18/05/2016 - 19/05/2016

What: Free participation, accommodation and meals for members of C1net or other participating NIBB networks

When: 18-19 May 2016

Where: Manchester MacDonald Hotel, London Road, Manchester M1 2PG

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by Pawel Piatek, University of Nottingham

The meeting was incredibly useful in giving us an insight into career paths after our PhD. The first day focused on the importance of the growing life sciences sector and its effect on jobs. Due to time limitations, we were split into two groups according to our preferences. I chose the marketing and sales seminars which gave an idea of what we could do for a company’s marketing potential if we have the technical and scientific knowledge to link customers with the product. Personally I never found sales and marketing my calling, and the seminars underlined this for me! However I finally had a concrete reason why I don’t want to choose this career path.

The second day focused on the corporate environment. I’ve always winced at the word “corporate” and generally stayed away from it, (hence I am in academia), but there were some superb talks on this. Neil Parry, Unilever, gave a great talk on the research aspects of working in a global corporation, which showed that R&D divisions within large multinationals are not only robust and well-funded, but have a similar level of creativity and discovery spirit as in academia. I particularly enjoy this talk.

Alongside the talks there was plenty of opportunity for networking, which is crucial for building relationships and gathering insider information on jobs and research projects. I found this equally important to the seminars, as I met a lot of interesting academics and industry people – imparting information that cannot be found on websites or brochures. I also feel that this is the real way of getting ahead when job hunting after your PhD – a CV and cover letter is impersonal and forgettable, while making a solid face to face impression isn’t. It is also hugely beneficial to have a deck of business cards ready to be handed out to whomever you meet.