Author Archives: Anna Nibbs

10 January 2017 - 11:00 am All kinds of minds, and enterprise.

Painting of person sitting, with thought bubble containing a butterfly.

Image credit: Loving Earth

It’s some time (read: a couple of years) since I last wrote a USE blog post. It’s not because I’m lazy. I’ve just had rather a lot to do.

The work of the USE Academy has got busier and busier, and away from my busy full-time job, I’m busy too. I have two small children (one who’s just started school; the other just over a year old), and very little mental or physical downtime. And there’s this thing I have a lot of problems with, called executive dysfunction.

This means I have real difficulty with planning, prioritising, or even just getting started on anything. And there’s reason for that. I’m not lazy; my brain just works a little differently from the norm.

You see, I’m autistic.

Continue reading “All kinds of minds, and enterprise.” »

31 December 2014 - 4:45 pm Leverage surprises, pivot, change hairstyles: another clunky metaphor

Problem-solving, to me, takes two main forms.

The first is the one we often talk about when we’re discussing enterprising capabilities – you identify a problem, you have an idea for a potential solution and, after a fashion, you make that idea happen. Problem solved.

But there’s another kind of problem-solving.

The kind of problem-solving that requires responding rapidly, positively, and effectively, to those “Shhhheeeeeeeeeeit! This calamitous thing’s just happened and we need to solve this problem RIGHT THIS MINUTE!” sorts of scenario. Continue reading “Leverage surprises, pivot, change hairstyles: another clunky metaphor” »

16 December 2014 - 3:45 pm What does ‘creativity’ mean to you?


What does this word mean to you?

Kids are innately creative. I see this in my own daughter, who’s just shy of three years old. Her make believe play; her imaginative uses for toys that differ wildly from what the manufacturers had in mind; her creation of her own little worlds; she’s constantly making things that are new.

But there’s a danger that this natural creativity can be stifled or stamped out over time. This was something one of our past Interns, Nicole, highlighted in this blog post, and it’s a problem that’s well recognised. Continue reading “What does ‘creativity’ mean to you?” »

23 October 2014 - 1:58 pm Academics! Make this year your most innovative yet

To all our University of Sheffield teachers and academics – welcome to 2014/15! Well, it’s been going a while now really, but we thought we’d let you at least get your breath, after the hectic first few weeks of term. So, here we go…

Did you know, this new academic year could be your most innovative yet? This is the year in which you could develop, tweak, grow, shape, or even transform your teaching, helping to develop your students’ capabilities of enterprise, leadership, innovation and collaboration – all the while keeping your academic discipline firmly at the centre of the learning experience.

Continue reading “Academics! Make this year your most innovative yet” »

14 September 2014 - 10:00 am I’m not an entrepreneur, and that’s okay.

I’ve always found it difficult to describe, neatly, what I do for a living, whether that be to the academics and students I work with, my lovely colleagues in the extracurricular wing of our li’l ol’ USE family, or friends and family members outside of work.

Continue reading “I’m not an entrepreneur, and that’s okay.” »

9 September 2014 - 12:00 pm We did it!

The morning after the night before…

…or, more precisely, the week after the week before – in which, as some of the USE Team travelled up for three days of enterprise education best practice sharing, discussion and networking (and a bit of dancing) in Newcastle, we were also crossing fingers (crossing everything, in fact) in the hope of the University of Sheffield Enterprise Academy (USEA) bringing a National Enterprise Educator Award (NEEA) home to the Steel City. Continue reading “We did it!” »

1 September 2014 - 12:07 pm Fingers crossed!

This week is a very exciting one for us here at USE as later in the week, a lot of us will be off to the event of the year (well, if you are an enterprise educator it is) – the International Entrepreneurship Educators (IEEC) Conference.

You might remember that last year, we hosted IEEC right here in Sheffield. That was a truly amazing experience for all of us here, but we are looking forward to relaxing a little more this year and not running round like headless chickens! We are off to the bright lights of Newcastle – a city I certainly don’t know that well, so I’m looking forward to seeing the sights.

Continue reading “Fingers crossed!” »

25 September 2013 - 10:57 am Back in the deep, dark depths of time…

Can it really be an entire 15 years since I came to Sheffield as a Fresher? Well, according to the date in the bottom right-hand corner of my computer monitor, the increased number of grey hairs on my head and the dark circles under my eyes these days, it most certainly is. Crikey.

It was back in the dark days of the late 1990s. Pre-social media, pre-dubstep, pre-X-Factor, pre-bignewshinyStudentsUnionbuilding (although it was still pretty impressive even back then, compared with those of rival universities). Continue reading “Back in the deep, dark depths of time…” »

24 August 2013 - 10:54 am Enterprising Historians

One of the rewarding things about my job is meeting academic staff across the University who are doing exciting, enterprising things in their teaching.  I’m nosey by nature, and love to find out what people are doing in other departments.

Continue reading “Enterprising Historians” »

20 August 2013 - 10:34 am Creativity through adversity

Now, whilst it’s not a bad thing to bring some of one’s own personality and interests into a blog, I try not to talk that much about my family life on this here site because it’s not my personal blog.  But anyone who knows me will be aware that I’m the sole breadwinner for my family, working full-time at USE whilst hubby stays at home caring for our Small Girl (18 months old at the time of writing – how time flies!). Continue reading “Creativity through adversity” »

  • About the author

    Anna Nibbs

    Howdy! I'm Anna, an Enterprise Education Developer, HEA Fellow, member of the National Enterprise Education Award-winning USE Academy team, and the first point-of-contact for academics in the Faculties of Arts & Humanities and Medicine, Dentistry & Health. I also teach on USE's "Making Ideas Happen" module. I'm passionate about learning and teaching, and empowering lecturers - and students - to be as enterprising as they can possibly be. Outside of work, I like to exercise, write, grow fruit and veg, drink tea and spend time with my children reading books, doing crafts and exploring. If you're an academic and you want to know more about embedding enterprise into your curriculum, visit our Enterprise Education website at: