#MondayMotivation: Stepping into Academia

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So you’re loving life expanding your mind at SOAS? Tempted to join the hordes of SOAS grads that make their way into the wonderful world of the PhD? Well, you’re in luck! This week we take a look behind the leaning towers of coffee cups, books and papers that surround academic researchers to discover the truth about getting a PhD and working in academic roles.

Last Tuesday we gathered a dream team of PhD Candidates, Early Career Researchers and Professors for an open discussion around their experiences. Safe to say it was an eye-opening panel, and it quickly became apparent that resilience is key to making it in the world of academia. It was noted that the academic career journey can be a bumpy road – and so it’s crucial to be tough, disciplined, confident and persistent. In fact, all the panel were keen to point out that you need to have the right combination of passion and discipline to persevere.

Balance also regularly came into the conversation, and the advice was to consider how you’ll juggle not just the competing demands of an academic role but also making sure you still make time for work, your personal life and those all-important holidays. Anything to make sure you remind your mind that there’s more out there than your thesis!

Realism was a recurring theme – and the panel all agreed that the Higher Education world is tough, with increased regulation and increased competition. There’s no escaping the fact that there are more PhD candidates than academic jobs, and some universities in the UK are going to have big challenges ahead. That being said, their enthusiasm for academia was infectious: it was clear that this route offers personal integrity and the opportunity to change the world!

So, what was their number one tip for making it in academia? They unanimously agreed that while staying in further study might take you on a meandering path, never forget that each experience is giving you something new!

Here’s a run-down of the most pertinent advice they offered up from their experiences:

  • Good communication is key to engaging with students and colleagues
  • Build, develop and strengthen your networks
  • Publish in peer reviewed journals and be strategic with
  • Take opportunities to organise conferences and apply for funding
  • Make sure you get your CV and Covering Letter checked by SOAS Careers

If you’re keen to discover more about academic roles, PhDs and all things further study, an awesome starting point are the resources up on MySOAS Student. Drop in to the Careers Zone, SL62 (Paul Webley Wing) any day between 10am – 5pm, and we’d be more than happy to talk you through what your next steps can look like.

Alexis Fromageot, Marketing Manager

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#TuesdayThoughts: This is the Week You Get Inspired

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The sun is shining, which can only mean one thing – it must be revision time… While the summer weather can make it even harder to get motivated to actually open a book, the good news is that SOAS Careers is running some awesome networking style events this week to get you pumped for whatever the future might hold.

There’s no denying that this can be a full-on time, so treat yourself to a (small!) break and come along to one of our awesome events this week, meet some inspiring alumni from this great Uni & recharge yourself…

 

  • Academic Careers Networking Event, Tue 8 May, 5pm, SL62: Are you tempted to pursue a career in Academia? Come along to our event with the SOAS Doctoral School & explore everything to do with Academic Careers!
  • School of Arts Careers Networking Event, Wed 9 May, 5pm, SL62: Thinking about next steps after your degree? Curious about how to find job you’ll enjoy? Come hear from SOAS alums working at Africa Salon, Channel 4, the Institute of Contemporary Art, WOMAD Festival + plenty more on this awesome Panel!

No problem if these aren’t the right time for you, or aren’t floating your boat! SOAS Careers is open all week, with a couple of the great Careers team in the Careers Zone in SL62, Paul Webley Wing ready & waiting to help you get inspired with your next steps. Drop by to find out how we can support you!

Alexis Fromageot, Marketing Manager

#MondayMotivation: A Week of Celebrations!

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This week at SOAS Careers is all about celebrating the awesome achievements of SOAS students – both past and present! It’s no surprise that all of you have been actively changing the world for the better, so take a well-deserved (short!) break from those ever-looming deadlines and exams and get inspired.

Come along to get lifted and celebrate everything that makes SOAS the wonderful place it is…

  • Make a Difference Awards: Wed 2 May, 6pm, Atrium, Paul Webley Wing: Find out all the incredible volunteering and enterprising initiatives SOAS students have been involved in! The first hour will be a networking reception with charities and NGOs close to SOAS’s heart along with academics from across the University.
  • LBGTQ+ in the Workplace: Panel Discussion: Thurs 3 May, 6pm, Atrium, Paul Webley Wing: SOAS Careers is massively excited to host our first ever LGBTQ+ in the Workplace panel event! Come along for an evening of empowerment & a wine reception.

And a final bit of good news – SOAS Careers is also open as usual every day this week, with drop-ins with Careers Consultants available every morning from 10am, application and CV checks from 1pm and bookable guidance sessions from 3pm!

Alexis Fromageot, Marketing Manager

#MondayMotivation: Welcome to Term 3!

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Things are back in full-swing for Term 3! We’re all hoping the summer sun holds out and that your daily exquisite moment takes you far away from your computer screen and that essay…

It’s no secret this time of year can be intense, and SOAS Careers is keen to offer up a sanctuary to all those deadlines. So treat yourself to a short revision/essay/procrastination break and come along to one of our inspiring events this week – who knows what it’ll lead to…

See you there! Can’t make it? Don’t worry – SOAS Careers is open every day this week: come along between 10am – 5pm to see the awesome space, useful resources and speak to the Careers team for bookable appointments and drop-ins!

Alexis Fromageot, Marketing Manager

#MondayMotivation: What Does Your Future in International Development Look Like?

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Welcome to the start of a brand new week! We’re taking some time this week to explore what a future working in international development might look like, with a whole range of organisations and alumni coming back to SOAS to reflect on what this rewarding sector can offer you.

Head to the International Development Fair this Wed 21 Feb, 1 – 4pm in the Cloisters Paul Webley to find out more. Hear from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the London International Development Centre, the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy and loads more awesome social enterprises.

Come and get involved with all the other inspiring talks happening this week too.

Mon 19 Feb, 12 – 1pm, SL62: DISCO Presentation: BOOK NOW

Tue 20 Feb,  12 – 1pm, SL62: Top Tips for Interviews: BOOK NOW

Tue 20 Feb, 2:30 – 4:30pm, Brunei Gallery Suite: Diversity in the Civil Service Fast Stream: BOOK NOW

Wed 21 Feb, 12 – 2pm, SL62: Top Tips for Assessment Centres & Psychometric Testing: BOOK NOW

Alexis Fromageot

 

#MondayMotivation: The Week You Explore the Middle East

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Keen to make your way to the Middle East after you graduate? Come & hear from 4 great SOAS alums who are all making a real difference at the Global Careers Series Middle East panel event taking place this Thursday 8 Feb at 6pm in the Cloisters, Senate House.

Come and get involved with all the other awesome events happening across the week too. All the talks take place in the Careers Seminar Room (SL62, Paul Webley Wing):

Tue 6 Feb, 12 – 1pm: Top Tips: Applications: BOOK NOW

Wed 7 Feb, 2 – 3pm: National Speaking Academy: How to Change the World Through Public Speaking: BOOK NOW

Thu 8 Feb, 12 – 1pm: Top Tips: Career Planning: BOOK NOW

Alexis Fromageot

 

#MondayMotivation: Getting Creative With Your Career

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Embrace your creativity this week and swing by the Careers Zone to explore how you can get started with a life in the creative sector. Come and hear from SOAS-based Why Comics? this Thursday at 2pm in SL62 and hear their first-hand tales of a career in the creative industries.

Hear from Emily Oliver about Why Comics, her career path and how she got into a creative industry, alongside any tips for students wanting to follow the same path!

Emily has a track record of launching and scaling high impact social and creative initiatives – aiming to shape our critical systems more equitably, deepen public discourse, and creatively spark critical awareness. Her experience ranges from launching peoplefund.it (which become the UK’s largest crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunder), to establishing the arts service for the London Borough of Newham. She has worked at the Arts Council of England, in socially engaged media, and is currently the Managing Director of PositiveNegatives – an enterprise incubated at SOAS.

Come and get involved with all the other inspiring talks happening this week too. All our events take place in the Careers Seminar Room (SL62, Paul Webley Wing):

Tue 30 Jan, 12 – 1pm: Top Tips: Interviews & Assessment Centres: BOOK NOW

Thu 1 Feb, 12 – 1pm: Top Tips: Using Social Media to Get a Job: BOOK NOW

Alexis Fromageot