Keeping with the theme of International Women’s Day, we wanted to introduce another of our lecturers, Midgie Thompson.
Midgie teaches on our Creativity in Business module, which is available as an optional module to all of our undergraduate students. Midgie is also a triathlete, preparing for her first half-ironman triathlon in July this year!
On which programmes and modules do you teach?
I currently teach on the Creativity in Business module, a second-year undergraduate option open to all students, along with David Foster. I also supervise placement students completing a work placement helping them with any work-related questions and with the completion of their research project.
Previously, I taught on Developing Academic and Employability Skills, a first-year undergraduate course, which helps students learn about research and academic writing skills, interpersonal skills that will be key in the workplace as well as helping them prepare for the job market by writing a powerful CV and preparing for interviews.
I was also an International Personal Tutor providing academic and pastoral support to international students.
Tell us a little about your professional background?
In addition to my part-time work at the University, I run my own coaching and training company related to corporate creativity and personal performance. Both creativity and performance start with the mindset, beliefs and openness to possibilities.
Regarding the corporate creativity, I help individuals use creative approaches to the challenges they face. From the performance perspective, I draw upon strategies used by high-level athletes to manage their own personal energy and develop the routines and mindset to achieve great performances in any area of their life.
I also have developed and delivered, in French, an e-learning course related to creativity in business for EDHEC in Nice, France. I am currently in the process of putting the English version together.
I have worked in the academic environment for over 10 years and previously held positions in the corporate sector as well as the public sector. I worked for large multinational companies to small local charities doing a range of roles.
What can you tell us about the module/course you’re teaching?
I love the creativity module as I believe it helps make a positive difference to the students’ mindset, attitude and confidence towards themselves and their life. They hopefully develop a more curious and questioning approach to situations they may encounter in life (both professionally and personally) and become more creative in coming up with ideas and solutions.
As an additional element in this course, we help students grow their confidence by expressing and sharing their ideas as well as presenting. We encourage the students to question and challenge us, yet back up their thoughts and their thinking with rationale and reasoning. Regarding presentation skills, students develop greater confidence by standing up and sharing (just as if they were presenting) each week where feedback, tips and hints also offered.
For the sessions I am involved with, much like an athlete would do a warm up before they did their training or race, I have the students do a creativity warm up. By starting with playful and child-like games, including volleyball with balloons, the students become playful like children and have fun which in turn helps them to be more creative when approaching the learning and the tasks.
What interests you most about the subject you teach?
I love the fact that with creativity, there is no right or wrong answer. It is all influenced by how much the students are willing to dig deep, explore ideas and try new things. In a sense, it helps students developing their thinking skills and stretch their approach to what they previously thought was possible.
Tell us about any projects you’ve been working on outside of the classroom
With my move to Nice, France, in 2016, I am undertaking the translation to French of two of my published books; Winning Strategies for Sports and Life and Winning Strategies Workbook. These books present a step-by-step process to help readers achieve excellence in their life combining concepts from life coaching, neuro-linguistic programming and sports psychology.
I am passionate about stretching comfort zones to reaching towards greater potential. Along that vein, I am preparing to complete a half-ironman triathlon (1.9k swim, 98k bike and 21k run on 1 July 2018 in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France). This is a challenge I have never undertaken before and includes the mythical ‘Col de Vence’ an 11k climb of epic proportions in the Alpes-Maritimes area!
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy the interaction with the students in the hope that I help inspire them to recognize their great potential, grow more confident in themselves as well as help them shift their mindset to a more positive and optimistic one.