Day in the Life of an Academic #5: a little bit of everything

DITL5 01Got up at 6 am, made myself some coffee, and then sat down to work on a research grant proposal. It is for a small pot of money, only, but it would be great to get it, so that I could do some exploratory work on parents’ views of sharenting.

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At 7am, the kids woke up and got out of the bed. I helped them with their breakfasts, and we all got ready for school and the office. After I dropped the youngest at school, I got on the bus and headed to Brookes. It is sunny, and I really wish I could walk or cycle, rather than being inside a stuffy bus. The Faculty of Business is due to move from our location in the outskirts of Oxford, to the main campus in the city. This is a source of dissatisfaction for several colleagues because it is impossible to park in the area but I, for one, cannot wait for it!


During my commute, I listened to a podcast. I like listening to podcasts, and I have quite a mix of technology, marketing, personal development and other shows. It means that I can learn something new on my commute, doing the shopping, and so on.

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I arrived at the office shortly before 9am, and then joined four other colleagues for a meeting to discuss the Department’s strategy, and resulting action points.

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Then, I went back to my office, as I was holding office hours, between 10h30m and 11h30m. Only one student came to see me, though, so I used the time to finish the research grant proposal and send it to my line managers for approval.

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At 12 noon, I grabbed some food, and ate lunch while reading some materials that one of my PhD students had sent me, and making some notes and suggestions for our meeting later that day.

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At 12h45m, I had a quick chat with one of my line managers about research funding, and then I ran to the classroom. My colleague leading the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module had invited me to do a session on the dark side of CRM, because of the book that I co-edited with Bang Nguyen and Lyndon Simkin, and I was running a bit late. I talked about ‘dark side’ behaviours both on the company side and on the customer side… and I hope I did not scare them off from marketing.


After the guest lecture, which ran from 1 to 2 pm, I met the PhD student whose work I had been reviewing during lunch time, plus my colleague Dr Sarah Quinton who is co-supervising his doctoral work. We talked about the data that he has collected, and what insights they gave him into the development of business to business relationships on social medial platforms.


DITL5 07Then, at 3h45m, we headed to a seminar room where Sarah and I were doing presentations for our colleagues and the PhD students’ community. Sarah talked about the potential and (quality and ethical) challenges of using digital, third-party platforms to collect data (e.g., Amazon’s mechanical turk). Her presentation raised some interesting questions regarding our responsibility towards research participants – for instance, ensuring that no one is forced to participate in the research, or that people are properly compensated for their time and effort. After her presentation, I talked about using social media in research communication, sharing my top tips for using DITL5 08these media to engage with our peers and the end-users of our research, while avoiding some of the pitfalls. When Sarah and I were invited to do these talks, we were asked to use no more than 2 slides, and talk for no more than 20 minutes. I was OK with the 20 minutes’ limit (after all, you often get only 10 or 15 minutes in conferences). But the 2 slides’ limit was a big challenge for me. It really forced me to think about what I really had to show (as opposed to say) in my talk. It reminded me of Jack Dorsey’s talk, at Oxford Union, and what he said about how Twitter’s 140 characters’ limit shaped the type of messages that people shared. Here are the slides from my presentation:

After the talk, I had a chat with some people until about 5h30m, and then headed back home. Once home, it was time to switch roles, and focus on homework, school uniforms, dinner and so on. But, once the kids were in bed, the kitchen cleaned, etc… I reverted to professional mode. At about 10 pm, I went through my notes for a conference call / online information session about our masters programmes in Marketing that I was running the next day, and realised that I needed to update some slides. Once that was out of the way, and the new file had been sent to a colleague who would have to upload them onto the system, I shifted my attention to the slide deck for the lecture that I was delivering the next day. This was at around 10h30m pm. I already had the key elements of the slide deck in place, but I needed to add examples to make the material come alive, and to rethink some parts of the structure. Once that I was done, I uploaded the slide deck to our virtual learning environment, and saved it in my USB, switched the computer off, and called it a day. By then, it was 23h20m.


Looking back at what I did this day, I realise that it contained a little bit of the various components of my job. There was some research work (the grant proposal, and learning about digital, third-party platforms for data collection); teaching (both in my colleague’s module, and preparing my own lessons) and student support (office hours and PhD meeting); admin (the strategy meeting and preparing the online information session); and collegiate. I only wish I had had some time to write!

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What have you been getting up to, lately?

2 thoughts on “Day in the Life of an Academic #5: a little bit of everything

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