After staying on the waiting list for a week or so, I was finally offered a place in the one-day workshop titled “Building Your Professional Network”. This event provoked my curiosity, as it was not only interdisciplinary, but also cross-organizational, which involved King’s, UCL, UEL and Brunel. And it couldn’t be seen as pure academic, because it’s on networking skills!
On the very day of the workshop, I arrived at UCL to find the training room full of strange faces. The warm-up activity, however, was not self-introduction, but group summary of achievements and worries during networking, and we soon realized we were actually faced with very similar difficulties: how to approach high-rank scholars, to keep in touch with people known from conferences, and to impress people in first meeting, etc. And the following activities were designed exactly toward these concerns. Tutors from the above-mentioned four universities lectured in turn, providing detailed communication tactics as well as general networking strategy. And each short lecture was complemented by a group practice, where we talked with each other about our research, the problems we had, and the help we could offer to our peers. We were required to switch groups once in a while, and it went so well that I got to know every single one of the participants at the end of the day.
It’s quite nice to have like-mined friends with different backgrounds, share our progress, and exchange information now and then. After all, King’s paid for the workshop expenses for me, and I can just sit here and watch my academic “capital” appreciating.
Researcher Development, Graduate School, King’s College London http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/school/training/index.aspx