Time has flown by since I started the Bio Enterprise and Employability series on this blog.
It has been an enjoyable module, and I feel it has given my valuable knowledge and experience.
Overall, my favourite talk was the one on puff adder behaviour. I think the most useful workshop was the careers café, and the most enjoyable assignment for me was blogging.
I found how my note-taking style differs between lectures and science talks interesting. For example, my lecture notes tend to be more detailed, whereas my blog post notes are sometimes less detailed and include my thought on the talk.
It was nice to be able to choose which talks to attend and write about, although many have not made it into this blog (so far, at least). This series has also given me an opportunity to see what type of content you, the readers of this blog, like. Hopefully I will be able to use this to inform future content.
I must admit I was initially sceptical about the content and value of the workshops. However, during and after them, I realised that I enjoyed them, and did gain some skills, such as co-writing a business plan and presenting a business plan, that I would not have picked up elsewhere.
Captive and Field Herpetology – Ben Owens’ talk was interesting with well-illustrated slides. It made me realise that a career in scientific publishing might be something I go into in the future.
Hope the blue whale – I found this talk interesting, especially because it combined two interests of mine – cetaceans and working in museums. It reminded me of why I first became involved with museums, as they seem to combine fieldwork, lab-work and public engagement.
The Pont Croesor Project – this talk made me realise how beneficial project and budget management experience can be. I hope I would be able to apply the skills learned during my time as treasurer could be applied to a similar project.
Puff adder behaviour – for a long time, I have been interested in both camera traps and radio telemetry. Dr. Xavier Glaudas’ work combined the two in a way I had not considered before – looking at snake behaviour.
Bats with Catharine Wuster – I thought this talk was well put together, although a little basic in some areas. However, the level meant that it was accessible to everyone at the event. I now feel I should buy a small bat detector to use whilst walking in the evening and will look into getting bat licences.
I found the information presented in this workshop useful, although I knew some of it beforehand due to reading the Ask a Manager blog. Looking at and critiquing example CVs and cover letters for a job was a good experience, as it helped me to consider the process from and employer’s perspective. The only downside of this workshop was the timing. Due to being rushed at the end, we only managed to review half the CVs and cover letters
Before the workshop, I was slightly dubious about how useful and enjoyable the experience would be. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a fun workshop, due in part to the group I was in.
I think it was useful to see where a degree in zoology or a related subject can lead to. The speakers opened my eyes to possible career paths that I had not previously considered or thought about in detail.
I had mixed feelings about this workshop before it started. Having never been in an assessment centre before, I did not know what to expect. However, once in there, the day was explained to us well. I came away from the workshop feeling more confident about assessment centres, and better prepared for similar scenarios in the future.
CV and cover letter
I am happy with how this assignment went. I felt I could draw on my previous experiences of writing job applications, as well as using knowledge gained from the workshop and the Ask a Manager blog. Feedback from this assignment will help me when writing future CVs and cover letters.
Of the three assignments, this was the one I was the most unsure about, having never written a similar document. However, I found the Simply Do Ideas format easy to follow and am pleased with the outcome. If I am asked or need to write a business plan in the future, I will be able to apply feedback from this assignment.
I am pleased with how this series has fitted into my blog. For me, it was the most enjoyable assignment of the three. My blog writing has developed (and hopefully improved) over the course of writing this series, which is something I will build upon in future posts. I think this has also improved my assignment writing, which has been commented on. After graduating, I will continue to write this blog, and continue developing it.
Overall, I have enjoyed the Bio Enterprise and Employability module. It has been different to any other module I have done, which has sometimes provided refreshing novelty (and sometimes confusion when I was uncertain about how to write an assignment). I hope I will be able to apply the skills gained during this module to future work I do.
It has inspired me to take modules and go to talks which previously I may not have gone to, which may in turn broaden my horizons.
Although the Bio Enterprise and Employability series has finished, I will continue this blog. I may post less frequently until mid-May (which is when my last exam is). I have ideas for new posts (some of which have come from attending seminars and talks), which I hope you will enjoy.
This module has given me many ideas about what I may want to do in the future. For example, the biology-based PGCSE mentioned in the careers café seemed like a good course, which I may take in a few years.