I came across a post on Grant Jacobs’s blog ‘Code for Life’, syndicated on sciblogs.co.nz, about the lack of showcasing the use of science degrees. Due to my experience with the Chiasma initiative at The University of Auckland, which seeks to meet this need I felt compelled to comment. I have pasted below.
I just wanted to draw you to an initiative that I have been involved with at The University of Auckland called Chiasma (www.chiasma.auckland.ac.nz). Chiasma is charged with promoting innovation in the biosciences while creating a link between the student community and the wider bioscience industry. Of particular relevance is the annual event called Synapse – a bioscience career showcase where we invite successful individuals from the industry to speak to a crowd of 300+ students about their career, their company and their perspectives on having a career within the NZ industry. Inherent in this is exposing to the audience the vast career alternatives/ options in bioscience that lay before them. Check out our past speakers on the website – we have had an impressive diversity of speakers to date. During the event we also have a networking function to allow students to make links with our industry guests.
Another program we have recently piloted is connecting bioscience students with local companies to set up some summer work for them while also providing them with a stipend through the FRST TIF initiative. It has caught on quite nicely so we will be running it on a larger scale next year.
The result ?? Well,.. simply.. the eyes of students have been opened to career opportunities they never thought existed. How do we know this? Our members are actually taking up such roles. From business developers, sales representatives, patent attorneys to scientific roles within local biotech companies and govt/ policy positions.
So as you can see at the UoA things are progressing. We are now looking to establish contacts within other universities such that other students can be given this same opportunity.