I first came into contact with Madalena in 2010 after my self belief in my ability to deliver high quality research and teaching had been shattered. Being dignosed as having an Autistic Spectrum Disorder had created barriers in my mind which made it difficult for me to engage with students and researchers. Over many months Magdalena helped me to breakdown those barriers and to expand the range of social and professional interactions that I felt comfortable with. She showed great skill in identifying the right small, but challenging steps, I needed to take. The result was a journey in which I learned that many of the barriers that I thought existed were not real. For those that are real I have the capability of learning the skills necessary to overcome them. The result is that I now teach and work with people around the world with a confidence that did not exist before. Thanks to Magdalena I am aware of the limitations that my condition brings, but I am not defined by those limitations. Over the last few years I have occasionally met with Magdalena who has continued to support my development. The key thing I have learnt from her is that being scared of interacting with others is something that exists only in my mind and that I can overcome that fear. Thank you Magdalena.
She is just the sort of coach staff find helpful – she is approachable, enthusiastic and full of good ideas that go with the grain of the application. With her heartfelt and intelligent heart & mind approach she nurtures talent and builds confidence so people demonstrate that they can be leaders and winners. Her work has a bottom line too. She has helped my staff attract over £6M pounds in funding.
I succesfully applied for a £2M research fellowship with Magdalena´s help at the interview stage. Magdalena came highly recommended by several colleagues who had been successful in obtaining the same grant after being coached by her. Magdalena critically helped me to shape my vision and pitch (slides, delivery, etc). She really helped me to aim high and not be afraid to do so. My presentations, the way I prepare and deliver them, were massively changed forever
The Grant Writing Intensive programme (GWI) and the personalized coaching services provided by Magdalena were of crucial importance and had a strong impact in the success rate of NOVA’s grant approval.
A trail-blazer in getting many senior academics to take teaching, leadership and nurturing talent seriously. She has done a great deal to address some deep-seated issues. Where others (including me) saw the symptoms of the problem but had no real idea what to do, she clearly identified the problem and then went on to devise and run successful programmes that have made a real change.
Bournemouth University’s talent management aspirations have taken several steps forward as a result of Magdalena’s session. There was a real sense of energy in the room throughout the mix of exercises, case studies and anecdotes. A particularly powerful career mapping exercise got managers thinking about their own talent and how various bosses had influenced their career decisions. Brilliant – great intervention and looking forward to working with Magdalena again.
Magdalena was invited to give a Grant Writing Workshop for professors and researchers at the Faculty of Psychology. This was new for most of us and since Magdalena uses a holistic psychological approach to science productivity I must say that some researchers went to the workshop with doubtful thoughts in their minds….After all we are all psychologists to start with, what could she teach us? It turns out the workshop was a huge success! In a very professional and yet enjoyable way, Magdalena took us through a series of very simple but revealing exercises that not only allowed us to clearly identify each one’s strong and weak points but also prompted many of us to get started on our grant proposals. In sum, we benefited a great deal from the workshop, it was a definitely worthwhile investment and I would strongly recommend it to other research institutions.
Magdalena ran a parallel workshop at the recent Staff Developers Conference 2015 on Tapping Hearts and Minds to Enable People to Thrive in a VUCA World. She introduced us to her 4 step coaching approach. Even in a very short time is made us pause and recognise what we could do differently. I always find Magdalena interesting and inspiring to listen to – she has a knack of making me think very differently to the way I do normally. Never a bad thing!
I’ve invited Magdalena to give a Grant Writing Workshop for researchers at ITQB (Lisbon, Portugal). She completely over exceeded all the expectations, making the event a huge success! Statistics speak by themselves: 96% of the participants rated it as Excellent or Very Good. They felt the workshop was a worthwhile investment of their time and would recommend it to other researchers. Apart from being very professional, Magdalena is a wonderful and joyful person. Some comments we’ve got from participants: – “It was helpful. It exceeded my expectations (by far) FANTASTIC!” – “This workshop was a great catalyst to start working on a grant.” – “I benefited a great deal from the grant writing session. The feedback was useful and the exercises prompted me to get an early start on my grant application.” – “I enjoyed it definitely not a déjà vu.” – “Prof. Magdalena Bak-Maier had a fantastic attitude towards the students!” – “One of the best I attend. I love the psychological approach to “humanize” scientists :)” – “Glad that I attended it!”