PIR is approaching a big birthday, and like all of us approaching a big birthday, the best way to put off the nerves is with a big celebration. So it was a couple weeks ago when we launched the start of our 50th anniversary year with a weekend of events, including a roundtable on Scotland’s future, a ceildih and whisky tasting, and a careers talk.
The careers talk was one of the most interesting discussions I’ve ever seen. Speakers ranged from Sir Philip Mawer (a 1971 graduate) to Hanna Choa Yu (a 2010 graduate). They came from the UN, the UK government and Church of England, the EU, the private sector (investment banking and journalism) and local government.
The audience of students and alumni were treated to a master class in how to think about career planning, preparations for job talks, knowing one’s strengths, and seizing opportunities. We’ll be following this up with another set of alumni speakers on 7 December.
It was very satisfying to see the connection being made between alumni and students. Both groups were very enthusiastic about the event, mingling over lunch afterwards. These connections need to be widened and nurtured – it’s a real win-win because alumni appreciate the chance to reflect on their careers as much as students appreciate the career tips.