EMS2019 Early Career Scientist Café: The experience of two participants
Magdalena Mittermeier, LMU Munich, Germany
At this year’s EMS Annual Meeting in Lyngby (Denmark) an innovative workshop, particularly for young scientists, was offered for the first time: the Early Career Scientist Café. Here postgraduate students had the opportunity to connect with other young scientists and to discuss with experts important career topics.
The mentoring event was organized in a rotating scheme with several round-the-table discussions on topics such as networking, paper-writing, career options, applying for a job or international involvement. Divided in small groups of two to four people, we moved from one table to another to discuss a specific topic. For each table approximately 15 minutes were scheduled.
The Café was the perfect way of gaining new insights and asking all kinds of questions that might be on the mind of a young scientist considering a scientific career. To me, the conversations with the experts and also with the other students were quite helpful. I especially liked that the choice of topics was not fixed, but rather it was possible during registration to select the topics of particular interest.
I hope this type of workshop will continue in future years, so that more early career scientists will have the opportunity to participate and benefit from the exchange of views.
Magdalena also won one of the EMS Young Scientist Travel Awards (YSTA) to support her attend this conference.
Mendy van der Vliet, VanderSat B.V., Haarlem, Netherlands
When signing up for the Early Career Scientist Cafe, I was expecting a nice opportunity to talk with experts and hear about their experiences. The structure was better than I expected. The Café was organized as several round-the-table discussions in small groups, each focusing on a relevant topic (i.e. networking, paper writing, job applications and options, and international involvement).
For each topic there were one or two experts from the EMS community. With your own small group you would go from one table with a specific topic to another, which made it possible to cover all the topics without stepping too much out of your comfort zone. For my group, I felt that these topics were well chosen as everybody had questions on at least one topic.
I especially liked it that some of the experts asked us first what we would like to know from them, which made it very interactive and personal. I would recommend using this as a general structure for the conversations, so that the participants get the most out of the event.
Moreover, I thought the networking part at the end was a really good idea. This offered the opportunity to continue the conversations in an unstructured way and have some drinks and food. Perhaps, in future it would be ideal to have this part in a more open, cosy space. Lastly, I would recommend that all the experts involved in the round-the-table discussions go to this cosy place to make it even more part of the programme.