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University Lecturer
What do you do for a living?
University Lecturer…currently in charge of the Creative Industries Academy for Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

How did you get interested in what you do? What advice was available to you when you chose this career direction?
Started teaching on a part-time basis when my first child was born. Chose it because interesting and flexible role.

What was your journey to reach the role you are in today?
Studied modern languages at university and then a postgraduate in marketing after my first degree. I’ve carried on with CPD over the years and also acquired a postgraduate teaching qualification in 2001.

Talk me through a day in your life… what sorts of things would it involve?
In my new role liaising a lot with Edinburgh College (our partner in the Creative Industries Academy). Visiting schools to give presentations and interview pupils and meeting with potential work experience employers.

Was it your planned career when you were 18?
Always considered teaching as a possibility but had hoped to enter the diplomatic service or be a librarian!

What did your mum and dad want you to do?
Definitely teaching.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?
Worth pursuing as a very interesting and rewarding role.

What other directions could you go in /work in within your field other than the job you have chosen?
I could go back to working in the field i.e. marketing/PR practitioner role.

University Lecturer 2
What do you do for a living?
University lecturer in Computer Science

How did you get interested in what you do?
A little computing at school, followed by exposure to computer programming at University made me decide to switch from my initial choice of subject (chemical engineering) to computing. I became interested in lecturing as a career after doing at PhD in Computer Science and enjoying the experience of

teaching students.

What was your journey to reach the role you are in today?
Took maths, physics and chemistry at A level; chose a chemical engineering degree based on my interest in chemistry; switched to computer science; did a PhD in Computer science, followed by post-doctoral research work. Appointed to a senior lecturership at Strathclyde in 2004.

Talk us through a day in your life
It varies a lot depending on the time of year! Typically during the teaching term I would give one or maybe two lectures and/or tutorials; I’d attend practical lab sessions and try to help students with their work; I’d see my PhD students and give them advice on their research projects; I’d review some research papers that have been submitted to conferences or journals and try to see if the work is worthy of being published; I review teaching work for other universities as their external examiner; I set exams; sometimes I give research talks at other universities on the research work I do. During the summer I do more research work and might try to prepare grant proposals, do my own research or write papers. I will also prepare lectures and other new materials for the coming year.

Was this your planned career when you were 18?
No.

What did your parents want you to do?
My parents gave me no advice towards my choice of career. My dad was a foreman at Beckton gas works in East London and my mum was a housewife.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?
Computing is a very exciting subject and I would recommend that everyone should try it and build up the analytical and logical skills required to program computers.

What other career directions could you go in?
Working for a company, I could be a programmer, a project manager or a systems analyst. I’ve worked in higher education for all of my career, which I have found very satisfying.

University Lecturer 3
What do you do for a living?
A senior lecturer in Electrical Engineering at The University of Edinburgh.

How did you get interested in what you do?
I started out at school being interested in Computing, with a bit of Electronics, so took this at University. I realised I really enjoyed the electronics so continued it on to a PhD. At that point I recognised that I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and research, so continued on to a lecturing career. In other words, it wasn’t planned in advance…

What was your journey to reach the role you are in today?
Undergraduate at University, followed by a PhD at University. Then a short period as a post-doctoral researcher before taking up an academic role

Talk us through a day in your life.
As the deputy director of teaching, with responsibility for student recruitment and admissions for Engineering, and also the academic representative on a University wide project, my days are highly varied. Over the course of a year, where focus changes from one activity to another depending upon the time of year, I would be: monitoring, planning and taking part in student recruitment activities; meeting with my research and project students to discuss the work they are doing; preparing and/or delivering lectures/tutorials/laboratories/workshops; presenting papers at international workshops; meeting with partner Universities (for example a recent trip to China); advising on project progress; preparing applications for funding; and occasionally interviewing applicants. for employment.

Was this your planned career when you were 18?
No.

What did your parents want you to do?
They were very supportive to let me do what I was interested in doing.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?
Look to see how to get the best training, with as broad an experience as possible. Engineering is not a field where work is done in isolation, so having an
appreciation of other areas is very important. I’d also recommend working hard at Mathematics and Physics/Chemistry as these are the most relevant school subjects for the academic material.

What other career directions could you go in?
I could have gone into Industry, or business. Others in my field have gone into finance. Essentially, an Engineering training is a good basis for any job requiring project management, or analytical skills, particularly those requiring good numeracy.