August 26, 2016, by Carla Froggatt
Naturejobs Expo London: What Is It and How to Make the Most of Your Day
by Clare Jones, Senior Careers Adviser to Research Staff and PhD Students
For the last three years I’ve been one of the team of CV checkers at the London Naturejobs Expo and have experienced first hand this busy recruitment and careers event targeted at PhD and postdoctoral scientists – although masters and undergraduate students are also welcome.
This year, the Naturejobs Expo is being held in the Design Centre in Islington, a short tube ride or 20 minute walk from St Pancras, on Friday 16 September. Once there, you will be able to talk to a wide range of exhibitors, from research institutes with post-doctoral research opportunities to science companies interested in talented scientists from a range of backgrounds.
It can be quite a busy day, so here’s my top five ways to make the most of it.
1. Find out what’s on
The Naturejobs Expo features a series of talks and workshops. They cover moving from academia to industry, and insights from academic and industrial colleagues on topics such as writing great papers and entrepreneurship, which are ran by Simon Mosey from Nottingham. There are also panel sessions on finding funding and how to succeed in an industrial career. You can of course, get a CV check too – it doesn’t have to be with me!
2. Have a plan
The expo is a popular event, but well worth attending, especially if you’re studying for a PhD and considering your next career move. You do need to register and I would suggest that you research the list of exhibitors, workshops and talks, and have a plan for your day. Aim to get to there as early as possible because there are usually queues to get in – even though everyone has registered.
3. Book early
Workshops and talks are very popular, so book the ones you want to go to as soon as you can. If you want a CV check, you usually have to book your slot when you get to the expo, so go straight to the appointment booking desk. This is often on the mezzanine floor above the main exhibition area – obviously remember to take a hard copy of your CV with you!
4. Do your research
Do some research into the companies and research institutes you want to talk to on the day. This will enable you to have productive and informed discussions with them about possible opportunities.
Take a business card with you and get theirs so you can follow-up on interesting or potential opportunities after the event. Take multiple copies of your CV with you, as you may be asked to leave one with representatives after you’ve had a conversation with them.
5. What if you can’t attend?
I know that it will be difficult for some of you to get to London because of work or other commitments, but if you can plan the expo into your schedule or combine it with another visit to London, perhaps a work meeting or a social activity, then it is worth seriously considering attending.
If that’s just not possible, then remember to use the Naturejobs careers community where you can find articles and interviews with careers experts from the expo as well as a range of other careers-related blogs and articles.