Professional past / professional futures

My recent promotion, has led to me thinking again about my career and professional status.  This probably would have happened anyway, for example I need to set myself new workplace goals aligned to my new position, but contact from one of my dissertation supervisors has led to me thinking about my past as well as my future.  My former supervisor asked if I would be willing to be contacted by one of the school’s marketing/alumni people in relation to my career path as they might be able to pull out some bits for their marketing and website.

My initial reply pointed out that my role is not as senior as the title (as wonderfully simple as ‘Manager’) might suggest.  However, I am a keen believer in that alumni stories should be shared (a couple of alumni coming to talk to us when I was a student proved very helpful at the time in thinking about the job market).  Indeed I would have loved LinkedIn to have been more in place when I finished my Undergraduate and first Postgraduate qualifications so I could have done a better job of keeping in touch with people from those programs.

Anyway, what did the marketing/alumni form trigger in terms of reflection?  Well, they asked the below questions:

  1. What did you like most about your degree?
  2. What was your best experience during your time in the Information School?
  3. What made you choose to study at the Information School at the University of Sheffield?
  4. What would you say to someone who was considering studying at the Information School at the University of Sheffield?
  5. What have you done since completing your degree from the Information School at the University of Sheffield?
  6. Which, if any, parts of your degree do you use in your working life?
  7. Has your degree helped you in your working life? If it has, how has it helped you?

In general my responses were that my skill development has continued via further study and work, in other words my ‘professional’ qualification was very much the beginning, not the end.  However, completing the form was quite tricky.  I could only really answer question 2 with a general comment and 6/7 verged into the same territory.

This leads to thinking about where I might go next.  Obviously my path, so far, has been far from straight forward but I do tend to return to that Venn diagram for ‘Educational Informatics’ – thinking that it will be somewhere in the intersection of education, technology and information.  Ultimately, I may return to more of a learning technology focus or continue on a path via generalist Learning and Development.  However, I certainly would not say those are my only two options and it will be interesting to see what happens!

Author: iangardnergb

My name is Ian Gardner and I am interested in various topics that can be seen as related to learning, technology and information. To see what I am reading elsewhere, follow me on The Old Reader ( and/or Twitter (@iangardnergb).

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