Meet our speakers: Edified's Sharyn Martin & Elissa Newall

As we look ahead to our virtual conference on the future of student recruitment post covid-19, we'll be bringing you guest blogs from our conference speakers. We're starting today, with Edified's Sharyn Martin and Elissa Newall.

Our conference takes place on Thursday 4 June and is completely free to join - sign up now to get access to all sessions - live and on demand. You'll find the full lineup in this blog post.


When the extent of the pandemic became clear - particularly how it would affect your work - what did you think?

It was a bit of panic to be honest.  Each news story brought more ‘guestimations’ of how long lockdown and border closures would last. In the early days there were more questions than answers so finding a feeling of certainty was difficult.  Eventually it became clear that this was not going to be over quickly, so I started looking at longer term planning and new segments to work with.

Was it difficult to transition into a new way of working?

No.  I work from home anyway so it was BAU for me.  The only tricky thing was no travel (I’d previously travelled interstate almost weekly), and I missed meeting clients face-to-face.

Is there anything you’ve had to stop doing that, on reflection, you didn’t need to be doing and you actually won’t pick up again once things are back to something resembling normality?

Maybe travel.  Although I still don’t feel that virtual meetings has exactly the same impact as meeting in person.

Thinking specifically about your job and your work, what do you think will be covid-19’s most notable legacy on it?

That Universities now know they can change things quickly if they need to.  I hope the days of hearing “that will take months or years to implement” are over for good.  Even administrators have learned they can be creative in finding solutions.

Finally - something positive to end on. Can you recommend a good book, podcast, movie, or series that you’d say is worth giving some quarantine downtime to?

Not really.  But I can highly recommend blowing the dust off the sewing machine!

Sharyn & Elissa's session will kick off our virtual conference on Thursday 4 June - book your free place now!