17 May 2013
The College of Scholars’ second Day of Science and Careers was held at Belgrave Square on 22 April 2013. This year it was open to all Early Career People.
The meeting got off to a flying start with presentations by two of our most recent scholars before Kevin Back showed how his SCI Scholarship had helped his career. Unusually he has worked in the pharmaceutical industry before and after his PhD. These (and other) presentations are available for your to view, by clicking on the link below.
The rest of the meeting was devoted to informing delegates about the wide range of careers available in the chemical and chemistry-using industries plus academia and also tips on applying for that first job. Speakers did this by discussing their own careers.
Loss of one of our speakers allowed us to introduce an interactive session, chaired by Tim Reynolds, on ‘What can SCI do to support your career’. This extremely successful with some lively discussions. We gained several useful suggestions, plus pointers on using social networks to publicise future events. Two delegates had found details of the meeting via Google.
Many of the presenters spoke about the impact their SCI membership has had on their career. They reported that this has helped them to build stronger networks with those working in related fields in other organisations. SCI members can also keep up to date with news from their field through e-communications and a monthly magazine, and attend technical meetings at a heavily discounted rate.
What surprised some of the audience is that membership also offers opportunities to present at SCI meetings, or to become a writer for our website. More details about SCI membership can be found on the website (link below).
All agreed that this had been an outstandingly successful event, with one ‘senior’ session Chair declaring it to be one of the best that he had ever attended! The statistics support this: 79 delegates registered (plus 17 speakers) and three applications for SCI membership before the meeting ended, and scholarship plus travel bursary applications to follow. The geographical spread was remarkable, including participants from Bristol, Manchester, Warwick and St Andrews.
Two factors were key to this success. Firstly the very hard work of the Early Career Support Sub-Committee (ECSSC), with outstanding support from Karen Hobbs, in organising and publicising the event. Secondly the excellent presentations by all speakers, which laid the foundations for a very lively wine and nibbles networking session. Karen’s innovation in providing a set of ‘business cards’ for every participant was really appreciated here.
To build on this and improve next year will be a major challenge and we will focus on other areas of industry, having concentrated on pharmaceuticals this time. The importance of SMEs for career opportunities will again be highlighted.
Professor Alan Heaton
Chair of ECSSC
Principal of SCI College of Scholars