Career Development Workshop a success

24 Mar 2020 - 13:00

Hosted earlier this month the workshop offered postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows an opportunity to engage with industry experts on preparing for the working world.

For a good start to this year  a Career Development Workshop was hosted between the 5th and 6th of March. The workshop was organised in-house by the Faculty of Health Sciences’ postgraduate student committee, spearheaded by Martyna Scibiorek, together with Toinette Labuschagne, and Sherazaan Ismail – all PhD candidates, as well as Nadia Ikumi a PhD postdoctoral fellow. It was co-sponsored by the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) as well as the Faculty Research Office.

The University of Cape Town’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, gave the opening address. She spoke about the importance of doing the “small jobs” on the road to building the bigger career. Phakeng shared her experience of taking on seemingly minor opportunities such as being a maths teacher, on her journey to becoming a Maths Professor, a B1-rated scientist, and Vice Chancellor of the University. She drew on her personal experience and delivered a relatable and inspirational talk.

UCT Vice Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng's Career Workshop Development address

Next up was the personal branding workshop facilitated by Celeste Sirin from Employer Branding South Africa. This session taught students about personal branding, offered tips on constructing CVs for outside-academia jobs, and highlighted the value of networking.

The second day offered three panel sessions with various industry representatives: Biotechnology and clinical research; Finances, data analysis and consulting; and government and non-governmental organisations.

Participants at the workshop

The workshop was attended by 100 postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Scibiorek says, “We hope that the grant success will result in a yearly event where IDM students can not only learn how to prepare for the job hunt in today’s market, but also learn how to use and sell their transferable skills.”