Final Reflection

For this post I have to give a review of my thoughts and opinions on the module, schedule and course structure. Here are some questions/prompts we were given for this final reflection:

  1. Did the seminars help you decide for or against a career in research?
  2. Did they help you come up with an enterprise idea?
  3. Did you gain new contacts? How?
  4. Did you understand how to write a better CV, use social media to network etc.?
  5. How did the individual components of the module help you plan your career?

1.

I want a career in research, it has given me ideas on how to approach the topics and work with what available resources I have.

The talks/seminars I attended gave me ideas for potential future research topics and how to get onto the “research ladder”. I think that it was Nick Winder who said:

nothing we know is going to prepare you for your life

 Work with people, not for people – you will make a greater effect.

During the seminar, he also spoke about how it doesn’t matter how smart you think you are, there will always be someone who thinks that they’re smarter, and that’s okay. Keep working at your level.

2.

I have considered setting up my own business, but I need more time to actually consider its viability. I now know how to create a business plan if I wanted to take my ideas to a new level.

The business would involve me selling prints of my art and drawing commissions for customers, however, being in full-time education and skint the business will have to wait until I can sort myself out.

3.

I haven’t gained any new contacts, but I have become more aware about the services offered for students in regards to setting up a business. I have also heard that the the business lecturers are happy to help support students whom want to follow that route.

This is promising for someone in my position with questionable business ideas.

Other than lecturers, the only others whom I could have made contacts with are other students, thus, I didn’t meet anyone new.

4.

I’m not sure if I gained any new information about writing CVs. The information given to help us write them was the same generic “hints and tips” I’ve been given a lot over the years in High School to College and now University. I’m sure one of my first year modules (Introductory Research Skills) also talked about CV writing. I am glad of the feedback I got for my CV however, it hasn’t exactly made me more employable; it was rather lacklustre and “you wrote a good CV”.

I think I would have benefitted from something more along the lines of: “you can improve by adding/changing x, y and z!”

I did gain some interview skills and practice, I am thankful that it was included in the course no-matter what my opinions were at the time. Interviews are scary, but, I know I can ace them.

Using Social Media to network myself/my art has been something I have been doing on the side for a couple of years with little success, so I hope that I can create a larger network base when I have more time to put into it.

5.

I wouldn’t say that any part of the module has greatly helped me to plan my career; it has suggested that I might not be a fool for wanting to pursue a career in selling my art, however, this isn’t something I would want to do permanently, more a “paid hobby”.

 

I wouldn’t say that any part of the module has greatly helped me to plan my career; it has suggested that I might not be a fool for wanting to pursue a career in selling my art, however, this isn’t something I would want to do permanently, more a “paid hobby”.

 

I wouldn’t say that any part of the module has greatly helped me to plan my career; it has suggested that I might not be a fool for wanting to pursue a career in selling my art, however, this isn’t something I would want to do permanently, more a “paid hobby”.

Magellanic Woodpecker

In terms of zoology, I think that the seminars have helped me decide that I would definitely want a career in research and studying animals in the field. But, I have already known this since the beginning of my dissertation (where I have been collecting field data on Oystercatchers.)

At the current period in time, I am looking forward to doing more fieldwork based research with Dr. Shannon this summer for my Masters project – I will be researching wading birds. I think that the advice gained from the seminars will help me construct better ideas and plans for any future research, and I hope I can travel the world (hint) with research – there’s so much out there that I long to see!

In conclusion:

The module itself was enjoyable, it has given me life skills and advice, plus there were no exams to worry about. I do recommend this module to anyone considering picking it; university is not always about what you want to study but what will help you alongside your studies.

I look forward to keeping this blog updated with any future research plans, trips and business ideas I have. I have vastly enjoyed cataloguing my year through this blog – I just didn’t want to publish anything until I was certain it was to a good standard (thus, proofreading up until the deadline,.. oops). I do think that having a blog is an interesting and innovative way of grading our progress throughout the module and I look forward to reading the blogs of my peers!

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