In our new ‘Two Minutes with….’ series we will be introducing you to our current SPLs and finding out their thoughts so far on the role!
Name: Ester Anaya-Boig
Department: Centre for Environmental Policy
Introduce your research: I am studying what aspects of the built and the social environment influence in people’s cycling behaviour
Student Programme Leader: Professional Effectiveness Programme
Why did you choose to apply for this particular SPL role?
I had attended quite a few courses and a couple of retreats from the Graduate School and I had found them really useful. I found that the courses within the professional effectiveness programme were the ones that had made the bigger positive impact in my PhD life.
I thought I was motivated to review the programme in-depth, working with the team that created the courses and representing the views of my fellow students in order to contribute to how this programme is delivered.
Three things you’ve found interesting:
- Knowing the contents of the courses in-depth and sometimes even do a bit of research about some specific aspect
- Getting to know how the courses are created
- Thinking about how to take into account the diversity of Imperial students that attend the courses.
Three things you’ve enjoyed most:
- Providing feedback that is appreciated and recognised by the Grad School team
- Working with a highly professional and knowledgeable team, that knows very well what they are doing!
- Reading the feedback about the courses and extracting the highlights that I think can help make them better
What impact have you had on the programme?
Apart from the feedback evaluation, I have provided suggestions on the contents and on the structure of the course. Also I have provided notes on how it is delivered. Observing in one of the courses was really helpful and helped me provide feedback in detail.
What advice would you give to other students thinking of applying for the SPL role in future?
It’s a great opportunity to learn how the Graduate School creates their programmes, how they are delivered and also to train you in how to reach the diversity of the student population. You realise you can contribute with more than you thought and that your contributions are valued by the team.
Why do you think professional development training is important?
I have experienced how it has helped me and kept me grounded. It also provides you with resources available for whenever you need them, it’s like a safety net that you create by attending these courses. The professional development courses provide you the space and the tools to make you aware and reflect on how you do things and then be able to create change. Sometimes the courses can help you change your habits or introduce a new habit in your life.