Consider the following two sentences:
- Attending X gave me a sense of appreciation for Y.
- By attending X, I acquired an appreciation for Y.
I'm not quite sure what's more appropriate to use. From experience, sentence #2 sounds more direct. However, because the verb is "attending," it seems more natural to use #1.
(Wasn't sure how to properly set the title for this post. Please change if someone comes up with a more apt title.)