I now use the skills I have learnt over the Phd process on a daily basis. The transition from bakery tutor to researcher has been a long but mostly gradual learning curve. Many of the skills and dispositions of a baker have transported well into becoming a scholar. In particular, the need to
- Complete adequate preparation – in baking to understand the function of ingredients and to plan the process flow before beginning . In academia, to have sufficient grasp of the relevant literature and to organise one’s argument.
- Maintain momentum – in baking, many processes are required at timely intervals, hence the need to plan a workable workflow so that processes are spaced out through the shift. In research, there is still a need to establish a realistic timeline and to stick with it. Otherwise, other activities start to take precedent.
- Keeping at it – diligence and attention to detail are important aspects of baking. This is required to keep track of all the nuances inherent in the baking process. In research, there is also a need carefully and reflectively collect and analyse data and to hone the craft of academic writing. The initial writing is not difficult if one is prepared but fine tuning a piece of writing does take dogged persistence and hard work.
- Continual learning – consumer demands continually drive the craft of baking. Bakers have to meet ever changing customer demands and this along with the vagaries associated with working with ingredients like flour and yeast, lead to continual learning opportunities. In becoming a researcher, the demands for continual learning are also ever present. There is the need not only to keep up with the literature, but to learn new research methods as projects evolve and new ways have to be found to find answers to research questions. Added to this is the learning required to keep up with technology, including data analysis software and the many ways to now access, evaluate and archive digital literature.