This weekend, I was able to present my research at a national conference in Philadelphia. And what is my research you might ask? My research examines mentoring for black, female undergraduate students by black, female professors at predominantly white institutions. I was able to present my findings with my mentor at the Research on Women & Education. It was a great experience to get my 'feet wet' and to observe the work of other scholars in their field, but to network as well.
Honestly, part of the work of a graduate student is to present their work, and by work I mean research. Even if that work is not related to your thesis. It is highly recommended and encouraged. Professors are impressed with students who are able to present at national conferences. So, please present: The earlier, the better. Trust me.