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Russell - networking
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Name: Russell
PhD discipline: History
Area(s) of work: BBC archives; university teaching
Year of graduation: 1998
Date of Interview: 02/06/2008

Now Playing: Russell - networking
Russell considers that the benefits of networking for the sake of one's career are worth any initial sense of discomfort.

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What part do you think networking played in finding a job after the PhD?

I think it is important, it's something I don't like the idea of and at the time when I was doing my PhD I didn't do a lot of, because I'm not very good at doing that kind of thing. I find it awkward and difficult turning up at some kind of conference and trying to jostle your way into a position where you can say 'hello, I'm so and so and I'm doing this', and it all just seems a bit kind of crass and false but there is something to be said for doing it just because so that people know your name and so when they see your name they'll 'oh yeah, that's that bloke who was at the conference' or even better if you can give papers at the conference, I mean that's the way that the academic people would come up to you afterwards perhaps and ask you questions. I think it is important and because, and this is probably a not very professional thing to say but if people meet someone, like somebody then they have a disposition towards them. So when you apply for a job and one of the people reading your application form who's met you and thinks 'ah they seemed alright' they'll think 'well they could be someone I could work with whatever their academic credentials', which are obviously important but they'll have a sense of 'oh well I can get on with them, they weren't some loony in the ivory tower' kind of stuff, 'they were the kind of person I could have a chat with'. So I think it is important and it also just helps you share experiences with other people who are in similar boats and also get to learn some of the stuff I was saying earlier where I didn't get an idea of how things worked, the structure of going from a PhD student to work, you learn about that by talking to people who have gone through it.

 

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