Professional Practice Task C – Professional development plan
Whilst I am currently still only within my first year of my Bioveterinary Science degree, I have begun to think about my future career or post graduate study after completion of my first degree. I have multiple interests that have arisen since starting the course. Writing a professional development plan allows me to break these interests down into achievable goals, outlining what specific skills I will need, and how I can better myself to attain these skills. Creating a plan for my future career gives me the ability to pin point areas within my study skills that may need to be improved on to allow me to accomplish the grades I will need to either apply for particular post graduate jobs, or move onto post graduate study such as; Veterinary medicine, Masters degree, etc.
One of my academic skills that I wish to advance is my revision strategies. Developing this skill will allow me to successfully complete my degree and give me the grades I need to move onto further study, such as Veterinary Medicine. I will need to attain a 1st class degree in Bioveterinary Science to have the chance to apply for the Veterinary Medicine accelerated course. Reflecting on exam results from earlier on in the semester, I feel as though I could have accomplished better grades. I believe I would have retained much more information if my revision skills were better. I can make this goal achievable by making small changes to the way I study. Firstly, I can create flash cards after each lecture, rather than trying to make flash cards on all the lectures after they have all been completed. This way, the information will still be fresh in my memory and it will be less time consuming. I can measure my progression by taking note of how many flash cards I get correct each week. If I am not progressing with certain cards, I will know that I will need to put aside more time to revise those certain areas of the topic. Setting aside enough time for revision will also be beneficial. Doing small sessions every week will allow me to retain more, without getting stressed about time and how much content I have left to revise. These strategies will be helpful for both my Comparative Anatomy and Physiology module and my Concepts in Molecular Biology module.
Networking is also incredibly valuable when it comes to creating a career plan. As I am still unsure of the path I want to take after completing my degree, networking and work experience is a great way to engage with scientists within different fields and learn about their own careers. There are a variety of ways that I could make this possible. The Royal Society of Biology (RSB) organise many different conferences and careers fairs that are available to student members, such as myself. As a student member it would be possible for me to volunteer at any of the conferences that take my interests. To make this possible I would have to email the RSB and explain my current situation; where and what I’m studying, why I would like to volunteer, etc. If they allow me to volunteer, it would give me to opportunity to attend one of these conferences, whilst working. It would be useful for me to bring a small notebook and pen with me to take note of any contacts of tips that may be given to me. This way, if I gain the opportunity to get talking to different scientists at a conference I could ask them about their careers and what led them down that path and what skills and grades they needed to get to where they are. Networking during conferences is also a useful tool to gain work experience. Again, by talking with scientists within different fields, it gives me the chance to ask whether it would be possible for me to gain work experience with them, or if they know of any companies/institutions that would be willing to take on students looking for work experience. Work experience is extremely helpful when creating a professional CV when looking for post graduate jobs. Having relevant work experience on my CV could put me in a different category to other candidates as it shows that I not only have the grades needed, but also relevant practical skills, experience and enthusiasm. Work experience would allow me to explore all my different interests and see what the work within that field is like. Exploring different jobs and working environments through work experience could be extremely helpful for me to put together a well thought out decision about post graduate jobs or study as it should allow me to delve into my interests and see which is the one I am most passionate about and would like to develop a career in.