Employability and Professional Skills Tutor

Amelia Barron

Department of Chemistry
Room 258a,
Imperial College London
South Kensington Campus

+44 (0) 20 7594 1043
Email: amelia.barron@imperial.ac.uk

Employability and Professional Skills

In a competitive employment marketplace, being in possession of an excellent degree is not a guarantor of an excellent job. Companies seek graduates who are employable: those who possess an excellent scientific background, professional skills and personal transferable skills. Successful candidates demonstrate their employability through the possession of excellent written and verbal communication skills, they have an awareness of the functions of business and they can work as part of a team, manage and organise their time, can take positions of responsibility and lead others.


Skills Development During Your Degree

The degree course in Chemistry provides many opportunities for skills development. Professional skills are incorporated into the many and varied elements of the degree course and acquired alongside and during the study of Chemistry.

For example, communication skills are developed through the production of lab reports (years 1 and 2), a literature review (year 3) and research project reports (years 3 and 4) along with research proposal preparation (year 4). These exercises teach many different aspects of scientific writing whilst providing training in proper referencing, searching the technical literature, critical thinking and review and the avoidance of plagiarism. Team work is developed through group projects (years 1 and 2) and students also have the opportunity to give posters and presentations (years 3 and 4). Dedicated workshops also provide training in using Chemical Information Technology, data analysis and programming, e.g. using Python.

The department also has strong links with the Royal Society of Chemistry, supporting membership for all undergraduates who wish to join, thereby introducing them to membership of a professional body. Students are strongly encouraged to make use of the RSC UG Skills booklet. The general idea of this online booklet is to keep a permanent record of skills developed throughout the undergraduate degree. This encourages students to both audit their development during the degree and provides the basis for the preparation of a strong cv.

Volunteer work, outreach, clubs and societies also provide opportunities for students to gain valuable experience whilst helping others while the College’s Horizons programme gives students the chance to broaden their skills with courses in business and professional skills or languages.