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Swift success for 'speed mentoring'

12 Dec 2012

Faculty of Life Sciences students and graduates met up at the end of November for a networking event with a twist – speed mentoring.

FLS speed mentoring

Faculty graduates came back to the University to act as mentors to students and recent graduates in a ‘speed dating’ format. They offered information and advice regarding their careers since graduation, highlighting the varied and interesting paths that current students may one day follow.

Organiser Charlotte Alcock, FLS Recruitment, Admissions and Marketing Officer, said: “Life Science students are often unaware of the wide range of career options available after graduation. Many consider teaching or research to be their only career paths.

“The mentors of this event were specially chosen to represent a whole range of life science related careers including Pharmaceutical Marketing and Publishing, Conservation, Forensic Science, Medical Sales and Clinical Science. As around fifty percent of Life Science graduates go into non-science based careers, we also included representatives from fields such as Law, Accountancy and NHS Management.

“Their words of wisdom will have shown our current crop of students how they can transfer the skills they learn during their degrees to these seemingly unrelated roles. “

The mentors had ten minutes each in which they introduced their job and how they got to where they are today, before answering questions and moving onto the next group.

After a couple of intense hours of networking, the groups adjourned to the Fossils gallery of the Manchester Museum for more informal conversations and refreshments, all under the watchful eye of Stan the T-Rex.

The event – organised by the Faculty and Division of Development and Alumni Relations – was a great success according to the students and new graduates who attended:

 “I really did enjoy learning about the different areas which a science graduate could enter and was surprised to see how lucrative the career of a science graduate could be.”

 “I found the event useful, especially from speaking with one of the visitors who I feel I could contact in the future with more questions or to approach with a CV!”

 “I wanted to come to talk to the lawyer and medical sales rep but it ended up opening my eyes to forensics and NHS management.”

“The networking event is a great idea and was better than I expected. I would strongly encourage keeping the event going and think it will help a number of students and graduates find direction, inspiration and even a small foothold on the path of the career they want to follow. Keep it up!!”

This is the second Speed Networking event, with the first event in March 2012 having already provided a boost to one student’s career prospects. Jessica Adby, an Alumni Speed Networking Mentor at the March 2012 event, said: “I would love to come and do the network again. I really enjoyed it. Also, it looks like the company will be taking on one of the individuals I met that day, which is really promising for the future!”

To get involved in the next event contact James Cumbers in the Division of Development and Alumni Relations.