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A New Year, A New You?

by Tahira Majothi on January 18, 2011

So how has the new year been for you so far? Have you found yourself taking stock of key events of the last year and thought about what needs to be ticked off or added to that ever growing ‘To Do’ list :-) ?

I don’t believe in making new year’s resolutions so don’t worry I won’t bore you with the overused ‘need to lose weight, must exercise more’ etc etc. However I did use the holidays to look back over my first year here at Salford.

Well I can say with absolute honesty that it’s been a thoroughly fast and enjoyable rollercoaster ride. I really feel that I’ve hit my stride, I’m enjoying working alongside some wonderful and lively colleagues both within the Careers and Employability Service and the Research and Graduate College, not to mention the great opportunity to meet with and deliver careers sessions for our students, graduates and postgraduate community.

Alongside my ongoing guidance work, I have a really great mentor in Cristina Costa, our Research Development Technologies Officer. Cristina has helped me to appreciate the value of using new technologies to not only inform my practice but to reflect on my own learning and to enhance the student experience. It is because of her invaluable knowledge that I have been able to confidently and effectively communicate careers information and guidance via our blogs, Twitter and Skype and have been able to engage meaningfully with our research community via the Virtual Doctoral School.

Yesterday I ran my first practice session using Elluminate as a new online teaching resource, with Cristina’s support and last Thursday I started the LDU’s Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) Core module.

So why am I telling you all of this? Essentially because I have kick started my year off with the best of intentions. I began by reflecting on the gaps in my knowledge and professional development. I considered the opportunity technology affords us (to be more creative, relevant, visible and accessible to all) and ultimately I felt that there is always something new to learn or new way to improve myself, so I look forward to learning more by being open to opportunities.

Here are some suggested items for your to do list, hopefully they too will give you some light bulb moments!

  • Use this time to look at what needs to be done to manage your professional and career development. Would you like feedback on your CV/Application or need help to prepare for an interview? Why not visit the Careers Service?
  • In terms of your professional development, you may wish to write or publish more, why not access some new resources to help you on your way, such as the Virtual Doctoral School. A new social network established for our researchers and research staff to meet online to share research, resources and make collaborative links. Please check out the website and contact Cristina Costa in the first instance.
  • In addition why not sign up for sessions being run by the Salford Method group. The Salford method group (set up by current PhD students) meets on a weekly basis to share philosophies, research and host a number of exciting and thought provoking interactive debates and sessions with guest speakers.
  • There are still a number of interesting upcoming sessions around the themes of self development and career development in the SPoRT programme, including for the first time this year, three Enterprise sessions. You can also check out LDU website and perhaps sign up for some IT Training sessions as well, which will help inform your teaching and learning practice.
  • In terms of career development, why not consider the Salford Student Life Award. This is our employability standard that recognizes any community/voluntary and careers focused activities you sign up to, another way to demonstrate to employers your commitment to broadening your horizons beyond purely the academic.
  • Finally a reminder that abstracts are still welcome for this year’s SPARC Conference, the deadline is 31st March and keep checking this blog and our Careers website for details of our annual careers event, Postgraduate Futures which will take place in June 2011.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Emma Gillaspy January 19, 2011 at 9:39 am

If you want to find out how to use social media for your research, manage web information without getting swamped and raise your professional profile online, register for our free Vitae event being run in conjunction with the British Library:
Digital Researcher 14 Feb London


Cristina Costa January 20, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Happy new year to you too!
Another great blogpost my dear.
I love your style – it feels like I can hear you talk…as if you were here inspiring me with your words and new plans.

This is really great advise and I am really happy you are making such great use of technology. Really applying it to your advantage and appropriating it to meet your goals. Well done. You owe it to you. Your vision and willingness to want to do better and reach wider.

I loved the Thursday session. As I sat there, watching you interacting with the others online I was thinking to myself: what a natural, great way to engage people. You are a true educator at heart, and that makes all the difference.
Keep up the great work ;-)


Tahira Majothi January 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Hi Emma,

Thank you for your comment, looks to be a really interesting event.


Tahira Majothi January 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Hi Cristina,

Thank you very much for your kind words. I was really just using the first Elluminate session to get to grips with the technology and incorporating activities so thank you for your patience.

As a recent ‘tekkie’ convert, I have to say that I am really enjoying it learning all about new technologies and creating blogs and twitter accounts as part of my PGCAP, really great way to chart my progress and reflections.


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