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Plenary: Setting your trajectory: learning from role models

Friday 4th June, 14:00 pm - 15:00 pm, JLB Meeting Room 1

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31 May 2010

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Change of plans – the meeting has now moved to the Nexus. Missed the first part because of moving.

She is giving them half hour to go meet people, form groups and talk about job hunting (?). Talking – sharing ideas ... I’ve joined a group. Discuss people’s planned trajectory.

We have a large group about 15 persons.

One student is talking about starting his PhD to help his consultancy but he is now finding academia quite cool.

Katrina is saying she intended to go to research and she kept in touch with the industry by meeting with the key players in the industry particularly as they were interested in her work. She uploaded her CV online and the job people contacted her.

One guy is saying he started his PhD with the attention of being in academia but whether he’ll end there he is not certain. But whether it is in research or teaching is a different matter.

Another student is saying he’ll go back to industry because of the practical opportunities that is available and it has a higher pay.

One person is saying sometimes you can manage yourself in being in academia and in industry.

Katrina is saying if you specialise in something sometimes you get known by that – for example – eye tracking but she wanted to be known for other things and she teamed up with other people to do other type of research such as with think-aloud protocol. She is saying one of the thing she didn’t know was being part of the Sales team. So, she had to team up with the MD to learn how to sell/ promote services – it is not the same as in academia where you talk about the technical things. People from academia feel very sad when they have to sell things for just the money rather than researching the needs of the people. But PhD people do bring validity to what you’re selling.

The facilitator is asking those who started a PhD, why they did it?

Student: More than half the people he wanted to be like had PhDs – so thought he should do one.

Student – part-timer: Out of interest – he wanted to be stretched – he wanted to find something challenging. He also knew plenty of people had admirable qualities who had PhDs. Particularly the easy intellect or the analytical techniques. He sometimes feel inadequate that why they could do it and why couldn’t he. Although he has met some PhDs without the best qualities.

Student: Figured if she didn’t start it now, she wouldn’t. She wasn’t convinced whether she wanted to do a PhD. She found she had questions to be addressed and finally decided to address them.

Part-timers are your employers happy?

Student: She is a teacher – it is a plus to her employer

Student: Has no employers – not certain about his wife.

Student: Heard that as soon as you get a PhD, you have to paid them more – and hence the employer would not be happy.

Student: Saying that only about 10% of the new PhDs stay in academia. It’s all about then marketing your transferable skills.

13:42 on 4 June 2010

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