On Wednesday, September 29th, the LSCDS hosted its first career seminar of the new academic year. These seminars intend to showcase different career paths following graduation by inviting professionals in the chosen field to share their stories, advice, and answer questions. This seminar focused on careers in science communication, featuring two professionals from the field, Celia Du and Ki-Youn Kim. The event allowed over 50 attendees to learn about the field from the guest speakers, receive career advice, and ask their questions in an interactive Q&A period!
Science communication is an interdisciplinary field that involves making science accessible across different audiences. By nature, this definition is synonymous with knowledge translation. While many science communicators are employed full-time by a company, such as a pharmaceutical or consulting firm, others choose to freelance their communication services (as did our speakers). Regardless, this work typically involves one or a combination of the following job roles: scientific writing, strategy analysis, social media management, video production, event moderation and organization, and many more. A career in science communication is an excellent way to combine science with creative projects.
During this event, we heard from our guests Celia and Ki-Youn, who both decided to approach the field of science communication after having different goals during their undergraduate education. They both viewed science communication as an essential mix of arts and science and an excellent way to broaden their perspectives. Following her master’s degree, Celia highlighted consistent volunteering, networking, and cold-emailing as vital steps that lead her to where she is now. She credits persistence in these activities as critical events that one must undertake for opportunities in this field to present themselves.
Both of our guests offered excellent advice for those looking for a career in science communications:
- Explore professional degree programs in this field. Ki-Youn highly recommended her alma mater program at Laurentian, as it is the only program in Canada designed explicitly for this in-demand career option. She also recommended joining the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada for more information and critical networking opportunities.
- Volunteer and embrace every opportunity you are presented with. Celia and Ki-Youn emphasized this tip, as you may not know where it will lead.
- Networking is crucial. Both speakers stressed multiple times, as this field often relies on word-of-mouth communication for positions to be assigned. Networking is also an excellent opportunity to receive great career advice.
- Set up informational interviews with professionals in your chosen field. Ki-Youn recommended this so that you can get an accurate idea of what the position entails.
- Don’t force your first job to be your dream job. Any position within the field is a valuable experience to learn from and an essential step on your road to success. Explore different roles and careers as this will help strengthen your professional skills and business ideas!
We can’t wait until our next career seminar to hear from more professionals like Celia and Ki-Youn! Be sure to check out the LSCDS events calendar to learn about and register for our future events, as well as follow us on our social media – LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.
Interested to learn more about science communication? Check out the resources below:
- The Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (student membership is $35/year)
- LinkedIn – Key for networking!
- The Laurentian Science Communication graduate program