June 2021 round-up

June didn’t start well. In fact, it started rather badly, as I received the news that my application for promotion had been rejected. I was sad, and disappointed, and spent a lot of time and energy dealing with the aftermath of that, meaning that I didn’t have much left for other things like… blogging.

June did not end up well, either. Last week, I woke up to a watery mess in the kitchen, because the fridge-freezer broke-down. That wasn’t fun. Though, like many things in life, it actually turned out for the better, as we now have a new, nice fridge, which doesn’t make noise! Hopefully, I will soon get the same feeling (about things turning out for the better) regarding the promotion, too.

I did do a bit of work on the writing front, but it was mostly things that I had promised, and that I really couldn’t get out of, like the revisions for the sentiment analysis chapter, or the findings for the food waste paper. I also had a couple of meetings about two other papers, but did not do much actual writing for those. On happier news, I received the reviews on a paper about Artificial Intelligence, that had been submitted earlier in the year. While there is much work to be done for this, the reviews are fairly positive.

On the research front, I spent some time coding interview transcripts. I had to giggle when I reached the end of one of the interviews, when the research assistant is asking the usual profile questions (age, gender, job status, etc…), and the interviewee says: “Hum… all of these questions. Are you trying to Amazon me?” 😆 I also reached out to two colleagues in other institutions, to put together a team to apply for a research grant. I am making progress on the data collection for the project looking at the use of digital technology by residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. However, it’s proving really difficult to recruit hospitality managers for the project examining how hotel guest behaviour, needs and expectations have changed as a result of Covid-19. So, here is the invitation, again – if you work in the industry (or knows someone who does), I would really, really, really appreciate hearing from you:

As for teaching, the main event was the MBA course on Social Media for Business. This time last year, I was teaching this module online, from my bedroom, in a crowded and very hot flat. This year, our family is in a much better place – both literally and metaphorically – which I am very grateful for. Another difference between last year and this one is the attitude towards using social media in the health sector. Last year, my suggestions were often met with some pushback from students working in healthcare, with arguments related to patient confidentiality, risk or culture. This year, students working in healthcare were among the most enthusiastic about the potential of social media for their organisations, or for themselves as professionals. Very interesting change! This month also included an enquiry about delivering social media training to PhD students, like the one I ran last September. Oh, and there was marking. Lots of it!!

On the admin front, I prepared an overview of staff requirements for the next academic year, across all divisions in the Business School. I have also been deep in workload planning for my division, for the next academic year. Plus, I nominated a colleague for an award, filled out forms for Visas for colleagues (both future and current ones), and resigned from the divisional leader role (though, I will still be in role until the end of September). 

Two high notes during this month were 1) taking the kiddo (who is now, officially, a teen) to the karting academy; and 2) going to the Van Gogh installation with the teen (who is now, officially, a young adult).

Oh, and there’s been lots of al fresco eating. Got to love that!

I hope your June started (and ended) on a better note than mine.

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