In June this year, at the University of Sheffield Engineering Symposium (USES), PVC Professor Tony Ryan gave a wonderful talk on collaboration and one of his pearls of wisdom was “Serendipity favours the prepared and open mind”. Serendipity has been described as “an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident; good fortune; or luck.” How true I thought of my life, when several times it has seemed an opportunity has just fallen into my lap! On reflection the only reasons these were ‘lucky’ was, because of the range of experience I already had, from not following a structured career path. “The harder I work, the luckier I get” said Samuel Goldwyn, so perhaps opportunities only come when we have worked hard to ensure we are ready! Can we be prepared for the opportunities that come our way?

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