“It is hard to express in one or two sentences how good Magdalena is – however, I will say the following: Magdalena is not your average ‘presentation guru’ – she is a world leader in her field. Consequently, working with Magdalena makes a REAL and CONSIDERABLE difference. My time spent working with Magdalena was characterised by a succession of ‘wow’ moments – where her insightful to-the-point suggestions would raise a presentation slide, or a verbal response, to a completely new level. Magdalena coached me for a £1.3M grant interview in May 2013. I recently received news that I will be awarded the funding. I would recommend Magdalena in the strongest possible terms, and I look forward to working with her again in the near future.”
Magdalena very fast gauges the expectations of the people. Accordingly she suggests how to and what to pitch in. She helped me in expressing my research vision to people from different scientific backgrounds and in giving me the confidence needed for a successful interview.
The coaching sessions with Magdalena were hugely valuable – she was able to identify my strengths and weaknesses and made me much more confident dealing with questions probing what I thought were weaker areas. My proposal was ranked 5th before the interview stage, but this improved to 1st after the interview, and the coaching certainly contributed to this. The techniques she used in coaching improved my presentation speech, the accompanying slides and my overall confidence going into the interview. The grant was a 5 year EPSRC fellowship worth just over £1m.
Magdalena specifically coached me in my approach, presentation style and delivery for a Career Development Fellowship from the UK Government Department of Health, guiding me on visual, eye-catching, memorable content. Her strategy for me was to use tactics akin to a ‘Dragons Den’ ‘Apprentice’ approach to captivate, enthuse and entrance the Panel [while] simultaneously highlight the critical need of my research. We spent 3 hours developing my presentation, honing down to the key essentials that would relay the critical research messages. She encouraged me to embrace new practices and grasp terminology, akin to that in the business and corporate sector, and feel comfortable with its use in the medical arena. At the end of this rather exhaustive session, I felt energised, invigorated and on a ‘high’, not only to have received such targeted input, but also the realisation that I could be successful. I felt I had a definite edge over other candidates. I was successful.
I am writing to fully endorse Dr. Magdalena Bak-Maier for the truly outstanding coaching work she did for me. The feedback and comments I received from her were absolutely helpful – critical, honest, humorous, and constructive. In fact, the interview preparations were a wonderful experience for me. Despite the thousand or so applications for ERC grants last year and the fierce competition during the interview stage, I nevertheless received the grant – £1.3 million over five years. This fantastic outcome represents a major milestone in my career, and I am very grateful for the immense support I received. read more
I wanted to let you know that I have managed to secure my Readership! The interview was actually much less stressful than the mock you have given me, but partly because I felt quite prepared to address the questions with the right attitude and positive structure of the answers. Would not be there without you, I think! Many thanks again, Irina.
She challenged, disturbed and yanked me out of my long winter of complacency and procrastination. I have achieved so much and faced many demons along the way. I don’t think anyone else would be able to tell me the honest truth the way she did. It meant I was able to work on things that mattered most. I have since been promoted, have more productive relationships with my colleagues and feel more certain about where I am going. Thank you!
Since our meetings I manage time better, wrote and submitted two papers and a grant. Thanks for the push!