On 31st July 2019, I was honoured to present my research at the Academic Conference at Harvard University (Boston, USA).
The opportunity arose as a result of the work conducted for my dissertation/ final project while a student at Pearson Business School, back in 2017. My lecturer Dr David Atkinson suggested that my work could be ideal for a conference and encouraged me to apply.
My paper was on ‘Maintaining the momentum while growing student numbers: The Case of Pearson College London’. Essentially how to remain true to our USPs (yet still innovating) while growing in size. I also proposed a new framework (The ‘Gap’ model, redefined) to measure quality in Higher Education, rather than general service quality.
The first stage of the application was to revisit my work and start updating the abstract (proposal/summary of research) in line with conference requirements. I dedicated as much time as I possibly could between work; it was so important to me and I knew how popular the conference at Harvard was with academics around the world.
Once submitted, it wasn’t too long until I received the incredible news that my abstract had been accepted and I was invited to present my research! I was then to re-format my full paper and submit to complete the pre-conference process. And then to start preparing my speech and presentation…
Upon arrival in Boston, we were invited to a welcome reception at Harvard University and met with David Atkinson, John Clifford and fellow presenters. Once acquainted with the organisers and familiar with the conference venue, we were ready to return a few days later...
When the time (finally!) arrived, I had no nerves at all and thoroughly enjoyed delivering my speech. I felt my work and previously, study had fully prepared me for the experience and I was just excited to share my ideas. I was delighted with the questions and feedback. The audience was genuinely interested in my research and wanted to apply the framework to their organisations.
Following on from this, I am now waiting to receive confirmation on whether my work is going to be published!
Between conference proceedings, it was brilliant to be able to explore Boston; including visiting Quincy Market and even attending a Boston Red Sox Game!
I am so incredibly grateful to Pearson Business School for the opportunity. A huge thank you to Dr David Atkinson and John Clifford for their support. I can honestly say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my career/life so far.