It's always a little daunting submitting an application for an award but the team approach that we have adopted at the AUA Bath Branch has created a truly nurturing and supportive environment, in which there is no harm in aiming high; even if you don't reach your intended goal, you will have learnt from the process, shared your learning with others and reflected on what you will do differently next time. Hopefully, we won't have to do that when it comes to the AUA Networks Team Award (!) but even if we do, the recognition of being shortlisted will be testament enough for what we have established here at Bath.
So why would you join our network at Bath? How does it differ from others and how will you benefit? Here are just five reasons that we feel warrant a mention:
- We offer a supportive environment in which you can develop and test out new skills. Try blogging, tweeting, presenting or sharing your skills with others.
- We enable you to develop your network across the University and broaden your knowledge of institutional and national developments in HE. Our 'Meet the Director' talks give you access to senior managers, who you might not come across during your day-to-day work. You also have the possibility of attending the national AUA Conference, where you will hear from experts across the sector on issues that matter to HE professionals, whilst meeting new colleagues from other institutions.
- We provide support in gaining formal recognition for your continuing professional development by becoming an Accredited Member or Fellow of the AUA, drawing on the knowledge and support of your colleagues here at Bath to do so.
- We actively encourage collaboration within the network, which naturally filters out in to your day-to-day operations, enabling you to use your connections with new people to think beyond your own area of work.
- We truly are a team and as the saying goes, there is no 'I' in team; we work together towards our team goals as well as our own personal ones, with our latest 'career development' event allowing members to explore their career aspirations but also consider the way in which they will work towards making those a reality, drawing on tips and tricks from colleagues to establish those next steps.
Even if we're not successful on the night, it still feels that we have something that we can truly be proud of.
Ann-Marie Hartland and Loretta Gibson