Leaving the Ivory Tower

A guest blog by Pahini Pandya, King’s Innovation Forum, PhD candidate in the Randall Division

Building on the success of their first annual networking event in 2014, King’s College London Innovation Forum (KCLIF) staged a second instalment of ‘Leaving the Ivory Tower’ this year, drawing in researchers from across King’s.

‘Leaving the Ivory Tower’ is a networking event that aims to shed light on potential career opportunities outside academia for early career researchers. Built to encourage intimate and meaningful conversation, the evening involved expert speakers from a wide range of industries hosting short discussions with participants in small focus groups.

Ivory Tower June 15_2 (reduced size)This year’s function kicked off with a brilliant opening speech from Professor Vaughan Robinson, Director of the Graduate School at Kings’s, followed by round table discussions with speakers from seven different sectors including a number of King’s alumni.

Dr Caroline Benn (Principal Scientist, Pfizer Regenerative Medicine) and Dr Gayle Chapman (Monitoring Officer, Innovate UK) discussed aspects of transitioning into industry, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Useful insights into the world of scientific publishing and writing came from Dr Alessia Ericco (Associate editor, Nature Reviews) and Dr Eleanor Roberts (Director, Beeline Science Communications), while Dr Bryn James and Simon Quick enlightened the participants on careers in teaching.

Consultants Dr Shani Thilak (Navitas consulting), Dr Fahd Choudhry and Dr Sean Song (Deloitte) helped attendees understand careers in healthcare and life science consulting.Careers in patenting were enthusiastically advocated by Dr John Fisher (Senior Associate, Carpmaels Ransford LLP) and Dr Eleanor Macvier (Patent assistant, Mewburn Ellis LLP).

Ivory Tower June 15_1 (reduced size)Top take home messages included tailoring your C.V. to the specific industry, visiting the career’s consultants and networking.

A highlight of the evening was the dynamic networking session between the speakers and participants that followed the discussions. The event was well received by the audience and has grown since last year with generous support from the Graduate School and Careers & Employability teams.

For more information please visit King’s College London Innovation Forum webpage.