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Posts tagged ‘transferable skills’

Does the way scientists think lend itself to entrepreneurialism?

Cambridge is famous for its many innovators, some of whom have gone on to be very, very successful in the business world.

What kind of mind do you need to be a successful business person? Clever, innovative and resourceful all help. Visionary, maybe? Process-oriented? Organised? With plenty of the “soft” or people skills?

It’s a rare bird who combines all of these so no need to despair if you think you’re missing some. We can all benefit from adopting a different type of thinking.

For example, you might think that, if being a woman in science or engineering isn’t as rewarding as you’d hoped, you’d like to try something else and maybe being your own boss has an attractive sound. Do you then immediately think “Well, what could I do – I don’t have any ideas.”?

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Profile: Dr Tennie Videler – Coordinator for Cambridge Immunology Network

Cambridge AWiSE Steering Group Member – DR TENNIE VIDELER

I am the coordinator for the Cambridge Immunology Network.  The idea is that there is lots of great immunology being done in disparate parts of Cambridge University and it is my task to increase communication between them. This position is a challenge to take on, especially as I am not an immunologist…

I did an undergraduate degree in Chemistry in the Netherlands. I got the opportunity to spend nine months in the UK as an exchange student, which resulted in starting a PhD research project on the interface between chemistry and biology. I spent 16 years doing research on structural biology, using different techniques on different systems. I have always enjoyed public engagement, communicating science (not necessarily mine) to both children and adults. I was the science school governor for a primary school for six years, a role I would encourage others to take on!

Towards the end of my postdoctoral career I decided that although I loved research I wanted to use my ‘people’ skills and do something that would make a difference to people’s lives. I became  a programme manager for Vitae, a national careers organisation specialising in careers and development of researchers. It was very rewarding but I am very pleased my current role allows me to indulge in my passion for science again. I am on a steep learning curve- who knew Immunology was so complicated… and so fascinating?

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