Networking opportunities

Phew. What a day. And a week. There’s no rest for the wicked. 

This week I’ve been madly working on that journal article again (sent to supervisor for new edits!), working on an application for the Educational Fellowship Scheme (draft done today), marking, doing university teaching courses (four hours today!) and trying to work out what to do about my stalled research. 

The last one is a problem for another time. Perhaps a time when I actually have some sort of solution, or a number of possible solutions and not just a cacophony of complaints. 

What I really wanted to mention was, how good the opportunities I’ve had for professional development have been for networking in a really interesting way. Today I was having a conversation with someone who, while I had talked to them and done courses with them before, we hadn’t really talked about things off topic. Today we were chatting away and discovered that we had done the same masters degree at the same university, only a year apart. It was really great to compare notes on the course, and things that have changed since she did it. More importantly though, we can talk about our research areas from interesting perspectives, but with a shared background knowledge. I often find that people have an opinion on language teaching, but don’t necessarily understand (or have an interest in) the type of teaching I’m looking at. I have people in my field that I speak to – which is great to discuss theories and practicalities, I have people outside the field that I speak to – which is great as a sounding board, and a great way to expand my understanding of the world. It is much much rarer though to find someone who is outside the field, but shares the same background knowledge. 

In short: go to events and courses. Even if you don’t learn what you wanted to (I actually love this course though), you never know who you might meet. 

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