Professional Doctorate Student Conference
17th – 19th of January 2018
Day 1 – My first Professional Doctorate (Prof-doc) conference, made it through two rough years of academic development, the conference marks the halfway point. Day 1 delivered a few good nuggets of information, academic writing skills which I will take-away and develop. I like the idea of having paper flashcards to flip through daily, on the train on the way to work or just reading through half a dozen each day. I have also butchered the word version of the critical reading template provided by Grace, into my own excel format as having everything in one place suits my learning style. This will support my incremental learning embedding the basic fundamentals of my thesis, thanks Grace (academic writing support) you are a gift.
Day 2 – I did not know what to expect on day two as it was timetabled in half-hour slots whereby ProfDoc students from cohort 8, 9 and 10 delivered presentations on their thesis. I was not overly nervous about standing up in front of my peer’s and delivering the bare-bones of my thesis. In the weeks running up to the conference, I have produced a PowerPoint presentation and scripted what I was going to say slide by slide. In theory, I was ready; retrospectively I now know I have a long way to go. I may think I know my subject, but I have not yet mastered the skills needed to deliver what’s inside my head to an audience. I did not crash and burn, but I did witness “what good looked like” and I aspire to improve and to develop these skills. There were some very good presenters in the room who brought their academic subjects to life in meaningful and purposefully, presentations.
My learning from day 2 is to develop how I transpose my academic knowledge eternally, either in written, verbal or visual presentations. There is a requirement to master my subject, all components of the thesis, from Context; Literature, what authors, why these authors; Methodology, the why but more importantly why not; what do I hope to add to academic knowledge and how?
Day 3 – The day of the Professors, the four professors who delivered presentations on day 3 seemed down to earth, more importantly, they had mastered the delivery of their area of expertise, RESEARCH. The three academic schools were represented, Engineering and Built Environment, Health, and Life Sciences and Business and Society. The key message delivered was the importance of research and how research adds academic and economic value to society. I was aware of the academic value, but the economic value was a blind spot, one which I will now bring into focus for my own thesis. The last professor of the day delivered a strategic overview for the university in terms of research. The importance of funding and future developments, all of which was enormously interesting and ended the conference on a very inclusive note, we will all play our part in adding to academic knowledge, economic stability and the strategic development of the university. #ProfDockers