Code Switch Research Consultancy Programme – Reflections of a Postdoc
Dr Guillaume Zante participated in the Full Switch™- Research Consultancy Programme – an innovative solution for researchers to gain work experience as research consultants with the full support, training, coaching and feedback of the Code-Switch Team. The Code-Switch Consultants (CSC) consultancy method combines formal project management and consultancy training with MBA-style project-based experience, focusing on collaborative learning by doing.
As a C-DICE affiliated postdoctoral researcher, I took part in the fully funded Code Switch programme this year. The Code Switch Program offers an immersive learning experience by applying real-world project management scenarios for 6 months. Participants are tasked with projects closely aligned with actual clients, working alongside a team of peers comprising PhD researchers and postdocs. Participants navigate through various project phases, from initiation to execution, all while honing their project management skills. This hands-on approach, combined with mentorship and support, ensures that participants are well-prepared to effectively manage projects in a professional setting and deliver successful outcomes for their clients.
It was a beneficial experience that significantly enriched my understanding of project management. This program offered a comprehensive exploration of project management, enabling me to acquire a range of practical skills and apply them to real-world scenarios. Throughout the program, I had the opportunity to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team, combining diverse skills and perspectives to achieve project objectives. Regular client meetings ensured that our work remained aligned with their expectations, and the Code Switch team provided essential guidance and training throughout the process.
The training provided a well-rounded education in project management, covering various aspects of the discipline. From project initiation to execution, monitoring and evaluation, the program encompassed the key stages of effective project management.
The emphasis on practical experience was a notable aspect of the experience. We were entrusted with genuine projects, in collaboration with actual clients. This hands-on approach allowed me to apply the concepts learned in a real-world context, bridging the gap between theory and practice.
Assembling a team with different skills and leveraging the strengths of each team member to ensure project success and timely delivery of deliverables closely mirrors the dynamics of professional project management. This aspect of the program highlighted the importance of collaboration and effective teamwork in achieving project goals.
The knowledge and skills acquired through the Code Switch Program have proven highly applicable to my day-to-day responsibilities as a researcher. In my role, I frequently manage multiple projects that present similar challenges to those encountered during the program. The experience gained has enabled me to tackle these issues efficiently.
I would like to thank C-DICE for funding this training opportunity for me and I would encourage other postdocs to take up the opportunity to participate in this training programme.
Dr Guillaume Zante
Research And Development Specialist at the University of Leicester