Spotlight on Dr Calum Leckie
14 July 2011
This week the spotlight is on Dr Calum Leckie, Careers Adviser, UCL Careers Service.
What is your role and what does it involve?
Currently I work at the UCL Careers Service three days per week with particular responsibility for planning and delivering the careers programme for postgraduate research students and research staff. This includes the delivery of workshops as well as one to one advice and guidance. The role is very diverse. In addition to the educational and personal advice work, I also conduct labour market research (requiring employer engagement) and extensive liaison with academics, staff developers and other individuals involved in the career development of researchers, both within UCL and externally. I am on the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services national task group for researcher career development. The UCL Careers Service is part of the Careers Group, University of London, which provides services to a wide range of colleges, so in addition to my work at UCL, I also work at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in a similar careers capacity.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I have been at UCL for six years as a Careers Adviser. Prior to this I was on a Welcome Trust career development fellowship at the University of Newcastle conducting research into the physiological control of fertilisation and early embryo development, and had previously held a postdoctoral position at Lancaster University investigating plant cell signalling after completing a PhD at the University of Birmingham in 1996.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
Last year we conducted a qualitative survey of the career destinations
of UCL research students who had graduated between 2004 and 2008. We collected
over 115 individual career case studies that provided a wealth of information
on the diversity of occupations that our graduates move into, both in academia
and beyond. We gathered key information on how their PhD and / or associated
skills added value to their subsequent roles and some of the challenges they
faced when leaving UCL. This information has been made available to current
research students to aid their career planning and decision making on a
dedicated careers site for research students.
What is your life like outside UCL?
Luckily, as the UCL Careers Service is actually located within the University of London Union building we have free access to the gym facilities so several times a week I try and pop down there to spend some time fighting the flab! I also enjoy running outdoors and until recently was a member of a running club. I'm also part of an informal walking group whose aim is to escape from the big city on a regular basis, exploring scenic parts of the South East.
Link: UCL Careers Service