-part of the N4L Series; celebrating Learning at Work Week-
It’s my great pleasure to introduce Cristobel Soares-Smith…
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.