I attended a workshop about corporate social responsibility (CSR) through Hub Catalyst. It was like coming home, in many ways. Hub Helsinki is a lovely place. Additionally, CSR is something, which attracted me during my studies in a business school and I ended up doing my Master’s Thesis related to CSR and retail sector. But that’s not what I wanted to write about.
In the workshop I realised how hard it is to introduce oneself comprehensively and shortly. Typically, people tell who they are (easy), where they come from (mostly easy), what they do (quite easy) and what are their expectations for the meeting (easy when being honest). It gets complicated when one tries to sum up past experience, as getting older means a high probability of more experience. What to tell and what to leave out?
I realised that when I leave out things, I can portray myself in different ways. For instance, I can focus on my NGO background highlighting my past in the student movement. Additionally, I can refer to my inspiring international experience on Nordic and European level. Moreover, I can point out that I have been engaged with development cooperation issues on top of educational and international affairs. Or alternatively, I can skip the whole NGO history and focus on my research and teaching experience, which is unavoidably gaining growth rings as grass grows.
So in social connections I can choose how I want to present myself. It is like choosing clothes in the morning. What do I feel like today? Turquoise or lime? Cosy or sharp? Do I feel like an activist, a teacher, or a business school graduate? Or a teaching activist with new business in mind? Or simply a PhD candidate with research projects?
Of course choosing my pitch is not enough. People make conclusions about me also from other information than what I say, for instance where I come from or what I look like. And that’s another story. For that matter, today I felt like a turquoise researcher: deep, endless, and lots of thoughts like fish swimming in a sea.