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Kick start your career

Trevor Rhodes

10 Mar 2011

On Thursday, 3 February 2011, over 150 students from universities in Liverpool, Bangor, Manchester and other North West educational establishments came to the Chemistry Department at the University of Manchester, to attend 'Kick-start your career'. This was an event organised by the Liverpool & North West SCI Regional Group for students of chemistry, chemical engineering and other science-related subjects, to enable them to meet with successful business and industry personnel from the North West, and to talk about careers in science.

They met over 25 industrialists, teachers and careers advisors, from over 17 establishments in the North West, to talk about careers in industry, teaching and further education. Topics of concern to students included world travel and its effect on job applications; how industry advertises jobs; how to get a CV noticed; and what sort of jobs graduates are able to obtain in industry.

The evening started with a drink - why else did so many students come! This was followed by six nine-minute talks by enthusiastic scientists and engineers who have spent a number of years in full-time jobs. They explained why they chose the path they did; why they changed jobs; who they have worked for; and, most importantly, what they have learnt through their experiences of work; and what advice they would give a graduate looking for a job. The types of jobs described covered working in SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises), teaching chemistry, public sector work (such as chemistry innovation), lab jobs, process chemistry work, marketing, chemical engineering and analytical chemistry. News in brief Many students then retired to the foyer for a buffet, free samples of Unilever products, and the chance to chat to the industrialists, careers advisors and teachers. About 50 stayed behind to listen to talks on how to write a stunning CV and what to expect at an interview. Two recruitment companies were also present to help in answering their questions.

Each year the event gets better and better, and the students found it really helpful. Our thanks to Chemicals Northwest, which co-sponsored and helped to organise the event, and Floyd Hamlet Productions, which took a video (soon to be on YouTube) and pictures of the event. Our thanks also go to the speakers and industrialists who gave up their evening to encourage what we hope will be the students who will help maintain the North West as a leading chemistry centre. I would particularly like to thank Dr Mike Pitts for coordinating this event.

Dr Trevor Rhodes, Chair, Liverpool and North West Group

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