerPoint in this huge convention room? Thinking to myself…OH MY GOSH WHAT AM I DOING… and then I settled in. I breezed through my presentation with flying colors. I received support and feedback from people I never met! They were my peers and we were in this TOGETHER! It didn’t matter if I thought I was a Histology nobody! No one cared! All they cared about was learning something new and/or useful that they could use or share with their colleagues. I was on an adrenaline high! I absolutely loved everything about it! I made amazing new contacts, friends and made memories I would never forget.

Since Vancouver in 2012, I have taken the leap again and again and again. I’ve been to Vancouver to Washington DC to Orlando to New Orleans and to Reno. I’ve done 1-hour workshops to a 3-hour workshop to an 15-minute express talk and everything in between with NSH. I currently Chair the NSH Lab Operations Committee and sit on the NSH program committee. Me, yes, Histology nobody, ME!

Taking that leap all those years ago has launched me into the most amazing career! NSH wants everyone to succeed! It truly has been and honor and a privilege to work with so many amazing people dedicated to making our field even more amazing than it already is! Want to launch your career into something amazing? I challenge YOU to hit the “submit proposal” button and I hope to see YOU in Baltimore this Fall! The deadline to submit Session Proposals for the 2023 NSH Convention is March 10.

Take the leap! You can do it! We are ALL cheering for you!

Written By: Nicole Leon, BS, HTL (ASCP)