Due to the Covid-19 pandemic this year’s GRADnet summer school in July at Herstmonceux Castle was cancelled. I was hugely disappointed as it had taken over six months of planning and organising the 4-day programme with employer-led workshops and talks.
I was determined to offer our final year PhD students an alternative with interactive online activities. By chance during lockdown I attended a webinar delivered by Skillfluence on “turning science into business”. I saw an opportunity to collaborate with Skillfluence and provide an innovative and novel online course over four weeks in August via Zoom: the GRADnet Careers Accelerator Online Masterclass!
From my employer network I invited former SEPnet PhD students with amazing careers and from diverse backgrounds to participate in this live online event and provide career path videos as a resource on the learning platform. The course included interactive sessions: Be a problem solver – learn how to ace interview challenges!; Understanding and communicating your value to industry; Your network is your net worth; an industry challenge on “the future of space travel” and a live careers panel.
One panellist said they were delighted to participate because the panel included “some fascinating guests” and they “really enjoyed listening to what they had to say” as they had “such cool jobs!”.
Over 60 postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers registered for the masterclass which is great engagement during these challenging and uncertain times.
Thank you to the employers: 4-Delta Group; Airbus; BBC R&D; Deloitte; GEOptic; InCrowd Sports; Kindred Group; NPL; QinetiQ; Reaction Engines and Santander and last but not least Zach Sorrells and his team at Skillfluence.
SEPnet Graduate Network Manager