WISE Blog – Workshop theme: “And what do you do?” with Adelina Chalmers held on April 24th 2015

When hearing the words “What do you do?” a common reaction is to feel under pressure. We understand what we are researching and the importance of it (or at least we hope we do), but how do we convey this to another person especially one you have just met? Is it possible to give an incredible answer that will leave the person dying to know more about your work? Adelina Chalmers aimed to teach the attendees of the recent WISE Workshop: “And what do you do?” exactly that.

Charisma is not something anyone is born with, it is a particular skill we learn and more importantly practice. Attendants of the workshop were hoping to gain some new techniques that will help answer the dreaded question and we hoped that these techniques would aid us in our networking efforts. But what we actually gained in the workshop is so much more. The “And what do you do?” was useful in that attendees were able to sit together and ask each other this very important question. And with such an enthusiastic and informed guest lecturer, attendees could not help but get behind her techniques and believe we can do the same.

The many issues we face when attending a conference (such as joining in or what to say) or in a social setting (having a drink with new friends) is sometimes uncomfortable, the workshop environment allowed us the freedom to express ourselves outside of our comfort zone in an environment to learn new social interactions. I must admit, I recently had an encounter with someone and they asked me, so what do you do? I found myself confidently asking, ‘what do you know about Cardiovascular disease?’ This being technique number 1 from the workshop.

Practice makes perfect they say, I just need 14 more individuals to ask me that question, so watch out Adelina I am on my way onto becoming an expert.

by Samantha Atienza Gabriel and Maudrian Burton

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