Careers Fairs and Careers Information

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Slides from a presentation given at the Innovations in Molecular Biology Education conference, Cambridge, December 2012. The presentation describes careers awareness and careers planning interventions in Biological Sciences at the University of Leicester, UK.

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Careers Fairs and Careers Information

  1. 1. Innovations in Molecular Bioscience Education 2012 Careers Fairs and Careers Information Dr Chris Willmott Dept of Biochemistry, University of Leicester cjrw2@le.ac.uk University of Leicester
  2. 2. Background: (Inter)national• Employability high on the agenda of universities• Global economic crisis  tricky job market• Unistat statement (since Aug 2010)• Key Information Set (since Sept 2012)
  3. 3. Background: Disciplinary• Biological Science = excellent platform for diverse careers• Unlike some courses (e.g. Medicine, Pharmacy, Law) Bioscience is not “vocational” - students may not know some careers exist - they may need help in seeing beyond the “known” pathways e.g. PhD, post-grad Medicine
  4. 4. National events• Life Science Careers Conferences www.societyofbiology.org/lscc •Up to 3 events nationally •Growing collection of resources e.g. talk slides storify Next Steps
  5. 5. Institution-specific events• Careers Awareness Careers After Biological Sciences (CABS)• Careers Planning Employability programme University of Leicester
  6. 6. Birth of CABS• Careers After Biological Sciences @ Leicester• Programme started 2007 with support of grant from institution’s Fund for New Teaching Initiatives• Two facets: - series of talks about different careers - online archive of material for those unable to attend events• The “spin” – all speakers are graduates from our own courses (or key gatekeepers, e.g. postgraduate admissions tutor, Head of Science at School of Edn)
  7. 7. Brief for speakers• All speakers are asked to speak for about 25 minutes and include three core pieces of information (in whatever order they see fit): - what their current job involves - how they got there from here (i.e. brief personal history) - top tips for anyone considering a move into the same field
  8. 8. Organisation of event• Two basic patterns have been used • A series of 4 or 5 “twilight” sessions of 1 hr featuring 2 speakers each time (5 x 2 model) • 2 Wednesday afternoon sessions with 5 speakers each time (2 x 5 model)• Advantages and disadvantages of both models, but current preference is for 2 x 5 - students do not necessarily perceive the value of broadening their horizons - 5 talks in day offers “‘bait’ plus 4 other” model - to Tea or not to Tea, that is the question?
  9. 9. Careers have included… Careers in Science and Careers from Science
  10. 10. Social Mediafor Careers
  11. 11. Contacting speakers• Traditional routes - personal contacts (ex-tutees, contemporaries) - recommendations from colleagues• Newer route - Facebook.com - LinkedIn.com• LinkedIn - Business-orientated resource - Categorisation issues, e.g. “Classmates”• Facebook - Search for known names - Work through friends list
  12. 12. Facebook alumni group• Better model – relational• Two-way process, news fed to alumni• >300 members
  13. 13. Central hub for resources• Institutional VLE?• Silo - no access for former students - no access for broader community• Free blogging services - Blogger.com - Wordpress.com• Previous experience with Wordpress - Bioethicsbytes - Journal of Left-handed Biochemist
  14. 14. Biosciencecareers.wordpress.com• Resources about careers covered during annual talks• List of sources for vacation studentships• Other careers events
  15. 15. Embedded resources• Cornerstone of resources = slides from talks• Slideshare.net
  16. 16. Further resources: video (1)• Video of talks? - relatively easy to film, but... - YouTube = max 15 mins for regular accounts - Vimeo.com is good alternative - basic account 500 MB per week - editing costs can be significant
  17. 17. Further resources: video (2)• Workplace interviews? - short, pithy videos to complement live events - can fit on YouTube = higher impact - requires budget
  18. 18. Further resources: audio• Cheaper than video (production and editing)• Podcast services (e.g. Libsyn.com) - Subscription required• free Slideshare account now includes capacity to link audio to slides – “webinar” or “slidecast” (subscription account can also add video)
  19. 19. Further resources: audio• Cheaper than video (production and editing)• Podcast services (e.g. Libsyn.com) - Subscription required• free Slideshare account now includes capacity to link audio to slides – “webinar” or “slidecast” (subscription account can also add video)
  20. 20. Raising awareness of resources•Wordpress and Slideshare have high visibility with search engines• Can raise further awareness by promoting on Twitter and Google+
  21. 21. Employability programme• Emphasising careers need active planning from Year1 “career management”• Helping students identify their aspirations and work towards achieve them• HEA Departmental Teaching Development Grant2012• Project team: School of Biological Sciences: Mark Goodwin, Jon Scott, Chris Willmott, Maxine Bodicoat Careers Service: Richard Wilcock, Andrew Jackson, Stu Johnson
  22. 22. Employability programmeYear 1• Intentions survey & Destinations analysis• June: Intentions after Graduation event (research → planning)Year 2• Ongoing support from School of Bio Sciences & Careers Service (targeted events)• June: Careers in Biosciences event (planning → strategy)Year 3 Applications
  23. 23. Intentions event (June of Yr 1)• “Hanging weeks”• First run 2012• 172/256 attended (67%)
  24. 24. Intentions event (June of Yr 1)• Employers/Admissions Tutors - what’s necessary for successful application? - what can you do over next year or so?
  25. 25. Intentions event (June of Yr 1)• Networking session
  26. 26. Intentions event (June of Yr 1)• Student checklist• Triplicates (Student, project team, personal tutor)
  27. 27. Careers event (June of Yr 2)• Yr 1: research → planning• Yr 2: planning → strategy• Greater emphasis on practicalities of applying - CV writing - Applications and covering letters - Assessment centres, what to expect - Interviews• Additional opportunity for networking with employers and admissions tutors
  28. 28. Conclusions• Employability = core curriculum + careers education• Core curriculum: - maths skills - problem-solving skills - practical skills - time-management - team-working - reflection (recognising transferable skills)• Careers education: - career awareness - career planning
  29. 29. Recommendations: Who• Involvement of alumni in careers education demonstrates the potential outcomes from present course• Academic colleagues may be able to recommend potential speakers, but Web2.0 services such as Facebook and LinkedIn are also valuable tools• Alumni 5 to 10 years post graduation are ideal - long enough out of college to be established - not so old they graduated before students born
  30. 30. Recommendations: What (1)Event• An afternoon with 5-6 speakers is a good format• Discussion ought to include at least one “obvious” career (e.g. PhD, medicine, teaching)• A range of other careers should be showcased, including Careers from Science as well as Careers in Science• A tea break refreshes the mind, but offers opportunity for escape
  31. 31. Recommendations: What (1)Event• An afternoon with 5-6 speakers is a good format• Discussion ought to include at least one “obvious” career (e.g. PhD, medicine, teaching)• A range of other careers should be showcased, including Careers from Science as well as Careers in Science• A tea break refreshes the mind, but offers opportunity for escape• At a minimum you should aim to take a photo or the speakers, a copy of their slides and an audiorecording
  32. 32. Recommendations: What (2)Post-event resources• Blogging services provide an ideal platform for aggregating resources: - low entry-level computing skills - in-built search facilities - easy addition of metadata• Content linked via the site can include: - slides from the talk - audio recording (possibly synched with slides) - photo of speaker - video of talk - workplace video - synopsis/reflections written by attendee
  33. 33. Acknowledgements• Funding: Leicester Fund for New Teaching Initiatives Higher Education Academy• Alan Cann for Web2.0 wisdom• Alumni who have been back to speak
  34. 34. Any Questions?E-mail: cjrw2@le.ac.ukTwitter: cjrwSlideshare: cjrw2Delicious: chriswillmottBlogs: www.bioethicsbytes.wordpress.comwww.biosciencecareers.wordpress.comwww.lefthandedbiochemist.wordpress.com University of Leicester

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