On the afternoon of 19 April 2018, about 50 postdocs explored non-academic career options for both experimental and computational biologists at Hammersmith Careers Fair.
The event was co-organised by the MRC LMS Postdoc Committee and the Hammersmith Postdoc Representatives from the Department of Medicine, Department of Surgery & Cancer, and the National Heart & Lung Institute within the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London. The fair was held in the Wolfson Education Centre at the Hammersmith campus and was open to all Postdocs in the Faculty of Medicine.
The Careers Fair began with an interactive non-academic CV workshop conducted by Dr Karen Hinxman, Consultant within the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre. Karen explained how to translate research skills to non-academic roles, how to interpret job descriptions and how to draw on current skills to give evidence of expertise and competency in skills such as leadership and teamwork.
Following the CV workshop, the postdocs learnt about a range of non-academic careers through a roundtable open discussion. During this discussion they heard from a diverse panel of former postdocs who are now working outside an academic setting or are pursuing careers not directly related to biological research.
The panelists consisted of Dr Marianthi Tatari (Higher Scientific Officer, Institute of Cancer Research), Dr Maria Paola Serra (Senior Scientist, AstraZeneca), Dr Nicola Hellen (Head of In Vitro section, RxCelerate), Dr Ruediger Bader (Sales Manager, Photon Lines), Dr Rebecca Holloway (Coordinator, Imperial Outreach team), Dr Alex Eccleston (Senior Editor, Nature), Dr Julian Gehring (Bioinformatics Scientist, Illumina), and Dr Tina Toni (Quantitative Strategist, Morgan Stanley).
After two hours of lively discussion, participants proceeded to network with each other over nibbles and drinks while several postdocs had their CVs evaluated on a 1-to-1 basis by Dr Karen Hinxman and Dr Rachel Herries also a Consultant within the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre.
The Careers Fair ended with positive feedback from participants, and the organising team hope that all participants were inspired by the various career strategies and experiences.
The Hammersmith Careers Fair is one of the career development initiatives supported by the MRC LMS Athena Swan Committee. If you would like a specific postdoc career or development related workshop to be set up at the Hammersmith campus, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
By Valerie Soo, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Molecular Systems.