Ingenious Women November Training Session – Day 1

Woo hoo I’ve finally got around to blogging about the two days of training as part of the Ingenious Women project that I attended last week. It has ended up being a lot of writing so I’ve split it into two posts – here’s my thoughts from the first day.

Firstly I’d like to say it was a fantastic event, well organised by the ladies at the UKRC with some great people involved in the training. It was also great to be reunited with most of the women on the project. It’s amazing that I’ve only met them once before but get us all in a room and you would have thought we’d known each other for ages! So thank you to everyone there for making it an excellent couple of days.

So, what did we do?

The first day covered media training, in particular being interviewed for radio or TV. The women who led the training are both seasoned pros and gave us great tips, most of it I wouldn’t have thought about before.

The main thing I learnt was you are not in an interview to answer the questions; you are there to get your point across. Prepare before hand by having three main points you want to get across, with your most important one first in case you run out of time and don’t get to the third!

We did some role play exercises with practice radio and TV interviews and although I thought I prepared enough with my three points, along with my partner we found it impossible to get them in! I was paired with Danielle (read her blog here) to talk about cars. Our three points were British engineering, new media and something else I can’t remember now. When it came to the interview I found it really hard to steer the conversation around to what we wanted to say and only managed to tell a white lie by saying the reason I wanted to be an engineer was because of British engineering!! So pretty unsuccessful but at least it was good to practice.

Another thing I struggled with was putting an interesting spin on explaining my job. Now don’t get me wrong I love my job, but that’s because I’m a geek! And the most important thing to me was not to lie or embellish what I do, after all F1 is so high profile, if I ever do say something in the public domain it’s bound to be seen. But the (very patient it has to be said) ladies pointed out better ways of explaining myself, although it took a few attempts!

Now explaining the day in a nutshell it doesn’t sound a lot but I learnt so much, about communicating what I do & not using jargon, for instance. Lots can be applied across the board not just in TV or radio interviews too. At the end of the day we met a couple more of the mentors who are kindly offering help as part of the project. I was interested to hear from the British Science Association as I didn’t realise how broad their remit is and quite how many events they are involved in.

After that intensive day we went to the hotel the other ladies were staying in. As the sessions were held in York, I went and stayed with parents, but had a meal with everyone else first. The hotel was lovely, with some gorgeous cocktails on offer in the bar! The meal was lovely, unfortunately as we were a big group it proved quite difficult for the waiting staff to bring us all our food at once, which tainted my impression of the hotel slightly. But still the parsnip soup, cottage pie and black forest gateau went down very well!

Day 2 to follow..


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