Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cupcakes and the Academic Profile

A friend and colleague of mine pointed me in the direction of this blog post by Dr Inger Mewburn on 'The Thesis Whisperer'. I immediately passed the link on to my postgrads. I think it's important for academics to think about how we're presented in the online environment. As I've said before on the blog, part of my motivation for blogging is the ability to present a picture of myself that I can control - at least to a certain degree! I've looked up other academics in the past and it's very difficult to find any trace of them. On the other hand, I've looked up academics and discovered that they also make jewelery, write stories or bake bread. Such revelations are always a bit of a risk. There are bound to be some people who scorn such hobbies being revealed. How can you take an academic seriously who makes necklaces? My response would be 'how could you not?' It's a relief to discover that they have a life outside books. There's no need to talk about such hobbies in lectures or classes - unless relevant - but I don't see how such activities can diminish academic profiles.

And, as Dr Mewburn writes, "who wouldn’t want to hire someone who guarantees cupcakes at every staff meeting?"

Our reading group used to regularly share muffins and cakes. It's happened less often of late and I'm a little sad about that. I might have to do something about it. Although, most of my baking lately has been confined to dog biscuits...

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