Introducing; Enterprise in the Life Sciences Challenge 2021

Posted on: 19 October 2021 in Events & News

An exclusive opportunity for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Students from the School of Life Sciences

This semester the Careers & Employability and The School of Life Sciences have joined up to launch the ‘Enterprise in the Life Sciences Challenge’. The programme has been created following a successful bid to the Student, Success and Innovation Fund (SIFF) supporting projects that aim to address experience, or employment gaps, for, and in partnership with, Black Asian and Ethnic Minority students.

An Enterprising Mindset

The three-week challenge offers a platform for students across all years of study and all programmes within the School of Life Sciences to connect with employers across the life sciences sector. They are being introduced to key concepts of entrepreneurial activity from Enterprise Educator, Lib Golding and gaining industry knowledge to develop an enterprising mindset.

The take-up for this initiative from students has been fantastic and there are currently over 40 students from first to final years working together in small groups on real-world challenges set by employers. They are tackling issues faced by organisations in the Pharmaceutical, Health Technology, Animal & Ecology, and Medical Communication sectors and are creating digital pitches to showcase their solutions to employers.

Developing Skills and Professional Networks

Students involved are building brand new professional networks developing a range of skills that are in demand in the Life Sciences and wider graduate labour market including problem-solving, adaptability and creativity. Students are meeting independently with employers to ask questions, gain feedback and develop their ideas and it is fantastic to see students’ confidence levels rise, as they build professional relationships. Feedback from employers is that students are engaged, passionate and creative and they are keen to support our students beyond the length of this challenge.

What’s Next?

On completion of the challenge students will receive an ‘Enterprise in the Life Sciences’ HEAR award and attend an online celebration event during which they will receive feedback from their employers on their digital pitches. They will learn how to showcase the skills they have developed on the challenge to potential employers and feedback on their own experiences on the project.

All students will then be invited to their employer’s premises for an insight day to meet other members of the organisation and further widen their industry knowledge and networks. They will have the opportunity to pitch their solutions face to face in a professional environment and develop confidence in new work environments.

We are very excited to see how this challenge progresses and the ideas and solutions our students come up with! It has been a truly collaborative approach between academics, students, careers and employability and our employer partners and we are looking forward to evaluating its success!