Are you someone who has fond memories of your time in Earth Sciences, and would like to give something back? One way you can assist us, especially if you are working with an organisation or company that employs graduate geoscientists, is to help our current students to make informed career choices and, ultimately, to find their dream job.
In recent years, Liz Loeffler has organised several successful careers events, when former students have come back to talk to current students about their work, about the company or organisation that employs them, and about any job or work placement opportunities that may be available. A typical session involves four speakers who each give a half-hour presentation in the lecture theatre. Afterwards we all move to one of the teaching labs where students can chat more informally with the speakers over a glass of wine and some food.
Many of the speakers at these sessions are quite recent graduates (from the last five years), whose companies recognise the value of these visits for recruitment and are not only happy to send them back to us as "ambassadors", but also to contribute to the cost of refreshments. Whilst current students will tend to identify with these recent graduates and find it easier to chat with them about the realities of their work and about their future plans, there is also a role at these sessions for alumni who are more established in their careers and/or companies. Those of you in this position may be better able to help by offering opportunities for work placements or internships, or by making a recruitment visit.
We first ran the first of these sessions in 2002, and were particularly delighted last year, when two alumni who were students in that year offered to come back as speakers. We hope that this will be a pattern for the future!
If you are able to help us in this way, please e-mail Liz.Loeffler(at)bristol.ac.uk
There are also opportunities for helping via the Careers Service's Contact Scheme. This gives students the chance to network with graduates and former research staff of the University who are willing to offer informal advice about careers in a range of fields.