Who you are and what you do: Emma Williams, illuminating wider career choices for early career researchers (everyone between Masters to Lecturer). I am also a Springboard trainer as I am passionate about women’s development – having spent my formative years as a physicist and the only woman in the room!
Where do you live: Duxford – just south of Cambridge – home of the Imperial War Museum’s planes.
How long in business: I started in March 2009 – so coming up on 9 years
Who do you work with: The people in my training room are usually very highly educated (most PhD plus) but need help with the more practical aspects of life such as their careers, turning a bright idea into a product or working better as a team. The people employing me are usually University L&D people who need to provide evidence of training researchers to align with government directives such as enterprise, employability or equality. I’ve worked all over the UK and in Singapore, Amsterdam, Dublin and Turin.
What value do you get from Trainer Talk: My only regret with Trainer talk is that I didn’t sign up straight away! It can get pretty lonely as a freelance trainer and here you can find lots of support, smiles and coffee. I love the business development part where we can share a problem and discuss it – it is like having 5 more brains! My success shapers group has been instrumental in getting my business on a better footing. The Facebook group is great too – although I seem to have spent quality time learning Excel this week because of it!
Funniest thing that happened to you in a training room: I’ve had bomb scares and a room of 30 women in tears. I’ve trained Dutch computer scientists and mathematicians which is the very definition of direct. One said “why are you giving us 10 minutes for this task? I only need 3.5 minutes.” I smiled and told him everyone else might need more time. He nodded sagely whilst looking at his colleagues. I also used to give people sticky jelly monsters as prizes until one got stuck on the ceiling. It was still there 3 months later when we returned. We changed venue after that.