NOTE: 1st June 2009
The rest of this post refers to the Pathways event in 2008. Just spotted that quite a lot of you have found your way here in 2009, so to avoid confusion, I’ve removed last year’s timetables (which will be different this year), and will add a new post with updated FAQs (keeping a lot of the stuff on this page which is still relevant).
Original June 2008 post:
Pathways is almost upon us (this Friday and Monday) so here are a few answers to questions I’ve been asked (and some I’ve made up – but you might be asking).
12th June – Latest : Timetables for both days are now available here to download (these were also e-mailed out to all those who registered)
Day 1 Timetable : Panel Timetable
Day 2 Timetable : Workshop Timetable
Note : We’ve now added a couple more workshop sessions to Day 2 since drawing up the timetables –
11.00-12.00 – “Immigration and Working in the UK For Researchers” – Gerry Bell, our International Officer will tell you all about the very latest (ie it changed again yesterday!) on working in the UK for our international researchers. As this is likely to be a very popular session, this will take place in the main (C16) lecture theatre on C floor
12.00-1.00 – “CVs for Researchers” – again in the large lecture theatre on C floor. By popular request (ie somebody asked), I’ll be repeating the Career Essentials session on the nuts and bolts of how to sell yourself on your CVs and applications. If you’ve already been to one of my CV talks, you might want to try one of the other sessions, but if you haven’t updated your CV recently, or are now trying to move into a different job, I’ll go through the basics and then it’s a free for all with your questions – all welcome!
- Do I have to attend both days?
No, either Friday, or Monday, or both, are available, whatever suits your needs. Have a look at what’s on both days and decide, but if you attend on Friday, Monday is designed to help you make sense of what to do next about your career.
- Can’t I just wait for the next lot of careers workshops, they’re always advertising them?
Of course you can, but you probably won’t get these workshops. Instead of running our standard careers sessions (I’ll run more of those at other times of the year), we’ve arranged for some special one-off sessions from a range of external providers, many of whom you may never get the chance to see again – or if you do, you’ll have to wait until next year’s Pathways event.
- What if there’s no-one coming from the company I want to work for or the career I want to go into – is it worth it attending?
If you just want information about a specific employer or job, you may not get that here. However, if you want to find out about other jobs you never knew existed, how to convince employers to take you, how real people have found jobs through non-standard methods and a whole load more, this will really help. Also, you may find out that one of the panellists has actually done the job/worked for the employer you want to know about in a previous role – then you can get inside info (and maybe even a contact) to help you.
- Why is there no-one from my discipline coming – aren’t we important enough?
We’ve found the panellists and other guest speakers and trainers from personal contacts, alumni, employer contacts, friends – frankly, we’d take pretty well anyone we could persuade, the only proviso being that all (or most) of them had to have a PhD.
We have no way of finding, for example, a source of pure mathematicians who did a PhD within the last 10 years who have gone into other careers – but if you know any, we’d love to talk to them for next year (Note : I don’t know if we’ve got any pure mathematicians this year, but this was a complaint from last year – maybe they could have broadened their thinking just a little and learnt something from the various other sorts of mathematicians who were there …)
Also, don’t assume that just because we don’t, for example, have someone in a job called “Historian” that we don’t have any History PhDs attending – you might be amazed at what historians go into (like being an archivist for Canterbury Cathedral – Mark’s coming all the way from Canterbury this year after making a virtual appearance on video last year, hooray!)
- I haven’t registered – can I still attend?
Yes! We need to know numbers beforehand to judge room sizes and numbers of lunches, but if you didn’t manage to click here and register (go on, it’s quick and easy and helps us) you can still attend. We’ll be registering people on the day by their swipe card, so remember to bring yours. If you don’t have it with you, we’ll still be able to register you, but it will take a bit longer.
- How do I make sure I get to the session I want?
This is a tricky one. With such large numbers of attendees and such a choice of sessions, it’s impossible to book in advance for specific sessions (we know from bitter experience that bookings bear little relation to who turns up on the day). To get the session you want, you’ll need to get there in good time.
On Friday, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, as rooms for the popular areas are large, and we’ve tried to run most sessions more than once during the day to accommodate clashes. Also, you may be able to have an informal one-to-one chat with a particular panellist when they’re not sitting on a panel in our career conversation lounge (we’ve even arranged comfy sofas).
On Monday, some of the workshop sessions are only for small numbers, so you’ll have to get in early. For the Accenture Interview coaching sessions in the afternoon, we will take a list of people who want to sign up for that from registration (10-ish onwards – or get there even earlier on the day and collar us to get in first!). We’ll just have to see how it goes, but apologies if you don’t get the sessions you want on the day. Do let us know if there are any you wanted to get into but couldn’t, and that will give us our priorities for organising future training, hopefully before next year’s Pathways.
- I’m not a PhD or member of research staff at Manchester University – can I still come?
Afraid not – this is specifically aimed at current and recent PhDs and research staff at Manchester University only. If you’re a Masters student, I’m afraid this also isn’t for you – it focuses specifically on careers for PhDs. However, if you decide to do a PhD at Manchester, you’ll be able to attend the event once you’re started.
Any more FAQs you want answered, just post a comment here and I’ll try and answer them with another post before the event.
Now I’m off to the Graduate Fair, to give careers advice to anyone who asks for it. You get some weird queries at the fairs, often from graduates from other universities who’ve done degrees in things like Choreography, which isn’t exactly my specialism (not many PhD Bioscientists ask about interpretive dance as a career) but I enjoy being kept on my toes.