#N4L: Cristobel Says…

-part of the N4L Series; celebrating Learning at Work Week-

It’s my great pleasure to introduce Cristobel Soares-Smith…

About Cristobel

I am the GRADnet Administrator for SEPnet, (South East Physics Network) and I organise training workshops and schools for postdoctoral research students in SEPnet.

Cristobel on LinkedIn

What networked for learning means to me

I have always believed that learning is for life and does not end after you leave school, college or university.  I have signed up to many courses over the years such as learning a language, a new sport or craft. Networked for learning to me means bringing employees together to learn, share and explore personal and business development ideas in one’s organisation and externally.

As a network administrator for SEPnet, (South East Physics Network) I work with nine universities remotely and it is important for me to establish a strong rapport with these partner universities and establish a network with administrators, academics and postgraduate researchers.

I organise training events for SEPnet postgraduate researchers and through this process I learn from the attendees, the academic and industrial organisers and the administrative staff involved in supporting these events.  I get different perspectives from these groups of people and can pick up lots of tips and advice that can help in my role coordinating events for a diverse group.

Dealing with people from different backgrounds, socially and academically can be challenging at times and does require good interpersonal skills.

My personal learning insights

A year ago I attended a training course specifically designed for women to enhance their skills and abilities, challenge power and equality, while building confidence, assertiveness and a positive image.  This course also came at a time when I had to move from the family home after 27 years, down-size to an unfamiliar area, and for the first time in over 30 years, live on my own and experience “empty nest syndrome”.

After the course I felt empowered to deal with the changes ahead and accepted them with a positive attitude.  I am now a volunteer at my local library so I can feel part of the community.

Professionally I have become more confident, assertive and self-aware of my skills and abilities and the value I bring to my role.  I don’t need to be afraid of heading into my late 50s.

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