At the end of November 2002, about a month after I had left SmartForce/Skillsoft, I was invited by a former colleague (DK) to give a guest lecture to 4th year Computer Science students at the National College of Ireland. At the time I had never heard of NCI, and I was still wondering what I was going to do. An academic career seemed impossible to me as I had very few publications, little research done, and almost no classroom teaching experience. NCI gave me the opportunity to at least try a lecture, the College has always been supportive of guest lectures for students. I spent many hours preparing a 45 minute presentation which was about the use of GroupWare (Lotus Notes) to support the courseware production process. This lecture led to giving more guest lectures on a new eLearning Diploma programme that the College had just launched - I was so lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
In the summer of 2003 I landed a fulltime Lecturer position at NCI, but I always credited the guest lecture the previous November as the real starting point of my career as a Lecturer. While I am retired now, I'll never forget the opportunity presented to me in 2002.
None of us know what the future brings. My lesson from 20 years ago is that we should grasp any opportunity presented to us
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