Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cultural Entrepreneurship Conference 2012

(A little shameless publicity to follow)
In recent months I have been buried in the 'writing up' of my PhD. Apart from my teaching commitments I've been keeping a very low profile within the research world. This means for me, this year, I haven't submitted any papers for conferences! For example this is the first time in my 9 years in Academia that I won't be attending the ISBE conference (which I am a bit disappointed about, especially given they have a dedicated creative industries track).

However I have been invited, and have accepted, to give a keynote presentation at The Cultural Entrepreneurship Conference in December, of this year in Pori, Finland. I figured by then I ought to have the bulk, if not all, my writing complete.... My presentation title will be: Creative Disciplines Education; a Model for Teaching Entrepreneurship and the Paradox of Teaching ‘Creatives’ Entrepreneurship.

What is great is that finally the two main areas that I have been working in (with in my research) have converged. For those of you who don't know me: alongside my PhD work on 'Creative Entrepreneurship, Gender and Careers' I've also been working pretty hard in the field of 'Enterprise Education' (ironically this is the area I've published in too). Perhaps this was inevitable, afterall so much of my approach is dependent on my own role within the research, I guess I couldn't help but influence myself.  Anyway I aim to look at where these two fields converge in December.

Before I go I have an observation/PhD tip:
If I get stuck, if I go back to my data I always seem to find the answer. I am still very fond of my data I feel like it's gold or something of very high value and when I get lost or am off on some mad detour (which often feels the case) my data can really help to focus my mind and reassure me that I'm actually on the right track.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PhD update

Well for anyone who read this blog when it was updated on a more than once a year basis, you'll recall I am a part-time PhD student as well as a full-time senior lecturer. My study is looking at entrepreneurship within the careers of creative industries graduates. To say this has been a long process is an understatement but finally I think I am beginning to see the 'light at the end of the tunnel'.

It has been a tricky balancing act. Like many in my profession I am also 'research active' so at the same time as doing my PhD and carrying out my teaching commitments I've also been working on other research projects and publishing papers within a linked field - Enterprise Education.

A list of papers recently published, related to that can be found at my Birmingham City Business School staff publication page (BTW I know that photo is awful).

I'll maybe write a more detailed post on these papers sometime in the future.

So the PhD. Well. I'm basically ‘writing up’. I think. What I mean is the literature review, methodology, data collection and analysis are complete (all but tidying up/final sweep of the lit etc.) and I am writing up my ‘findings and discussion’ chapters. This is a nuts job and I have to kind of get into a particular head space and really concentrate. I think, due to having supervised and now having been supervised so long, that I am beginning to be able to self-supervise if that’s possible. So I can see where my work is flawed or there are gaps but it all makes my head hurt (in a good way).

I am working with a relatively small and specific sample group who I interviewed, at some length, the interviews were long and intense and are around 20,000 -25,000 words long. It’s a lot to analyse and make sense of. But I’m enjoying the process. Even if it has resulted in increased insomnia. I feel really strange if I manage to get a couple of consecutive days to work on it. Like I have to re-join the world afterwards, but I also resent being taken away from it because I find it so hard to get back into that zone, that level of concentration.

I would say though that once I got into doing my interviews (which were full of issues at the time - again that’s another story), which I really enjoyed, the whole PhD experience has been far more rewarding than those early days where I felt I (it wasn't just a feeling I literally did) spent years doing my literature review and getting very little in return.

I just hope now that I can keep up the momentum for this final push!

I’ll keep you posted…

Blogging again

S0 another year went by and I didn't blog. Oops.

Recently I've been talking to my Digital Marketing students about blogging and encouraging them to set up blogs, develop their online presence and it occurred to me that perhaps I ought to be setting a slightly better example. I also figured that from a research perspective (i.e. I am research active) I ought to be sharing more. A colleague once said to me 'if you don't tell anyone about your research then it doesn’t' exist' or something like that I guess it comes from the same school of thought as 'publish or perish'.

So I will blog a bit more - or try to at least.....and in my next post I will give a bit of an update on where I am with my PhD. That doesn't sound that exciting I realise but may be of interest to those of you also on the PhD path...