Finding a job in life sciences

The prospect of securing a job in industry can seem daunting. The process can be nuanced and non-linear, full of barriers and setbacks. Before embarking upon the journey, be prepared for some rejection and try to accept that it might take some time!

Over the last eight years, I have watched a considerable number of researchers secure roles in industry. Here are some tips, based on my observations.

 Explore all industry sectors and roles

Look at the range of functions and roles within pharmaceuticals, biotechnology companies and contract research organisations. See below for a list of organisations:

Research and development is the typical area that attracts PhDs and postdocs; within this falls drug discovery, preclinical, clinical research and process development. Drug discovery and preclinical research jobs are typical jobs for PhDs and postdocs; job titles within this area usually contain the word ‘scientist.’

Other roles include business development managers, regulatory affairs specialists, medical scientific liaison (MSL) specialists, medical writers and life science consultants/analysts. Search for roles using a variety of terms and then read the job descriptions to see if you fulfil the criteria.

 Let everyone know that you are looking for work

It is easy to keep talking to other PhD students, postdocs and academics about job opportunities but this is not going to work if you want to find a job in industry! It is vital, and common practice, to let people outside your network know you are looking for a job.

Sign up to two or three specialist recruitment companies and go in with your eyes open! Many life science companies use recruiters, especially if they want to advertise roles without people knowing they are recruiting/relocating staff. Use the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) members list to find reputable companies. The University of Kent also has a list of science recruitment agencies on their website.

Set up a LinkedIn account and write your profile in a way that will attract industry professionals and recruiters. Emphasise your area of expertise, your research techniques and soft skills such as time management and leadership skills. Illustrate your skills with evidence such as supervising undergraduates or PhD students if you are demonstrating leadership.

Know what is happening in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector

It is easier to have conversations with people if you know what’s happening in their sector. It provides you with topics of conversation and demonstrates that you are serious about making a transition into industry. Start developing what employers refer to as commercial awareness. Look at industry blogs such as The Guardian’s Pharmaceuticals Industry or the the BBSRC’s Business Magazine to stay informed about ‘all things industry.’  You can also follow relevant Twitter feeds such as @BiotechNews and @Biotechnology. Deloitte also recently published a comprehensive article on the life science industry called 2016 Global Life Sciences Outlook. Worth a read before talking to industry people.

 Meet people from industry

It is crucial to get out and meet people from the sectors in which you would like to work. This can be an overwhelming thought for ‘more introverted’ scientists. Try to develop a curious outlook, asking intelligent questions and finding out about people’s work. Approach networking in the way you approach science, making your research topic people and their careers! Be curious, listen and think about how your work and experience might fit with the work that people are doing. When you first start networking, try not to feel the pressure of trying to impress – listening and being curious can go a long way.

One way to begin networking is to set up some information interviews. This is a one-to-one meeting with someone who has a role or career in which you are interested. It’s a chance for you to ask questions, gather information, learn about job options and career paths, and ask people for help to identify opportunities in their fields. Start off by approaching ‘warm’ contacts i.e. people that you know first or second hand or people you have something in common with such as PhD/postdoc alumni from Kings. Look at the LinkedIn pages of postdocs in your group to see if they know people that have moved into industry or ask your supervisor for their contacts, if appropriate. Then approach contacts on LinkedIn or by email and ask for 15 minutes of their time to have a chat about their role and company. Book an appointment with the PhD/postdoc Careers Consultant if you need some support with this as it can be tricky if you have not used this approach before.

Look out for events that may bring you into contact with potential employers e.g. One Nucleus and OBN host various seminars, events and training for people working in the life science sector. FirstMedCommsJob.com also run networking events for people wanting to work in medical communications. YES (Young Entrepreneurs Scheme) competitions, in a range of disciplines, can give you the opportunity to gain business mentoring, meet industry experts and develop commercial awareness.

Dr. Tracy Bussoli, Freelance Careers Consultant

The Postgraduate Spring Ball 2017

A Postgraduate Spring Ball has been organised by students* for students within the heart of London!

Spring Ball 2017

For full details, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/257082428060561/

As with previous events, a super quick sell out is anticipated! 

*Organised by students from the following Universities:

UCL || LSE || UAL || KCL || CASS || CITY || LBS || QMUL || HULT || SOAS || RHUL || IMPERIAL || WESTMINSTER || UEL || REGENTS || GSU || BIRKBEC

Scientists & Co. are recruiting volunteers!

Scientists & Co. will be running two sessions of the ‘Shadow a Scientist’ (SAS) programme in July-August 2017.

Aim of the Programme 

Our goal is to increase the social mobility of highly motivated 16-18 year old pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. The programme involves a 2-day shadowing experience with researchers at King’s and taster sessions/ skills-based workshops. We aim to boost the pupils’ confidence in breaking cultural barriers and inspire them to pursue STEM subjects at university.

Who are we looking for?

  • Enthusiastic shadow volunteers (PhD students/postdocs working in science, technology, mathematics and engineering), who are willing to be shadowed on 25th July, 26th July, 1st Aug and/or 2nd Aug 2017. Each volunteer will be assigned 2-3 pupils for 5 hours each day. You will be expected to carry on with your normal schedule but with our enthusiastic 16 years olds by your side!
  • Volunteers to help with the CV/Personal Statement Clinic on the 27th July and 3rd Aug 2017 at Guy’s campus. Each volunteer will be required to read and provide inputs on a short CV/Personal statement (~150 words) of 2-3 pupils.

Key Dates

  • Deadline for applications: 17th Feb 2017 (All volunteers selected for the programme will be notified on 20th Feb)
  • DSB Check/ Induction: 23rd Feb 14:00 – 15:30 or 1st March 14:00 – 15:30 at Guy’s Campus. Compulsory for all (and only) shadow volunteers.

What do volunteers gain?

This is a fantastic opportunity to help deserving pupils while honing your science communication and engagement skills. Your efforts will go a long way in increasing their chances of getting into university!

If you are interested in volunteering please click here to apply. If you have any questions, please email us at support@scientistsandco.org.

To view details of the previous sessions and volunteers’ testimonial, please click here and to read pupils’ testimonials click here.

Oct 2016_SAS pics 010 SAS July 2016  002

Share your Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) experience

joeattard-profile

Joe Attard, GTA Rep for Arts, Humanities, SSPP and Law

My name is Joe, and I am the Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Rep for Arts, Humanities, SSPP and Law. I run a regular open meeting in which GTAs are invited to discuss their experience of teaching and how it can be improved. 

The next meeting will take place at 12:00 noon on Monday, 21 November 2016, in room K-1.14, King’s Building, Strand Campus. Please RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1804085759807771/ 

If you have any issues with pay, working conditions or your relationship with your convener/supervisor, please do come along to discuss these matters and I’ll do my very best to help.

This is also a good opportunity to meet and chat with other GTAs, share experiences and find ways to help one another as colleagues.

Alternatively, if there is anything you wish to raise privately, send me an email at joseph.attard@kcl.ac.uk. All correspondences will be treated as confidential.

Scientists & Co. are recruiting volunteers!

Scientists & Co., a non-profit organisation, are running the Shadow a Scientist programme for a second time after a successful pilot this July.

Aim of the Programme  

The aim is to increase the social mobility of highly motivated 16-18 year old pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. It involves a 2-day shadowing experience with researchers at King’s and taster sessions/workshops delivered in collaboration with KCLSU and the King’s Widening Participation department. We aim to boost the pupils’ confidence in breaking cultural barriers and inspire them to pursue STEM subjects.

To view details of the July session and volunteers’ testimonials, please click here, and to read pupils’ testimonials, click here.

Who are we looking for?

  • 20 enthusiastic volunteers (ideally PhD students/postdocs working in science, technology, mathematics and engineering) who are willing to be shadowed on the 25th-26th October 2016. Each volunteer will be assigned two pupils for 5 hours each day. You will be expected to carry on with your normal schedule but with two enthusiastic 16 year olds by your side!
  • 10 volunteers to help with the CV/Personal Statement Clinic on the 27th October 2016 at Guy’s campus. Each volunteer will be required to read and provide input on short CV/Personal statements (~150 words) for 2-3 pupils.

Please note: All volunteers will be required to attend the ‘Meet & Greet’ session on 24th October where lunch will be provided. They will also need to go through a DBS check and a very short (~45 mins) safeguarding training course in the first week of October.

What do volunteers gain?

This is a fantastic opportunity to help deserving pupils while honing your science communication and engagement skills. Your efforts will go a long way in increasing their chances of getting into university!

If you are interested in volunteering please click here to apply. If you have any questions, please email us at support@scientistsandco.org.

APPLICATION DEADLINE 25th SEPTEMBER 2016

Career Skills: Networking

Guest post from Aimee Wilde, Employer Engagement Officer, King’s Careers & Employability

At some point we’ve probably all been told to ‘network’ and nodded our heads along like we know what this means. But do we actually? Is it really that simple as walking into a room and collecting a load of emails? Not quite – but it is achievable and can be very valuable.

If you’re considering a move from academia to industry, then networking is your No.1 tool. It’s a great way to start researching about non-academic professions, and speaking with people who have already transitioned into commercial roles can be a lot more useful than reading a company website. On top of this, it gives you the opportunity to learn the jargon associated with your chosen industry. Employers want to hire ‘work-ready’ people wherever possible, and knowing the lingo can make it seem like you’re halfway there.

So how do you network well? Take a look at the tips below and see what results come from putting them into action.

1) Start early

You will not find your dream job overnight. Okay, a few people might, but this is unlikely and it’s better to start planning early. If you know you’re going to be finishing your PhD in a year’s time, start making friends in the right places now. And once you start, don’t stop! Maintaining a strong professional network is something that will help develop your career throughout your working life.

2) Be direct

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. One of the most effective networking techniques is to make contact with senior management at places you’re interested in working at. Of course, spamming emails to hundreds of CEOs is not productive – but a carefully crafted email to the right manager can get you noticed.

NOTE: If you’re thinking, ‘but managers never have their emails on company websites’ – you’re right, they often don’t. But they aren’t gold-dust either! It’s pretty straightforward to ‘guestimate’ someone’s work email address and even easier to find it on their LinkedIn profile.

3) Don’t talk just about your PhD

This might be a hard pill to swallow. Yes, you’re spending your life immersed in this and it is a hugely valuable asset (see below), but employers will also be keen to hear about other experiences. Can you demonstrate that you’re a self-starter outside of your degree? This doesn’t have to be completely unrelated to your university life and a great example could be establishing a society. By mentioning this, you show employers that you can use initiative within a variety of contexts.

4) If you have to talk about your PhD, repackage it

Okay, okay, this is exaggerative – of course you are going to want to (and should) talk about your studies. But when you speak to those outside the academic world, consider your audience carefully. Unless you’re planning on going into a niche industry, the specialist knowledge you’ve gained during your PhD isn’t of much interest to employers.

So what is? ALL the skills you’ve acquired along the way. We’re rarely taught to contemplate the new attributes we gain, but this is the most important thing you can do to market yourself well. Resources such as StrengthsFinder 2.0 can help you achieve this and make sure you stand out amongst an academic crowd.

5) Set clear goals

Networking isn’t the elusive art it’s made out to be. Like most things, it can be made more attainable by establishing goals. Qualify and quantify what you want to achieve! Next time you’re at a networking event, decide before what information you need; are you looking for guidance on getting an internship? Do you need to know what skills are most important in a certain industry? Giving thought to this will mean you’re able to ‘chat with a purpose’ and not end up on a tangent far from your original goal.

It’s also a good idea to consider how many people you want to connect with whilst at an event. It’s always going to be impossible to speak with everyone in the room, and it can be very easy to get engrossed in one conversation. Aim to building meaningful relationships with three or four people within an evening and be strategic about this – find out who’ll be attending and who’ll be most useful for you to engage with.

6) Follow up

Collecting business cards might make for a fun side-activity at conferences, but on its own it has no utility. Don’t sit by your phone waiting for the interesting manager you spoke to last week to call. They probably aren’t going to, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. Reach out to the contacts you make regularly and they will remember you over other people that they meet. Then when a suitable opportunity arises, you’ll be one of the first people they call.

7) LinkedIn is your friend; realise it!

A lot of people don’t seem to like LinkedIn. ‘Oh, but LinkedIn isn’t for academics’ I hear you say. This isn’t true, and even if it was, it doesn’t matter because it is for professionals. Dirk Kruger, who studied a PhD in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering at KCL, was approached for a position through the site and is now employed as Executive Editor at BioMed Central. He therefore views it as a ‘valuable career tool’ and advises anyone looking to move away from academia to ‘get LinkedIn savvy’.

LinkedIn’s chief purpose is for networking, not for plain job-hunting. I’ve recently spoken to a number of PhD students and post-docs who consider the job function to be useless and often this is the case. It isn’t the best job board but this doesn’t mean that its other uses should be discredited too. Utilise it to keep new contacts warm, and to gain further insight into sectors that interest you. Joining relevant groups can be a great way to raise your profile and gain industry relevant knowledge.

If you’re a bit of a LinkedIn novice, don’t panic – you can learn more about how to use this site through our Grad School webinar series which can be accessed here.

8) ‘Be kind and be useful’

According to Barack Obama, these are the two things you should do in life to get ahead. It might seem at odds with the cut-throat corporate world you’re trying to break into, but remembering this whilst networking is important. Audacity is admirable up to a point, and then it’s just a bit annoying. We’ve all been at events where people have hounded speakers, and whilst we all remember them, it’s not necessarily for the right reasons.

Helping other people get what they want can really help you in getting what you want. Next time you meet a useful contact, consider how you could be useful to them. Do you know someone who might be able to help them with a problem they currently have? Is there an article that you read recently which relates to their work? Spread the love and see how it quickly comes back to you.

Case Study: post-doc in Law

Katherine in her office

Katherine in her office

I am a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics in King’s College London Law School. I started in September 2015. I have joined a team of four other post-docs and two principal investigators and together, we work on a Wellcome Trust funded project about the law and ethics of the donation of reproductive materials.

The Project:

The research has two principal investigators, Professor Rosamund Scott at King’s and Professor Stephen Wilkinson at Lancaster University. Three of the post-docs are attached to King’s Law School and two are attached to the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at the University of Lancaster.

The project considers the ethical framework for the donation and transfer of human reproductive materials (such as eggs and sperm), coupled with the implications of this framework for clinical practice, law, policy, and regulation.

We have a website and a twitter!

The Job:

My job is research intensive. I teach one module on Medical Law in the Law School and the rest of my time is taken up with research for the project. All of the post-docs research different topics on the grant, covering areas such as uterus transplants, mitochondrial donation, gamete donation and artificial gametes. My current focus is on surrogacy and I work towards publications in that area. That means most days I am reading, formulating ideas for papers and of course, writing. We are encouraged to disseminate the research and attend conferences to present our papers. This year I am applying to a number of conferences in the UK and Europe to present my research findings. In previous years, the post-docs have gone to Mexico and the US to present their work at major bioethics conferences.

In addition, the group itself have “Work in Progress” seminars where we gather with some other academics in the field to discuss our ongoing papers. At the last “WIP”, I co-presented on a topic with another post-doc from my office. That’s the benefit of being in a research group like ours, we get great feedback from the PIs, each other and get the chance to work on papers together. The three King’s post-docs share an office in Somerset House which is not only a beautiful setting, but gives us a great opportunity to thrash out ideas with one another.

How to get a post-doc in law?

I think post-docs in law are quite rare but I think in order to be successful in applying for such a post, you have to show that you are committed to publishing and presenting your research findings. If you are interested in doing a post-doc, be sure to try and build up a few publications and a range of conference presentations during the PhD process. I think evidence that you have networked with experts in your area is also important.

Is a post-doc for you?

I love my job! I knew I would before I accepted it because I love to research and to write. I enjoy the process of reading and developing ideas for papers. When the ideas start to flow and my ideas for papers start to develop, I find the process of writing very enjoyable. I also enjoy the experience of having two expert PIs who give me feedback as I progress and the opportunity to regularly present work with the entire team at WIP meetings. The opportunity to give papers at all kinds of conferences around the world is a real drive for my research.

The perk of my job is that my research time is protected. Because my job under the Wellcome Trust grant is to produce research, I have less responsibilities in the areas of teaching and administration. However, I am still getting fantastic teaching experience and am really enjoying my contact hours with students. It provides a nice balance to the research time to have interaction with students about class material and their dissertations!

My advice is to only do a post-doc if you think that it sounds like the perfect job for you! There will be long hours of reading and independent research, as well as discussion of your work and presentation of your findings. It will be different to a lectureship with all the contact hours and interaction with staff and student which that entails. I was lucky that I am also teaching, but some post-docs might have very little teaching requirements. I think post-docs are a great way to build up one’s research skills and profile. In some cases, you may be lucky enough to get some teaching experience. But all in all you have to be sure it’s right for you! Good luck!

With thanks to guest blogger Dr Katherine Wade, PGR Careers Liaison Lead for the Dickson Poon School of Law

Case Studies: Working in Pharmaceutical Companies

Guest post by Tom Davies, Careers Information Officer, King’s Careers & Employability

In this post we’ll aim to summarise some of the main points and advice given by each of the four speakers, all of whom are King’s alumni, at the recent event.

Dr Sarah Collington, Novartis

First up was Sarah, who works as a Medical Science Liaison for Novartis. Sarah’s first experience of working in the pharmaceutical industry came during her studies at King’s, where she spent her extramural year conducting research at GSK. While studying for her PhD Sarah realised that while still interested in science, she wanted a role that didn’t focus purely on this. In anticipation of this, and wanting to improve her commercial acumen, she also got involved in a couple of business related societies, an experience that was recommended to anyone potentially interested in a career path in this area. After some research and a couple of years working in different roles, she started working as a Medical Science Liaison, a role she’s been in for around two years.

A Medical Science Liaison sits between the research and commercial branches of a pharma company, and Sarah’s main tasks include assisting sales reps with medical or technical questions, and helping to resolve operational matters relating to medical trials, although she was keen to stress the flexible nature of the work she does. In summarising, Sarah said that she was really enjoying her role; she will always feel like a scientist in her heart, and while the role isn’t lab-based, it still allows her to think and feel like one.

Dr Steve Ludbrook, GSK

Steve decided he wanted to work at GSK as a result of doing an industrial placement year there during his BSc Biochemistry degree. Though he enjoyed his year working at GSK, it also reaffirmed the value of doing a PhD, after seeing that almost everyone working in the areas he was interested in possessed one. After returning to King’s to complete his PhD, Steve’s now worked at GSK for 20 years, with 15 of those spent in his current role as Group Leader in Technology Platforms and & Capability Screening. His main responsibilities are to manage lab-based projects, as well as line managing other members of staff working on these. It’s this collaborative working that Steve cited as one of the main positive elements of the role – working on projects with other talented people who have similar goals an aims in mind is something that he finds very rewarding.

There’s definite challenges though. This area of work is not particularly stable, with Steve citing the fact that the Research and Development arm of GSK has been cut to a third of the size it was when he started as evidence of this. Your everyday work can also be quite turbulent, with projects you’ve been working on for years not safe from being cut at a moment’s notice. Great amounts of resilience are necessary to deal with these testing situations. New starters, particularly those coming in from PhD or postdoc level, can also find the move from working individually to an insistence upon collaborative management of projects challenging.

Dr Fatos Bejta, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals

Fatos’ association with the pharmaceutical industry goes back to his days as a student, when he completed an industrial placement with GSK, who also part-funded his PhD. Despite this link, and unlike the first two panellists, Fatos’ career didn’t begin in the industry, but with the MHRA, a branch of the Civil Service who act as the regulator for new medicines, devices and more.

He moved over to an industry role after he was headhunted and offered a substantial pay rise. His time at this organisation ended when he lost his job after massive cuts were made, and this was also how his second role in industry ended. As Fatos said, this is an unfortunate reality of working in pharma, and you should be aware of it before you begin. He now works as a Senior Clinical Quality Management Specialist for Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, which largely consists of auditing the firm’s sites across the world for things such as drug safety and clinical data amongst other things.

Dr Parastoo Karoon, Amgen

Parastoo completed a BSc in Pharmacology and a PhD in Neuroscience, but realised during her studies that she found lab work repetitive and unfulfilling, so started looking for alternatives. Like Fatos she begun in the MHRA, where she worked on attempting to influence policy surrounding the issuing of child dosages, an issue she felt passionately about. She then moved to an even more policy-focused role, which led to her being part of a team who successfully lobbied the EU parliament for a change in regulations.

Typical roles in this line of work include assessors and pharmaceutical advisors, but Parastoo was keen to advise students not to get too hung up on applying only for their perfect role. Competition for vacancies is strong, but once you’ve got your foot in the door you’ll find that new positions will tend to favour internal applicants, giving you the opportunity to move into a role or policy area more matched to your interests.

Parastoo now works on the other side of the regulation floor, overseeing the research and evidence for new products for Amgen and advising them of any changes that need to be made before they go to regulation committee. Amgen has 8-10 internships/placements a year which are advertised here.

General advice from the Q&A

  • When writing your CV and cover letter for positions in industry, take care not to talk in too much detail about academia and specific technical skills unless they can clearly be tied into an aspect of the job/person specification. Unlike academic positions, where academics might have time to wade through pages and pages of information, recruiters in industry are likely to be very busy, so try to catch their eye and not make them work too hard to understand why you can be an asset. Your CV should be no more than two pages.
  • If you’re invited to interview, you will normally be expected to deliver a presentation as part of it. Be prepared for this, and if you’re not confident in your presentation skills, start thinking about ways you can practice!
  • Make sure that you do your research on the companies that you’re applying to, and again when you’re invited to interview. Their Pipelines are a good place to start, and should be easily locatable on their website.
  • Linked to the last point, Parastoo also advised students to try and identify companies to apply to who are innovative and pushing the boundaries of research, as working for such organisations can often be more fulfilling and interesting.

‘Stay on Track!’ Careers workshop for life scientists

We would like to invite you to a one-day workshop, “Stay on Track!”.

The event is intended for graduate students and early career researchers, especially in the field of life sciences and medicine. The workshop aims to provide an overview of career options and necessary skills to face challenges in starting up and progressing in academia or relevant career tracks beyond PhD completion. Participants will have the unique opportunity to boost their career development skills, including building a competitive resume, career planning, how to network efficiently and delivering a high impact research pitch that engages audiences.

There will also be plenty of opportunities for networking with fellow PhD students and experts in academia and other fields. The workshop will be held on 22 April 2016, 09.00 – 15.30 at Guy’s.

A sneak peek of what’s in store:

  • Keynote talk: “Antibodies at the interface of academia and industry: how to get the best out of working together?” by Professor Martin Glennie, Head of Antibody and Vaccine Group, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton.
  • CV writing workshop with Career Consultant Kate Murray, King’s College London.
  • Panel discussion: “What’s your track?” featuring current leaders in academia, research management, and entrepreneurship. This session will be followed by informal networking over lunch.
  • Practical sessions:  “How to network with impact”, Complete Coherence.

Sessions will be hosted by Dr. Mieke Van Hemelrijck and Dr. Anita Grigoriadis from the Division of Cancer Studies, King’s College London. Attendance is free for a limited number of participants but registration is required. Further information on agenda, speakers and registration can be found on our official website https://stayontrackkcl.wordpress.com/

Career Inspiration – Nadiya from GBBO

A guest post from a colleague at UCL, Dr Sophia Donaldson.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week you’ll know that Nadiya Hussain quite rightly won 2015’s Great British Bake Off. Her acceptance speech brought a tear to many an eye and her victory has been all over the papers and EVERYWHERE online.

But this is a careers blog. Surely we can’t make the GBBO about careers, right?

Wrong.

We think Nadiya’s performance holds important career lessons for us all. And we’re going to tell you about them.

Nadiya 3

Image from BBC One

1) Sometimes it’s good to step out of your comfort zone

Nadiya wasn’t the most confident contestant to begin with. But she threw herself into the competition, and as the weeks went by her boldness grew, culminating in her glorious victory. And that speech! “I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can’t do it. I’m never gonna say ‘maybe’. I’m never gonna say, ‘I don’t think I can.’ I can and I will.”

Pushing yourself to have varied experiences will help you develop skills and confidence. And testing out different things can help you figure out exactly what you want from a career. If you’re nervous, why not start small? Try taking on a new task in a social or voluntary setting first. Then when you’re feeling braver you can transfer your new skills to your course or job.

2) Resilience is vital

Ok. So Nadiya had some low points on the show. She presented incomplete vol au vents. She fluffed the soufflé technical challenge. She shed some tears. But did she let that stop her? No sir.

Jobhunting can be tough, most people don’t just walk into the first job they apply for. Even the best candidates are bound to get a knockback every now and then. But staying positive and learning from your experiences is an important career development skill.

3) Make your motivation clear

Recruitment is an expensive and time-consuming business, as is training new staff. So it’s important for employers to know they’re taking on people who are motivated to work hard and stick around for a while. In your applications and interviews you need to show you’ve done your homework, you understand the role and the company, and you’re excited about the position.

Nadiya was clearly serious about baking and the competition, hence the incredible show stoppers and the tears. But for the best evidence of Nadiya’s passion, one need look no further than her wonderful facial expressions. Enjoy!

Nadiya 4

Image from Indy Voices

Originally published by UCL Careers as part of a series of blogs looking to pop culture for career inspiration.

Sophia Donaldson, Careers Consultant, UCL