Dr. Geoffrey Knott – IoD Membership Experience

Firstly, what inspired you to join the IoD as a student member?

I joined the IoD to meet and make local business connections, and gain essential business skills and understanding. It’s not just enough to have a great idea, you really need to understand what actions you need to make and how to implement them to create something valuable to someone that didn’t exist before.

How has being an IoD student member helped with your own personal development?

Studying a dedicated business-related qualification didn’t feel right to me — a classroom-style course wouldn’t develop my experience. I wanted to learn from doing my own thing, making mistakes, learning from them, and talking to local business people about their journeys. The IoD is great for that. Business is about people, and the IoD is full of knowledgeable and welcoming people.

What type of connections have you made since joining the IoD that have had an impact on where you are now?

I couldn’t recommend the IoD Breakfast 8:59 events enough! Here is a dedicated parcel of time to sit and eat breakfast with a pool of resilient individuals working their own businesses across a range of industries including business management consultants with military experience, accountants who also love to play squash and rock climb, public speakers from California, and graphics designers. These individuals and others, including the Surrey IoD Chair, have added great value to my knowledge through conversations and personal networks. In addition, the IoD Surrey Student branch has added great personal value by meeting likeminded PGRs and students, and friends now approach me for advice to develop their ideas and begin their own ventures.

How do you think current researchers at the University of Surrey may benefit from IoD membership?

Current researchers at the University of Surrey are some of the most well-positioned individuals to benefit from IoD membership. I believe that researchers are natural entrepreneurs. The research and start-up/business journeys are identical. Both are confusing and extremely lonely at times, tough yet rewarding, and makes resilient, independent thinkers. The only difference is the outcome: traditional business professionals create new products and services; researchers create new knowledge. I think IoD is a great vehicle for researchers to explore a new area with infinite possibilities that compliments their past research experience.

Want to join the IoD Student Doctoral Community or find our more?

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Institute of Directors or want to know more please contact James Armstrong james.armstrong@surrey.ac.uk.

Further general information about the IoD and the benefits of becoming a member can be found here.