19 July 2011

IMA 14th Early Career Mathematician Conference

I went to this on Saturday mainly for the career talk which was held in the morning and bits of the afternoon. The conference was held at the University of Leicester. And during some of it people were twittering #ecm14. Adrian Hamilton took the talk on career planning workshop. We first looked at what to include on a CV, the very broad first:
  1. Profile (Pen Picture of facts)
    1. Management level
    2. Business Areas
    3. Functions carried out
    4. skills, abilites, strenghts
  2. Achievements
    1. Some selected achievements
    2. Excerpts from experience
  3. Career Progression
    1. Start from most recent
    2. Dates, name of organisation, what it does
    3. Key tasks and responsibilities
  4. Other Relevant Facts
    1. Education, qualifications, training
    2. Outside work experience, interests, personal
He did mention that CV change over time, the format I mean but they should about 2 pages no more. Any more and the employer will get bored, as he/she has too see loads of these.
We then did a group discussion on identifying Achievements and then trying to get as many doing words as possible to show what you have accomplished. He also mentioned as a side note that apparently there a preconception that mathematicians aren't good with money, so if you can show you are good with money it will be no bad thing (nudge, nudge).
We also looked at the different ways to search and apply for jobs.

Cold Approach
It's simple, one letter. Useful if growing company. But there may be no job available. Also the chances of success are small.

The other methods most people know:
Contact Networks
Response to Adverts
Recruitment Agencies

The Contact Network seemed to be the best way of getting a job you want. We also looked at Referral Interviews. This was completely new to me. If you have some one in a contact network and you ask them about getting a job in a particular sector, they can refer you to someone who may have more knowledge about the goings on.

The first step is to get referred to someone. Next write them a letter about what you want to get out of it, these referrals are not for you to ask them for a job but talk to them your career plan in general sense, also send them your CV. Next to phone them to confirm a meeting. This is where you mention your letter and make clear that you are not after a job. Mention that it will not take long and you know their time is valuable. If they say they can't help you, stroke their ego tell them they have vast knowledge about this particular field.
If it all goes well hold the meeting, then send a thank you letter for meeting that person.

We also spent some time looking a questions that may be asked i.e.
What recruitment agencies specialise in this sector?
What sort of papers or source should I look at for job advertisement?
Realistic Salary?
Do you other people that could help me out and me more information in these sort of areas we have discussed?
Is my cv okay?
can I hear about your experience.

We then looked at responding to to job adverts, difficult interview questions, do and don't of interviews. Then each person was given a snippet from Mathematics Today (February 2011). This featured a bit about job options and describing where certain people work. One option some one mentioned was Transportation planner. Then a list of website to find jobs:
  1. Datatech Recruiment
  2. DSTL- Defence science and Technology Laboratary
  3. Government Actuary's Department
  4. Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ
  5. Government Operational Research Service
  6. Government Statistical Service GSS Jobs
  7. Matchtech Group
  8. Met Office
  9. Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry PSI
  10. Office for National Statistics
  11. The inside career guide to Actuarial Work
  12. The institute of Actuaries
  13. Transport Planning Opportunities

At the end of this there was a talk by Peter Rowlett about mathematics teaching and learning. Aperiodic tiling by Edmund Harris and a talk by Steve King on something to do with Rolls Royce.

As a side note they did say for students you can join the ima for free or £5 fee.

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