The SWBio DTP Careers Conference took place at the University of Bath this June. On day one we welcomed current first year students, most of whom are starting to think about their Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS) and/or CASE placement. There were lively and interactive sessions to prepare students for their placement and how to get the most out of the placement. These sessions ranged from how to market yourself and contact potential employers, how to shine at interview (including making sure you know which door to use to leave the room!), and how to use social media for your career.
Students from all years attended day two, starting with a keynote talk from the new Vice Chancellor at Bath, Prof Ian White. He gave a fascinating and thought-provoking talk on research and its impact. There was something for us all to think about, irrespective of whatever stage of our career we are in, about how to start and develop collaborations, how academia and industry interact, and how scientific knowledge and approaches can be used to benefit society.
This was followed by development sessions for students at different stages in their PhD. First years had a session on how to build and use networks for research and career development. Students in the middle of their PhDs heard from a panel of representatives from a range of companies about their career journeys and what they had learned along the way – a lot of really useful advice on what matters in a career and how to know if it is ‘right’ for you. Final years had a session on ‘low stress job-hunting’, picking up some practical tips on how to go about finding jobs and how to stay motivated and resilient along the way.
All students took part in the Careers Fair with many organisations (such as ALmix, Microgenetics, Bio-techne) ready to tell students about potential PIPS placements and career opportunities. There were also drop-in clinics available alongside for some advice for writing a CV, and how to go about choosing a career following a PhD.
The remainder of the day gave the opportunity to students to tell their fellow cohort about their recent PIPS and CASE experiences – this included placements with AstraZeneca, Zoological Society of London, NHS and South Devon AONB, as well as an inspirational talk from an Early Career Researcher, Dr Neil Brown.
Thanks to the PIPS Team and the Bath Careers Team for this successful event!