Last month I made a trip to the fashion city of Italy, Milan. No, I was not there for any fashion show but to attend an international conference where researchers and experts in the area of workplace bullying congregate to share their insights.
It was a 3 days event (with an extra day for PhD students – which I attended as I am going to become one in Sept). Prior to the event, I have been reading up on articles pertaining to workplace bullying, as this is the area I am researching on my PhD thesis. It was nerve-racking, to say the least as those names I read about from all the research articles, I was seeing and conversing with them face to face.
It was, also, a good opportunity to see what other people are researching and have gained lots of insights into the issues they faced when they are conducting their research. Of course, I have also managed to make some new friends and network (as I do) with academics (hoping to look at future collaboration). What was interesting is the fact that almost all the people I met were passionate about the subject and were willing to share. This is something, I missed, especially now when working as a consultant. People who work in consultancy firms are rarely willing to share information, which can be understandable. Attending the conference has reignited my passion for absorbing knowledge and to have the ability to hypothesise this really helps to be placed in a positive frame of mind prior to my PhD study.
The next 3 years will be dramatically different for me, as I will be juggling to do my PhD full time and also my own consultancy work. However much hard work and grind, I believe I am going to be benefitting a lot more from being exposed to the academic world again. I hope in the course of my study I will be able to adapt and use what I learn to my current work so that I will be able to provide my clients with better service and insights.