Sandra Coe

What I did before that’s led to here….. I have had a variety of roles which have been interesting and given me a broad diversity of experiences. I’ve primarily worked within the legal sector whether in private law firms or within the university sector. Since 2010, I’ve taught subjects and written award-winning curriculum for Criminology and Criminal Justice degrees, been involved in socio-legal research, research in teaching and learning, copy editing for law journals, contracted to write reports and journal papers for publication, and have written workplace procedure manuals and student guides. All of this diversity of experience has led to a realisation of two primary interests – research and writing. What I like about what I do…. I really enjoy taking a large body of information (particularly when it comes from diverse sources) and rewriting it into a format that is simplified and more easily accessible for the target audience – whether it be data analysis or writing papers, reports or guides and manuals. For me, the processes are all similar – start large (looking in all directions) and winnow down to the important aspects / facts. I also really enjoy working on a broad range of projects and I have been lucky to have been involved with the diversity of work in my career. I enjoy helping people by passing on appropriate and useful information. I am an avid reader and I believe knowledge precedes understanding which precedes personal growth. What is useful about me…. I know I am a very diligent person and I attempt to take care to ensure the accuracy of what I write (my many years in the legal industry has instilled this attribute in me) whilst also making it accessible. Whilst teaching I found students responded well when I told them the reasons behind what was expected of them as understanding is often necessary for success.

my core skills

Research & Analysis

Curriculum Writing

Report Writing

Technical Writing

Research Design

Q & A

Whats the best thing to happen to you in your career to date?

Writing award winning curriculum! Although I was not personally recognised for the course I felt deeply satisfied that I had written curriculum that was very engaging for the students, to the point that it seriously decreased the rate of attribution for the course for that year, and the client (Professor teaching the course) reported back to me that he received so many emails from his students over the curriculum – something he didn’t find problematic at all because the emails demonstrated the high level of student engagement the curriculum generated. With teaching and learning ‘engagement’ is a crucial component for good student outcomes.

What does a typical work week look like for you?:

I don’t have a ‘typical’ work week however I find segmenting my day with an early start of up to three hours followed by time out late morning and re-engaging with work tasks later in the afternoon gets the best results. I try not to work more than three consecutive hours at a time as the level of concentration drops dramatically. I work best in three-hour segments. Exceptions to my three-hour segments are usually when I’m totally absorbed by what I’m doing, which I often find when I’m playing with research data – I find it fascinating as its always an adventure and a bit of a mystery to be uncovered when analysing research data.

Describe your working environment in a few sentences..

I like space to work so I have two long gloss-white desks end-to-end so I can spread out along the desk space to play around with my ideas as I work. I also have lots of shelving and a drafting table. I also have a comfy lounge chair for when I need to sit back and read for long periods of time. I have a pile of books I’m currently reading or intending to read in the near future, project boards around the walls with ideas, inspiration and brainstorms/process mapping etc.

What sets you apart from other freelancers in your industry?

I think it’s the vast diversity of projects I have worked on – from writing teaching and learning curriculum in criminology to learning materials for ESL students, from sensitive projects such as child abuse or male sex work to writing and mapping student competencies from beginner to graduate and guides on reflective practice and creating portfolios, to writing complaints procedures and other staff/workplace manuals. The diversity has been vast, but each project has been interesting and at times insightful.

What are the tools of your trade?

Google and other search platforms, and when possible, university databases (depending on the project I’m working on). I also have a very extensive library of my own (both hard copy and electronic) which I frequently draw on. I am a very visual and conceptual person and I also have a drafting desk in my office for drawing/painting which I utilise my creative attributes when I want to simplify things I’m working on and create/draw flow diagrams, mind maps, concept maps, brainstorms, processes etc – anything that helps me organise and/or manage my ideas and the processes I’m working with.

Do you collaborate with others? If yes, how does that works?

The type of work I do requires collaboration with the client/s I’m contracting with. I discuss with them what it is they are wanting to achieve, what resources they have, and the direction they want the work/project to go in. I like to touch base regularly and keep clients updated on where the project/work is at and check in on direction etc.

Whats been the biggest freelancing lesson to date?

Learning to appreciate the real value of my knowledge and experience and how much I can use that in helping others be the best they can be.

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