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Liz - networking
Name: Liz
PhD discipline: English Literature
Area(s) of work: Heritage
Year of graduation: 2004
Date of Interview: 30/06/2008

Now Playing: Liz - networking
Liz talks about her experience of networking during her PhD.

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People tend to be quite resistant to the word 'networking' but do you think that you did any networking during your PhD? Or subsequently, that's helped you? 

Yes, I did because I met at a conference, a lecturer in photography at a university up north. My PhD wasn't on photography at all, it was on literature, late nineteenth century literature. His area of expertise was early twentieth century photography. We wrote together and were published in the Oxford Art Journal. The person who I have worked with most since I've been here, aside from  my colleagues, in this organisation, is a lecturer in art history at the university here in this area. His article on arts during the French revolution appeared directly before mine and my colleague's in the Oxford Art Journal. The first time we met, he asked me about my research, I was telling him about literature, about the working classes in London and it probably didn't ring any bells. Then I asked what his was on. He said 'vandalism and iconoclasm in the French revolution in art' and it immediately rang bells for me and I thought 'Oh it's him!' And we still work very closely now. You just never know when that relationship is going to work. I think  having the PhD and being outside higher education has helped me work with people inside because they know that I'm like them. They can't look at me and think 'She's only a curator but she's never done any postgraduate research' because they know that I have and I've proven myself in my field. So it does give you an entry into things I think. I think I'm a networker by nature but I think that the PhD, if you have the time, studying for a PhD definitely does enable you to network. But because I was a mature student with a family I didn't have time to go to an awful lot of conferences and meet people and make contacts but I think it's a very useful thing if you can.

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