Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Topic: Event

Opportunities in Government for scientists and engineers

📥  Advice, Career Choice, Careers Resources, Event, For PhDs, For Taught Postgraduates, inspire, Sector Insight, Subject Related Careers

I went to a fascinating talk a couple of weeks ago, organised by the Bath Institute for Mathematical Innovation,  by the Government Office for Science about career opportunities for scientists and engineers in the Civil Service. Go-Science provides policy advice and support to the Government Chief Scientific Adviser in carrying out his role in advising the Prime Minister and Cabinet on a wide variety of areas including Risk and Resilience, Infrastructure, Trade and Finance, Energy and Climate Change, Cities, and Data and Analytics. The Government Chief Scientific Adviser is also the Head of the Science and Engineering profession for around 10,000 scientist and engineers who work in government in a variety of roles from specialist to policy as part of the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) profession.
This YouTube video provides a useful overview of the Government Science and Engineering Profession.

We heard from three recent science graduates working for Government; as you read their stories you’ll see that they moved around a bit after they graduated, a timely reminder for those uncertain about their next step is that where you start isn’t necessarily where you’ll end up, and our interests and career plans often change and develop over time:

Jenni completed a Masters degree in Meteorology at the University of Reading and worked as a weather forecaster in Singapore for a number of years for oil and gas clients., She then returned to the UK and worked providing forecasts for media and film production companies. During this time she realised that she wanted to work at the science-policy interface within government. Jenni took an intern policy research role (which was fully paid) in the Government Office for Science before achieving a permanent position on promotion to her current role at Cabinet Office.

Alex is part of the Horizon Scanning Team, Government Office for Science. Her role involves advising government on the evidence and scientific basis for new technologies. Alex did a Biology degree and then a Masters in Marine Science. While working in a wildlife conservation start-up she became interested in technology, and saw an advert for an internship with the Government Office for Science; her paid internship was initially for six months, and following a successful review her contract has been extended for a further six months. Alex enjoys using her scientific knowledge to in way that has real world impact.

Jerome is currently doing the Science and Engineering Fast Stream. He did an undergraduate degree which included a year in industry and then a PhD in theoretical structural Biology. He realised during his PhD that he wanted to do science that was more applied and had more impact. His first role was working for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, where he was part of the research funding team, managing funding calls, visiting universities and working on Equality and Diversity policy. He realised that he wanted a career that made use of his intellectual capacities, and considered working for think tanks and consultancies before settling on the Civil Service. His current role involves writing briefings and speeches for ministers, and he has liaised with a wide range of groups including academic, the NHS and patients, and frequently gets to meet with very senior people in external organisations.

Some general insights and tips from the three graduates on working as scientists in the Civil Service:
- Roles can involve researching areas of science and technology that the government wants more information on – not necessarily from your own specialism.
- The analytical skills gained as part of your science degree can be put to good use outside of the lab in a range of jobs from understanding research reports, to commissioning new work.
- They were not expected to have particular areas of technical expertise, but rather to be have a broad knowledge, scientific training and interest in science and engineering which enables them to get to grips with new areas quickly.
- There are roles that do require particular technical skills and enable the development of specialist science and engineering careers in many organisations of the public sector such as Safety, Security, Defence (both military and civilian), Public Health, the Met Office and many, many, more- the role of Government scientist and engineers, as with all civil servants, is to support the priorities set by the Government of the day.
- Roles are varied and include real responsibility from the outset supported by induction, training, and development opportunities.
- To stay in touch with opportunities follow the GSE Blog: https://governmentscienceandengineering.blog.gov.uk/

Getting in to science policy
If you have a particular interest on working on science to inform policy or indeed the policy of science there are opportunities in the Civil Service, and scientific learned societies (e.g. Royal Society, Institute of Physics). Some entry level roles may requires a Masters or PhD. (https://wellcome.ac.uk/jobs/graduate-development-programme) has a graduate scheme. This article by Queen Mary, University of London Careers Service has a useful summary of organisations work in science policy and relevant events and training courses. If you’re wanting to get into science policy, think about getting some short-term experience (internships are sometimes advertised on the Campaign for Science and Engineering website, and there are internships for Research-Council funded PhD students to work in a range of policy organisations), keep up to date with scientific issues that affect public policy, and build your networks through sites like LinkedIn and our own Bath Connection.

For other ideas for non lab-based career options for scientists, take a look at our guide to Alternative Careers in Science.

 

What does success mean to you?

📥  Academic Career, Advice, Diversity, Event, inspire

Last Thursday I had the privilege of attending Sulis Minerva Day, a day celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The final event in a day of inspirational and fascinating talks from eminent female scientists and engineers and engaging soapbox presentations from Bath's doctoral and postdoctoral researchers was a panel event on 'Pioneers and Pathways', with a wide range of speakers from academia, industry and science communication. The panellists, with help from some lively and honest contributions from the audience, discussed their own experiences and thoughts on how to attract more women into science and engineering

The Chair of the panel, Professor Carole Mundell, Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Bath, opened the panel session by asking each of the panellists what success looks like for them. Clearly this is a very personal topic with a wide range of possible answers; a Google search for 'career success' yields 27, 700 000 results. Nevertheless there were some common themes arising in how the speakers defined success. Professor  Mundell said that for her success is two-fold - 'in my personal life knowing my family is happy and thriving, that I have time to be part of that and, in turn, sharing in their successes and passions. Success in my professional life has a similar shape: doing a fulfilling job that I love and for which I am recognised, working with good people and, in turn,  recognising and celebrating their achievements, being authentic and having integrity. I am fortunate to work in fundamental research which comes with tricky problems, but when one is the first to discover something new about the world, that is a real thrill. Success for me is really an accumulation of tiny triumphs, some of which are ultimately recognised formally, which is wonderful and necessary,  and others which may go unnoticed.'

Similar themes came up in the panellists' definitions of success. Dr Patrick Goymer, Chief Editor of Nature Ecology & Evolution, also said that part of success for him was achieving work/life balance, as well as the satisfaction of launching a journal from scratch. Work/life balance was also important to Melanie Welham, Chief Executive of BBSRC. Melanie noted the importance in personal and professional success of being brave, taking opportunities as they come up and taking a leap without knowing where you'll end up. It did occur to me that 'leaps' can be fundamentally scary; and I wondered whether changes or new personal or professional directions might be more helpfully described as steps. We often take steps without knowing exactly where they will lead; career success can be experimental and exploratory as well as carefully planned. Melanie also highlighted the importance of a support network, and advised finding a mentor who is one or two steps ahead of where you would like to be - mentors who are many steps ahead of you can be intimidating.

Developing supportive relationships was also important to Dawn Bonefield, Director of Towards Vision, who said that for her, 'success looks like collaboration'. For Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster and writer, success had meant the ability to bring together her scientific knowledge and creativity, which she considered to be key aspects of her identity, and also having space to look after herself emotionally and to make a difference through her work. If 'making a difference' is important to you in life and career, this great blog post by Warwick Careers Service will help you to think through what that might look like in practice. The Warwick Careers blog also has a lovely post on how mentors can help you achieve career success, particularly by championing your cause and giving you encouragement.

To help you work out what success means to you, think about what is important to you in the different aspects of your life. What is the purpose of career for you? How will you know when you've been successful?

Many of us find identiying our successes quite challenging; take a leaf out of Carole Mundell's book and celebrate your 'tiny triumphs'; keep a mental or physical record of what you've done and think about what you're most proud of and what you learned from the experience. To help build your confidence, think about what you're interested in and enthusiastic about, and then share it with others. Dr. Gerta Cami-Kobaci, a Research Fellow in Pharmacy and Pharmacology, who did a soapbox presentation on her research on designing medicines for pain relief, said she very much enjoyed the opportunity to present her work to a broader scientific audience, and feels that it is very important to be able to communicate with specialists working in different fields of research.

And if you find putting your successes into words a struggle, this blog also has some tips on How to Sell Yourself and Feel ok about it.

 

 

 

Rebecca Stephens (MBE) joins the Sprint professional development programme

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📥  Diversity, Event

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Applications are now open for Sprint; a fantastic professional development programme for undergraduate women. Sprint enables female undergraduates to reach their fullest potential, focusing on key topics such as how to use your personal power, identify individual values, recognise personal strengths and learn how to use assertiveness positively.

This year we are delighted to welcome Rebecca Stephens (MBE), the first British woman to climb Mount Everest, to the Sprint programme. Alongside inspiring female role models from organisations such as AXA, Microsoft and Arup, Rebecca will talk about how women can embrace fear of failure to achieve their professional and personal goals.

The first three days of the programme will run during the inter-semester break as follows:

  • 30 January 2017 - FULL DAY
  • 31 January 2017 - FULL DAY
  • 1 February 2017 - FULL DAY

A final 1/2 day of training will take place on the afternoon of 22 February 2017.

Further information, including how to apply can be found here. We welcome applications from all undergraduate women and those students who identify as female.

Industry partners:

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Careers prep in a Day for Undergrad Finalists!

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📥  Applications, Event, Graduate Jobs, Tips & Hints

OK, the last thing you want to do is think 'what am I going to do after I graduate?' especially as the deadlines for course work are stacked! However, this niggle isn't going away so the best thing to do is to do something about it...

We are hosting 'Careers Prep in a Day' on Saturday, 23rd April from 9.30am-3pm and in one intensive day, we will help you take control of your life post-graduation and will cover topics such as:

  • Applying to grad schemes
  • Finding alternative graduate jobs to grad schemes
  • Full list of job hunting websites by sector including relevant recruitment agencies
  • Session on writing CV's, applications and cover letters
  • A real practice assessment center and tips to answer common interview questions
  • Information on PG study including applying for a PhD

All you need to do is to log-into MyFuture and register. Spaces are limited to 130.

 

Apply for a scholarship to attend the European Forum in Alpbach, Austria

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📥  Commercial Awareness, Event, inspire

Are you under 32 years of age and want to immerse yourself in an environment with new ideas, ways of thinking and opportunities for making new contacts? Then apply for a scholarship to attend the European Forum 2016 in Alpbach in Austria, a conference that brings together students and professionals from across Europe.

What is the European Forum Alpbach?
Often called the European version of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the European Forum Alpbach has been attracting leading thinkers and practitioners since 1945: economist Friedrich Hayek, physicist Erwin Schrödinger and philosopher Theodor Adorno attended regularly, as have more recently UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and economist Jeffrey Sachs. Every year, about 5,000 participants from over 60 countries meet to discuss emerging trends in eight broad fields: technology; law; European and international affairs; financial markets; the economy; public health; higher education; and architecture and urban planning. Each of these fields has a dedicated “symposium” in the conference schedule. All of the events, however, are united by a loose, overarching theme: in 2016, the European Forum Alpbach takes on the question of “New Enlightenment”.

What distinguishes the European Forum Alpbach from other international conferences is the involvement of hundreds of young people from across Europe through the clubs of the Forum Alpbach Network and their scholarships. The first week of the conference – the “Seminar Week” – is dedicated entirely to the scholars: senior experts, government officials and academics “pitch” their week-long seminars to you, and you pick and mix the ones you want to attend. Moreover, throughout the Forum, the clubs invite senior conference participants to informal, small-scale discussions with scholars, so-called “fireside talks”. These can be very short-notice, so it’s essential to keep an ear to the ground, and an eye on Twitter and Facebook. And, of course, there’s a lively social scene, a football tournament (which has been known to field government ministers), beach volleyball and tennis courts, a pristine Alpine lake, and the Tyrolean mountains all around you for an afternoon’s escape. The Club Alpbach London awards scholarships to cover the conference fees. They will also reserve a place for you in the shared club accommodation in the center of Alpbach. The costs for accommodation (roughly £400) and travel are usually not included. However, support with additional costs is available.

Eligibility
Students and recent graduates up to the age of 32 who study or work in the UK are eligible to apply.
Individuals who represent a wide spectrum of opinions, and academic and professional backgrounds.
Ideally you plan to be in London from September 2016, as Alpbach hope you will continue to play an active role in the Club. However, this is no mandatory requirement to apply.
Almost all of the Forum’s events are conducted in English so there’s no requirement to speak German. Please note that they require scholars to attend the European Forum Alpbach 2016 in its entirety, so please only apply if you are available for the whole period.

How to apply
Please send an email to scholarships@clubalpbachlondon.eu with a single PDF file attached, containing a motivation letter, your CV and, a confirmation of your studies (eg. scanned degree, transcript or confirmation of study). In your motivation letter, in no more than 200 words each (so no more than 800 in total):

  • your reasons for applying
  • which aspects of this year’s conference programme you find particularly interesting
  • why we should pick you
  • what you plan to do after graduating (if applicable), and whether you plan to be in London from September 201

The deadline for applications is Thursday 31 March 2016 at 5pm.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email contact@clubalpbachlondon.eu. You can also find out more about the Club Alpbach London, on their website.

 

Extra events for International Careers Week!

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📥  Careers Service Update, Event

We have been finalising some last-minute details, but are now pleased to announce some extra events as part of International Careers Week.

On Wednesday afternoon, we will have the return of our popular One-stop CV clinic run jointly with the Academic Skills Centre. Just drop in between 3.15 and 4.15 and our team of experts will be able to give you feedback on your CVs according to your needs - either for English language or structure and content, or both.

And on Thursday lunchtime, Becky Gallagher from the Students' Union Joblink service is doing a presentation on internships and work experience with local companies, highlighting the Santander internship scheme they have been running for the last few years. This scheme is open to international students, several of whom have taken it up, hence its inclusion in this week's events.

To have a look at the full schedule, do visit our events listing, I'm sure there will be something there to interest you. And if not, please do get in touch with us using the Comments facility - we'd love to know what you'd like next year's International Careers Week to contain!

 

Get Connected in International Careers Week

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Career Development, Event, Finding a Job, International Students, Networking, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints

We know that one of the best sources of career advice and inspiration is someone who is doing, or has done, the thing you are wanting to do. So we are delighted that Alumni Relations have organised another of their highly successful Get Connected events this week - and to make it even better, it is right here on campus and has an international theme to match the week!

Students will be offered short, informal appointments with alumni to ask any burning questions about their future career. There will also be opportunities for general networking and staff from our Career Service will offer advice on CVs and the evening will conclude with an informal networking opportunity.

Advice will be available from the alumni experts on how to start your working life around the world, including international students looking for tips on how to enter careers in the UK. The volunteers come from varied careers and can give advice on staying in the UK and working abroad in many different career areas.

Get Connected - International Careers will be this Thursday 3 March between 6pm and 8pm in the Plug Bar in the Students' Union. It's free to attend but you will need to register in advance to claim your free drink! A list of those who have already registered is available on our website - so if you're a little shy about going and want to know if any of your friends or classmates are going, you can have a look! (And if they're not - why not tell them about it?)

Opportunities to ask one-to-one career questions of alumni are very rare, and people before have found this a very valuable experience – not just for the advice but for getting some experience in the important skill of networking.

Find out more about the alumni volunteers - and make sure you book your place in order to meet the alumni experts and also a free drink!

 

 

 

Get ready for International Careers Week!

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📥  Career Development, Event, International Students, Networking, Uncategorized

Next week sees the return of our annual internationally-themed week of events. We have tried to have a little bit of something for everyone so do have a look at our events for that week to see what takes your fancy!

The week kicks off with Mars China coming in to talk about their management leadership opportunities for Chinese students wanting to return home after their studies.

We then focus on Japan, with DISCO International talking about opportunities for Japanese bilinguals - as well as PwC talking specifically about their opportunities for international students. With UK recruitment currently tightening up for international students, this is a great opportunity to meet a company who embraces internationalism. Also that day we host Withers & Rogers talking about the future of global organisations and how IP Offerings and protection are a key way to enhance that.

Thursday brings the Fulbright Commission here, offering their annual tips session on Postgraduate Study in the USA. We know that many of you are interested in this, so do come in and speak to the experts!

Added to all these external presentations, our Careers Service experts are offering a programme of workshops to help students both home and international prepare themselves for an international career. There are two assessment centre group exercise sessions - it's peak season for assessment days just now so book your slot soon. We also have repeat sessions of our popular workshops for international students looking at covering letters and also interview skills. If you are finding these hard to master then come along and learn how to demystify them and feel more in control of your approach.

You may have heard us talk about networking and advise you to develop and make best use of your LinkedIn profile. If you know you should but aren't sure how, book onto our workshop on Wednesday afternoon which will give you tips and strategies to boost your profile and show you how to extend your reach by leveraging the Bath Connection.

Finally, we are delighted to say that this year we are working with Alumni Relations who are offering one of their highly successful Get Connected sessions right here on campus on Thursday evening. It also has an international focus and the experts are all either international alumni or alumni who have worked overseas during their careers. Added to this they are launching a Get Connected webinar on Friday, for those of you who'd like the chance to ask your questions remotely.

Hopefully this will have whetted your appetite but do remember, if you'd rather just come in and ask one of our Advisers your questions, we are available every day for 1:1 appointments - we're looking forward to seeing you!

 

How to network with confidence!

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📥  Advice, Diversity, Event, Networking

We are absolutely thrilled to be delivering two workshops during the Women in Leadership Conference which is being organised by the University of Bath Students Union tomorrow. My colleague Ghislaine Dell will be exploring the concept of personal branding and I will be talking to the participants about the importance of networking.

Reflecting on when I started working, I really lacked confidence; especially when it came to networking and striking conversations with people I didn't know. I think lack of confidence is something that plagues many women. And there’s nowhere less comforting than a networking event – those crucial get-togethers in any sector that can to an extent determine the success of our careers. So, I wanted to share some personal tips that have over time helped me feel more comfortable in networking situations:

  1. Arrive early: Often, the most important people will arrive early to make sure the event is set up. If you arrive before the main crowd, you may get chance to speak to the main organiser, who will often then facilitate introductions to guest speakers, the event sponsors, or other attendees. It also means you don't have to break into existing and established conversations.
  2. F.O.R.M small talk: If you haven't seen it, you must watch the origins of small talk! Small talk needn't be awkward and can often lead to deeper and meaningful conversations. F.O.R.M. it is a memory tool for when you are in social situations and you want to get to know the person you are talking with. F.O.R.M stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation and Message -four areas you can use as conversation helpers in just about any social situation.
    1. Family: ask where they live, how they traveled...this gets the person talking about themselves and gives you a chance to learn about them.
    2. Occupation: what do you do for a living? When they tell you what they do, you have a great opportunity to ask them about their job-if it's in an industry you are familiar with you can comment about how competitive it is, or how challenging. If you are unfamiliar with their industry, here's your chance to learn about it.
    3. Recreation: this one's easy! What do you do for fun? If they participate in a sport or interest that you enjoy as well, you can swap stories and really build a memorable relationship with the person.
    4. Message: when you feel the conversation winding down, or you want to move on to meet other people in the group, have your "message" that you want this person to remember about you ready to go. It's something like your elevator speech, but much more personal to the individual you are talking to. For me, my message is simple. "It was great to meet you, Steven. If you ever need help with any professional development training or you run into someone who needs careers related help –then let me know, I would be delighted to help”.
  3. Watch your body language: Your body is giving constant signals the entire time, so make sure these, too, are geared towards projecting confidence and are open and welcoming. Little tricks like, shoulders back, head up, hands unclenched, arms unfolded can make a huge difference. Switch off your mobile phone and put it away so you are not tempted to hide behind it. Do watch this TED X talk to find out more about this interesting piece of research on body language.
  4. Know when to leave: I always set myself a target: have five good conversations and meet the key people I set out to meet. This means I know I have an end in sight and don't out stay my welcome or linger!  If asked, I say I have somewhere else to be and exit graciously.
  5. Follow up: As soon as you leave the networking event, spend a few minutes jotting down key points from the individual conversations you had. Within 24-hours, send a short email and simply say that you enjoyed meeting them and try to reflect back on a point from the conversation. The tips from Forbes on how to master the art of networking follow-up are excellent!

I hope these tips help and if you are attending the Women in Leadership Conference tomorrow, do put them to practice!

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New Semester - New Careers Events - New Jobs

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📥  Careers Resources, Event, Graduate Jobs, Internships, Tips & Hints, Work Experience

The staff in the Careers Service are delighted to see campus back in to full swing, especially now students are booking appointments and once more engaging with their careers research and investigation. We do like to be busy!

Here are three things you could be doing to make sure you stay ahead of the game at this time of year.

Check out our Programme of Events

Our new programme is now live and booking in MyFuture.  We have a range of employers coming on campus you can meet up with them to find out more about their opportunities. Some of them will be running skills events too. Our Careers Adviser will also be busy delivering a range of employability skills sessions on campus and virtually. We also have International Careers Week commencing February 29th. Some examples from our programme:

  • Finding Summer Work Experience
  • Interview Success
  • Writing UK Style Covering letters (for International students)
  • Finding a job other than a "graduate scheme"
  • Turning your placement into Graduate job
  • Careers Prep in a Day for Final year undergraduates  (Saturday)
  • Careers Prep in a Day for Master students
  • Webinar: Decisions, Decisions…How to begin your grad job search
  • Webinar: Considering a PhD or a Masters?
  • Assessment Centre Workshops including the chance to practise
  • Using LinkedIn and the Bath Connection to expand your network and build your career

Start Looking or Keep Looking for jobs (summer and graduate)

MyFuture has opportunities being added all the time, be they summer or placement work experience or graduate jobs. Make time to check in regularly and use the Advanced Opportunity Search  to create and save searches. Note that in the date option you can select for the search to show what has been added since you last logged in.

Be aware of how some types of jobs will not be advertised in MyFuture and so find out how you can search for jobs speculatively. Read our two guides Finding a Graduate Job and Finding Work Experience for advice on more comprehensive approaches to job hunting.

Keep your CV and covering letters fresh

I am not talking about keeping them in the fridge but keeping them alive. There is a tendency to fall into complacency once you feel you have nailed your CV and covering letter. Make sure you keep it up to date with new activities and always review your CV in the light of what the employer is looking for. If you have not had success yet then do take the chance to review them with an Adviser and seek help from alumni and employer contacts in your chosen field.

Have a great semester and keep in touch with the Careers Service.