Erika's PGR Opportunities Hub Journey
What is the peer-to-peer workshop scheme?
The peer-to-peer workshop scheme is an opportunity for PGRs to exercise the expertise they’ve been developing in a room of their peers. I wanted to apply as it offered a chance to speak to researchers who were, in a sense, on my own level rather than presenting to outside practitioners or more experienced academics. It felt like a chance to challenge my own presumptions and blind spots by teaching my subject, in a unique context of speaking to fellow PGRs and exploring their industries and perspectives.
What workshop did you take part in and why?
My workshop was titled Corporate Social Responsibility: What it means for you. I wanted to develop the workshop with this particular lean for several reasons; in academia, we can be so wrapped in theories and arguments that we lose some of the personal connection to our topics. Further, the idea of something that primarily large corporations are starting to contend with as being something that impacts individuals can be a bit separating, so showing how these concepts are active parts of our individual lives is important.
Did you have to prepare anything for the workshop?
In preparing the workshop, I had access to support from Dr Gesa Helms who allowed me to work through the structure and outputs on my own while offering realistic time and output expectations. The workshop itself went well and Dr Helms’s suggestions about reasonable time expectations proved spot on. I got lucky with a group of participants who had unique perspectives, varying degrees of familiarity with the topic, and different departments / industries. This lent itself to lively, surprisingly incisive discussions.
Why did you take part in the peer-to-peer workshop?
I wanted to do this workshop with fellow PGRs because I expected an interesting discussion ranging from theory to practicality, and I was far from disappointed. Getting to have a frank discussion with peers about my topic, especially in the midst of a style of study that can be quite isolating, was so beneficial. I learned more about my topic in getting to explore it like this, got more comfortable presenting, and walked away with a great experience that I can add to my resume. I would absolutely recommend this to fellow PGRs.
Erika is originally from Guam and is wrapping up a PhD student in Economic and Social History with a focus on the institutionalisation of corporate social responsibility with a focus on the tech sector.